Don't Just Work In Your Business, Work On It Too!

If nobody knows who you are, what you do and how they could benefit from your services, the phone will never ring ...

Todayís business owner is short on time and therefore must prioritise the most important tasks. However, they can become caught up in the day to day 'workings' of the business such as closing sales, invoicing, staff rosters and so on, which results in neglecting the strategic aspects of running the firm.

"Many owners and managers can be accused of being a bit short sighted when it comes to setting goals for the business!"

Marketing is often seen as 'non chargeable time' and may not be prioritised as a result. As such itís important to focus on the impact that marketing has on the business. The goal of the marketing function is to generate business/sales Ė after all, if nobody knows who you are or what you do, you wonít have any customers!

Successfully marketing your business entails focusing on what you want the business to achieve, what type of clients you want and the way you target these clients. There are many different strategies for achieving your business targets, but the question we are asking here is simply, "can you afford not to increase your firmís profile?"

The answer to the above is inevitably no Ė you can't afford not to - you need to increase your firmís profile in order to attract new customers. Therefore business owners and managers need to devote time to working 'on' the business.

If you donít already invest time and resources into marketing then itís time to build a marketing plan for your business. The plan should include the following:

Setting goals and creating a strategy for your business is important. However, you then need to measure how the business is performing in order to understand if the firm is moving forward and is on track to achieve its goals.

"This is where we use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)!"

It is vital to set KPIs. However many business owners and managers find this difficult to do and see the establishment of KPIs as a pen-pushing exercise so donít dedicate time to do this.

KPIs, however, form a vital element of the businessís strategy, both for individuals and for the team itself. In order to create a shared vision, commitment and firm-wide motivation, it is vital that the KPIs are discussed with - and agreed by - each member of the team from the outset.

KPIs should cover:

The nature and specific tasks of your KPIs will depend very much on your market sector and geographical area in which you operate. However, you must ensure that they follow the SMART principal - that is, ensuring that objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

"Depending on your business, it can be useful to adopt a traffic light approach for each client account, so areas of strength and weakness can be easily and quickly identified!"

This data can be fed into charts which can also be very useful when preparing your KPIs, giving specific objectives and demonstrating how the results have a direct impact on the overall sales and business objectives.

Once set, KPIs should then be reviewed on a regular basis, both with the team as a whole and with individual team members. Any variance in performance can then be identified and flagged appropriately, with remedial actions put in place before any aspect of the traffic light chart turns to amber.

Bear in mind that KPIs should always be dynamic. For example, even if a KPI target hasn't been met, the individual or team performance may still be on course to achieve the overall sales objective, and the KPI target may need to be lowered. Similarly, if a target has been met, then it may need to be increased at intervals, to maintain drive and motivation.

If you're interested in coaching for your small business, do call me on 07521 790284 or leave a comment below and let's see how I can help you.