Ten Ways to Grow your Business part two
Hi. If you have taken the opportunity to read the first of my articles on the subject of growing your business, then you will know that: This series of two will help you explore as a business owner, director or manager what key changes, you can take to do just that.
It will give you a great checklist if you are looking to start a business. It will also act as a checklist of best practice for you if you have already made significant inroads into your growth plans. If you haven’t read the first one then now you know what to expect here!
So let’s press on and number 6 on your list is:
Run your business and/or team by process not by people. Better to have six dogged team members following process to the letter, than have six mavericks full of personality, doing things their way. Have six people with the right personality adhering to the process and you will have a thriving business. If you fill your business full of mavericks doing it via the “grown up” way, you will neither get to the headcount that you want nor the profit. Fill it with mavericks and your staff turnover will be high and your income and profit will be a rollercoaster of stress for you. Hold everybody accountable to each other for adhering to set processes. Process doesn’t produce robots. Process allows great people to shine. Have you got five dogged team members and one maverick? Sure, the maverick (if successful) brings the money in. That same person also upsets the other five more than they will tell you. And that spills over to non performance, politics and attrition. Run your business by process.
7. Be consistent. In all you do. You are the leader of the gang. People need to know the boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not. That means consistency of mood, communication, times for meetings, frequency of meetings, one to ones and the way you handle situations. In your business when you announce a series of planned training sessions you will be leading and you cancel the second one at short notice because you have “an urgent call to make” you have just lost all credibility of the level of importance you place on staff training. And your staff. If you monitor your people and your KPI’s be consistent with what you do with them and how you deal with them. I’ve seen way too many leaders of teams pick holes in a team members KPI’s when they don’t hit target and not even comment on the same persons KPI’s when they do hit target. So what does that say about you when you do that? That the only thing that counts is revenue, that’s what. Leave your outside issues at the front door before you go in to work, leave your enjoyment of one employees company over another to personal taste and have one word above your door, Consistency.
8. Treat each and every single customer as if they are the only customer you have. The only thing that will bring money into your business is quality customers. The biggest thing that will grow your reputation with your suppliers is the quality of your customers. The best way to grow your network is treat customers like a king. The number one gripe from customers is the slap dash way they are treated. Take a new look at every step in your process and ensure that at every touch point it is a world class experience for your customers. Cradle to grave…and beyond.
9. Get training for yourself, keep up to date with new ideas, best practices and keep ahead of the pack. You are the leader of your team and your business. You have the opportunity to be the leader in your area, sector and specialism. You owe it to your employees to be ahead of the curve. That’s means attending the best and appropriate events, networking with the right people, watching and listening to webinars, signing up to the cutting edge newsletters, journals, podcasts and video content. When your staff come to you asking for a subscription to a chrome extension and you don’t know what “chrome” is then that’s a wake up call. If you were to take out a months trial for Lusha, Contactout or Rocketreach and found out what was the best one and indeed if any of them were value for money then you will save a fortune in money and time letting your troops do it. Leadership is about leading from the front. Sure you might send out a scouting party from time to time. That’s called delegation. Stay ahead, keep ahead and be head of all that goes on. Be inspirational.
10. Focus on your bottom line – daily. Clichés are clichés because they are true. Here’s one for you. “Sales are vanity. Profit is sanity”. Every purchase needs to be an investment in your business. If not, it is a cost. If you supply mobile phones for your team so they can work if needed out of hours – check they do or that’s a cost. “Boss I’ve seen a great new web-site. Can we trial it?” If they don’t trial it hard and until you can compare apples with apples with your other sites that’s another potential cost waiting to happen. You might be better taking time to question what they are doing with the current ones and why they want yet another one. Taking the team out for a meal after a bad month to reward effort is probably a better investment than taking them out after a good one. Let your people understand the basics of how much it “costs” to have someone run a desk and how much they have to earn the business to break even. Salary, NI, CRM license, phone costs, their share of rent, rates, website upkeep and management costs. They need to fully understand two bad months don’t get put right by one good one. They need to appreciate that every bad hire that leaves the business, is money that has to be recouped elsewhere. Consider offering a share of profits at year end with a published target. If they have one eye on the annual prize, they might not be quite so quick to drop their energy levels or standards.
If you have enjoyed this article and you would like a discussion with me about what it takes to make your mark in business (whether you are looking to grow or not) then give me a call or drop me a line. Thanks for reading this article. Call me on 07976 828637