Is your business in the fast lane?
Are you an ambitious business or entrepreneur with the potential to double sales turnover within next three years of trading? If so great! If not read on………..
In these difficult turbulent, economic and austere times, small and medium business owners (SMES) need to take a look at their business with a fresh “pair of eyes”and ask themselves are they maximising their return on investment and joining the fast lane.
Most business owners, when they set up their business, had a vision of where they would like to be in the future, at least in their heads. A minority of these owners had prepared a written Strategic / Business Plan and used it as a basis for ongoing improvement!
Well now is the time for that minority to re-look at those plans and for those that didn’t have a written plan from the outset to do so. As it’s a proven fact that businesses that plan are far more likely to succeed than those that don’t.
This article gives a brief overview of areas business owners / entrepreneurs need to focus their attention in order to join the fast lane – provided they wish to do so! Subsequent, articles will focus specifically on each of these ten areas below needed to ensure improvement, growth and sustainability.
- Strategy – put innovation back into strategy. In every industry, there are several viable positions a company can occupy and therefore the essence of strategy is to choose the position your company will claim as its own. A strategic position is the sum of the companies answers to the questions below and making tough choices in these three dimensions:
- Who should I target as customers? The customers you will target and those you won’t.
- What products or services should I offer the? The products and services you will offer and those you will not.
- How should I do this? The activities you will engage in to sell your selected product to your selected customer and those you will not.
Ultimately strategy is about making choices, and a company will be successful if it chooses a distinctive strategic position from each of its competitors. The most common source of strategic failure is the failure to make clear and explicit choices in each of the above dimensions.
- Leadership – is about the credibility and professionalism of business owners and how they manage and lead their business in fulfilment of its vision, strategy and goals.
- Marketing and Sales – If the purpose of the business is to get and keep customers, then marketing is about what you should do to achieve this purpose. In other words, marketing is about developing products or services that satisfy customer’s wants. Whereas selling is about getting people to buy your products or services.
- Cash – is king for all businesses, so maintaining accurate, up-to-date information about cash-flow is essential.
- Access to Finance – is about the ability to raise appropriate finance so as to implement strategies once established.
- People and skills – is about recruiting the right people, continuously developing and utilising their skills for the benefit of all. It’s about a “win, win, win” situation.
- Operations – is about having the right processes and procedures that are continuously reviewed, developed and improved utilising the innovative skills of the organisation’s people.
- Innovation – is about having an organisation culture to develop and improve products and services so as to meet customers’ needs and increase productivity and competitiveness.
- Change – is about leadership and the employees’ ability to embrace change be it enforced politically, economically, strategically or technically.
- Sustainability – is about the long-term success and growth of the business.