How do you create strategic growth during an economic downturn? How can you use this time to focus and develop more sustainable customer relationships to increase your customer satisfaction or customer quality?
Is Your Company Growing Fast Enough for You?
Are you frustrated by the lack of growth in your firm, or the effort required to squeeze any up-tick in performance? Are inadequate policies and procedures a root cause? To find out, take this simple self assessment to see if this may be inhibiting real growth at your company…
Q. Can you take an extended vacation without the company falling apart?
A. If you answered “no” then you have a job and not a business. A business must have a system of standard operating procedures to ensure the work gets done correctly, even in your absence.
Q. Can your company handle a ramp-up in sales and production?
A. Hidden inefficiencies are often revealed when sales and production increase. If low turns on accounts receivable and inventory, long sales or production cycles starve your cash flow, then something is wrong. Your policies and procedures should document cycle times for your critical operating metrics.
Q. Can you effectively add more people to your organization?
A. Hiring people is simple compared to ensuring they know what to do and have the resources to accomplish their job. Policies and procedures provide the framework for a management system to oversee new employees and communicate who does what by when.
Q. Does opening a new branch office, plant, or facility create havoc?
A. Expanding your operations to new locations will test the limits of your policies and procedures. Did you know that franchises are four times more likely to survive than a start-up primarily because they have a well defined operations manual? Are you running your business like franchises run theirs?
Q. Is your family happy with your work life?
A. If your business demands too many hours, too much stress, and too little quality time with your family and friends, then you should do something about it. A well-defined system of standard operating procedures can allow you take a vacation without worry, increase sales with ease, add people to fill demand, and open new offices without trouble. Then your family will be the happiest on the block.
How to Create Strategic Growth
What can you do to ensure your company stays on top and pursues the right opportunities? There are 4 areas of operational improvement:
Tools You Need to Grow
Can mean a variety of things, but it centers on achieving your vision for your company. What is your growth strategy for your company, and what tools do you have in place to get there? Quality Management can start right now with a Gap Analysis to show you the gap between where you are and where you want to be. Your improvement process can be formal, such as implementing an ISO Quality Management System. Or it can be informal and start with whatever elements you have already identified for operational improvement.
The benchmark for all operational improvement should be customer quality, which comes from discovering your Value Proposition. A Value Proposition is simply a statement that captures the customers’ perception of what your company does that they value. What makes you unique among your competitors? Understanding customers’ perceptions of your company — and aligning your strategy to meet those perceptions — will lead to increased customer quality, the ultimate goal for any company.
Once you have established a Quality Management System and sharpened your understanding of your customers, what is left? Well, all that improvement should lead to increased sales and increased profit. That’s where Lead Generation comes in. You don’t want to waste time cold calling and selling to people who don’t want or need your products. Lead Generation uses what you have learned about your customer to create highly focused, customer-centric, often visual marketing campaigns. Creating a website with the right message — and proactively getting that message into your customers’ hands — means they will come to you, not vice versa.
So now you have established operational improvement, you have increased customer quality, and you are selling more. How do you make sure your company continues running at a high level? Quality Training enables continuous improvement throughout your company so that all of your employees are equipped to work smarter, reduce waste, and work more closely with customers. Regular Quality Training leads to an empowered workforce, buy-in across all levels, and continual improvement.
Do you need help developing Growth? Do you know how to get buy-in from others for your great ideas? Contact Bizmanualz for assistance in your next Growth Project.