Tag: startup

Determining Areas Inside Your Business Where You Need Immediate Change

Determining Areas Inside Your Business Where You Need Immediate Change

As from the baby different person can grow up (by the behaviour) – depending on how child has been fostered, what surrounding is, education, relationships and personality type, – same for the business – it can grow differently depending on the activities and problem solving techniques. From the idea something big can be grown , valuable and important – depending on efforts, treatment, attention to details and other factors.

In fact, you’ll get what you’ll put in. So many examples of tiny ideas grown to big businesses simply because of owners’ persistence, obstinacy and strong desire to make it work. Even most crazy ideas and ‘me too’ businesses with precise attention to details, correct strategy formation and specific development can be grown to big sustainable business.

To grow a business you need to establish and control a lot of processes. And even when the structure, principles and procedures developed and working well, business owner still need to control everything precisely to be ready for change, innovation when time will came up.

The need of change is too often missed, or not even recognized. And as a consequence, it leads to much bigger problems.

This summary will help you to identify where the change is needed. And it will be done two ways:

  1. Summarizing most common obstacles for the business and signals that you’re possibly in same situation

and

  1. Providing simple instruments of diagnostics for your business to get signals on problematic areas

Most common obstacles list could be also observed from two perspectives: from business owner or CEO and from external consultants’ overview. Summing up the biggest business obstacles we’ve discussed and reviewed with KLCGroup Industry research 2016. The top problems from the business owners’ perspective  are:

#1 Weak sales&marketing processes

#2 Weak management

#3 Lack of qualified employee

#4 Overbudgeting

Same time from the external consultant overview:

#1 Incorrect internal processes and structure

#2 Incorrectly built customer care service + sales & marketing

#3 Weak leadership/team management

#4 Overbudgeting/lack of expense optimization

As you can see points are quite same, but perspective is different. The most common trend for modern businesses: I would like to sell more and earn more, but without precise attention to the internal processes and management. This is one of the biggest mistakes of most entrepreneurs-beginners, because any tiny detail can lead to terrific result.

To be frank there’s no precise recipe: ‘do this, you’ll make success’, –  but there’re many strategies, processes and details inside your business that allow your business function right way and grow from the ground. Even when business owner doesn’t have experience needed it’s important to attract employee or consultant with needed expertise .

Let’s consider these points and signals inside your business that should help you identify the problem area.

Of course it’s better to track all the processes with precise planning, evaluation tools and techniques, but not every business use these techniques and implementation takes time . We’ll go back to evaluation later at this article, and now we’ll just focus on simple signals.

#1 Incorrect internal processes and structure

Typically company’s structure is an important start-point for every business to organize processes. But sometimes, especially considering modern technologies, business owners don’t recognize  the necessity of correct company structure in time, relying on ‘it works when people take their part of job’, ‘other companies work with horizontal management system and it doesn’t  have any structure’…

The truth is…it does have a structure and set of instruments to control processes…And you need to have it too.

The consequence is lack of structure or incorrect structure. It leads to the incorrect, insufficient internal process or processes. Because when structure undefined there’s a mess in the information share, tasks, delegation, and it all reflects on the final result, temp and quality.

Same time it may cause different HR problems as low motivation, in-satisfaction, ineffectiveness.

So what are the signals of incorrect structure and internal processes?

Here’re some…

  • Failed deadlines
  • Low motivation, your employee relaxed and nervous next moment
  • ‘I didn’t get that task’ messages
  • ‘We didn’t agree on that scenario’ message
  • ‘Nobody told that’ and so on, when reporting, control and entire process not documented and tracked
  • ‘I have these data, where should I send/attach/use it?’ when it’s a mess with the entire strategic vision and daily tasks
  • When your customer care service doesn’t have updated information in time and customer receive incorrect answer for request
  • And many other misunderstandings, mistakes, failures…

Even this short list shows what disaster can you  get without correct structure and internal processes, without documentation, formalization and planning/reporting. And all this mess stops your business from the effective development. Constantly dealing with these mistakes actually the way to destroy your business day-by-day.

When you recognized at least one of the problems above and any additional related you need to pay attention to the structure itself and processes in details to find correct and cost effective solutions right for your case.

#2 Incorrectly built customer care service + sales & marketing

Most modern businesses and startups considering marketing as a magic for the business, thinking that its only one thing (which is mysterious to these business owners) that runs the business. In fact customers care as much important as precise marketing&sales strategy. But it’s mostly forgotten by business owners as a ‘process that goes by itself’. That’s the most common problem and that’s why I put these points in one.

Doesn’t matter how good your marketing&sales strategy, when you failed with customer care – you’re losing all.

Here’re some signals that you need to pay more attention to your customer care, sales&marketing:

  • Incorrect, delayed answers to your customers and prospects
  • Incorrect personnel behaviour with your customers
  • Lack of new customers
  • Low client lifetime value (average as a rule)
  • Desperately fighting for the customers you have (competing by price, etc)
  • Bad feedbacks/lack of feedbacks
  • And many other problems that directly reflected on your business’ bottom line

It’s actually the point that can’t be underestimated. And it’s the one point that moves your business up and down and this relates to all: customer care, marketing and sales. None of these points is less important than others.

#3 Weak leadership/team management

This point is also referred as ‘weak management’ in our industry report. What ‘weak management’ actually means? It means that your processes, strategies, resources are managed incorrectly and it leads to ineffectiveness, overbudgeting, gaps between strategy, vision and actions, low employee motivation and low result as well.

When something is weak system will absorb this result and general result will be also not as strong as you want/need it to be.

Here’re some signals of weak management, team management, leadership:

  • Failed team and single employee results, deadlines
  • Low motivation – which also affect final result
  • Lack of corporate culture
  • Weak team work
  • Misunderstood or unshared company’s vision
  • Low effectiveness of change/ inability to implement any innovation to the process
  • And many other factors…

From the top down, system will be functioning well when it’s led correctly. You can’t expect better result than the result you project to the system. You can imagine but it wouldn’t work unless you project right behaviour.

#4 Overbudgeting/lack of expense optimization

The earlier overbudgeting issue business met when it’s no strategy for business development from the early start. This way with incorrect marketing strategies and tactics business wastes huge amount of money for simple trials.

For every project, product or service marketing strategy should be developed based on the precise analysis and research, but business owner decide not to spend time and money for these activities too often and simply working by ‘guess how’. This way month-by-month business wastes unforgivable amount of resources and sometimes even building ‘incorrect brand’, – something recognizable, but to the wrong market/target/channel…

Here’re some obvious signals you’re going through overbudgeting:

  • Your marketing budget doesn’t return to you as customer
  • Your marketing budget is higher than you can afford
  • Your administrative expenses higher than you can afford
  • Your bottom line is negative or close to zero after the six months of operations
  • After set up and successful operations you’re experiencing stable significant decrease in bottom line
  • And many other

This point is more obvious than others considered above.

Because when it comes to money – it’s the first thing business owner will look at and will at least try to find the problem and solve it.

Sometimes whole process must be rebuilt to solve the problem and an innovation acquired. But it’s highly recommended to look at optimization techniques and search for possible innovations, additional options even through the times of positive business growth. This way you’ll give your business longer and more sufficient life.

We’ve covered four biggest areas and points when the change will more likely be needed and signals that it’s needed immediately inside your business. But let’s also talk about the instruments to control, manage, track, and evaluate all the processes.

Here I’ll suggest you to focus on the:

  1. KPI – track departments, teams and individuals effectiveness by the key indicators constantly
  2. SWOT, TOWS, USP analysis, strategy review. It’s recommended to reassess your business strategy every 6 months in general and even more often when it’s necessity. SWOT here will help you identify the way for improvement
  3. For modern business there’re many tools to manage many processes using software: project, workflow management soft, CRMs and other. Make sure you’re up-to-date and using most useful and cost effective software (do not forget about expense optimization here too)
  4. Planning, reporting, structure, culture. Planning and reporting is easy today with software mentioned at point 3. But you should also remember about the internal processes and how it’s built.
  5. Human resource management. It’s not only about how you pay, it’s all about teamwork, leadership, talent development, training, motivation and others. Negative spirit inside can hurt your business a lot; make sure you’re doing your best.

It’s just a fraction, but most important points you need to remember. And for sure external help of qualified coach or consultant is always a key to the successful change when it comes to business obstacle. Especially when it affects your business financial results. You shouldn’t learn from your mistakes one-by-one, you can walk this way easier with correct support.

I wish you’ll find your problem by the signals from the lists above and form solution to it.

Remember: change begins inside your mind – think and act!

2016Summary & 2017Strategy

2016Summary & 2017Strategy

This post is aimed to summarize tendencies we’ve got through the StartUp community, SME community related to business consulting, sales processes and strategic development. As well as I’ll summarize the list of ‘know-how’ and ‘never-do-this’ points, thus if you’re entrepreneur, SME or StartUp and you really want to succeed, follow this list and you’ll get what you want and need.

Even with our latest Industry Research recovering the reasons of StartUps and SME failure, from our consulting side we’ve found some very hazard reasons why are you doomed to fail… Let’s make it clear – to give you an opportunity to avoid these mistakes next year.

2016...The year of ‘ Whohooo! We’re StartUp, we’re cool! – Yes, it’s still actual, it’s still about huge percentage of our community.

About 5% of StarTups I’ve a pleasure to communicate to this year has own vision, process understanding and ready to implement correct processes…Other 95% – has minimum one problem from the list below.

2016…One more year of ‘I want to run my own business’ – and I believe that sole entrepreneurs and SME is our future. And the tendency here is much better than with StartUps. Business owners and entrepreneur more likely are ready to correct strategic processes rather than ambitious trials because of ‘I’m the owner and I know better’.

2016 Failures  in StartUps &SME:

  • Business Development misunderstood. Many business owners tending to accept business development as sales, marketing as sales, but not many understand the system itself and how it works. This way I think it’s good to simplify the structure especially because its easily and successfully adopted by many our customers. But it’s hardly criticized by many ‘old-fashioned’ business consultants;
  • Customer care service missing or low quality. Even with growing tendency of customer oriented businesses, about 90% of them has no correct customer care service. What to say… even big corporations fail on this part…
  • Business by stereotype…It’s nothing else to add to these words i.e ‘if you know what I mean’ LOL
  • Sell it for me I’ll give you commission, – one of the most common mistakes. The point is you can’t offer affiliate marketing opportunity as a job elsewhere and not every product/service can be sold out with affiliate marketing. Thus, think strategically;
  • Sales managers – commission only position. You can’t really get good sales manager paying commission only. You’ll get newbies, trials and constant failures. Remember this;
  • No strategy, no marketing, incorrect positioning – is a common mistake;
  • Hiring employee or consultant you shouldn’t look for ‘dog to make every step as you said’ but you need to look for individual/company who’ll deliver best result to your business. That’s another one common mistake. If you’re looking for satisfaction from hierarchy as ‘I said – you do’ – you’ve forgotten the most important part of the deal – result;
  • You should change processes but never compromise on quality or final result, – general rule!

 

Thus, acknowledging and fixing mistakes from the list above we can form the 2017 Strategy by the steps:

  1. Analyse your current situation, assess current results
  2. Conduct industry, market and competitors research or order this service
  3. Order or conduct by own resources target customer profile development
  4. Define niche and positioning, form USP or get help on this
  5. Finalize your winning strategy and form a plan on its’ basis, get help on this
  6. Fix your customer care serviceform the right change project
  7. and Finally – earn more&spend less, – this is how KLCGroup helps businesses

 

That’s your roadmap to start today!

Yes, you can spend New Year night correct way – forming successful strategy for your business. And our limited pricing offer is valid till Dec 31st 2016, GET HELP TODAY

Best Wishes to You & Your Business for New 2017 Year!

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