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(Whist we are in Lock-down)
Even in a crisis old habits die hard; We are in troubled waters, but how we react to this predicament can be crucial. Think how can we improve the different components that make up our business, is now a good time to complete a SWOT analysis, poke your paradigm, have a look at your business and explore if there are any areas that may need attention, or even put together a short business plan. Complete the survey below and uncover any areas that can be improved...
Business leaders/owners - maybe now is a good time as any to re-position your business and have a good look at how you can make positive changes.
Just before we continue, to score your business in terms of your overall growth, let’s just remind ourselves about how important it is to scale your business.
Scalability is about capacity and capability. Does your business have the capacity to grow? Will your business systems, infrastructure and team be able to accommodate growth? I know that may sound off the chart in terms of what we are facing but being in a lock down does not have to be all negative and pessimistic let’s look at how to refresh revitalise and if necessary re- position our business.
And don’t forget my services are Free whilst we are in Lock down
Can I say that working together in this unfamiliar space can help us a great deal at this time. We can explore some of the areas where we want to see our businesses grow, and put together our plans this predicament, has caught a lot of business owners off guard.
Consider this, if we were still in normality how is your business performing. Whether we like it or not our hands are firmly tied. And as the experts keep telling us to re-evaluate and take time out from working within the business is paramount. Looking at what is important and probably making those changes you have been considering for sometime. It might even be a good time to re-think, re strategise or even a re- structure. ‘Just saying’
Or maybe now is the time to regroup, build and collaborate, communicate talk to each other, our businesses are our future, so let’s us learn from this disruption...
Although this time poses contrasting challenges to a raft of different businesses, we’ll all feel the effects of the decision that has been made to shut down many businesses for an interim period of 4 weeks. This is daunting for many and for some the difficulties that lie ahead are probably their biggest challenge yet. We need to work together to minimise the damage to our businesses. “Don't panic say the media” I agree with the sentiment, but accept that some will panic and we must all be mindful of the pressures people are under, so please seek help before making any crucial decisions around your business.
Especially around your finances, finding out what is available for you currently it is paramount if you are struggling to find the right solution, so please seek advice.
For those of you that are seeking financial support from the government, get your claim in early.
Explore how your business is positioned currently and look at how you can strengthen and make changes so that when you do come out of this lock down and return to normal (whatever that looks like) you are stronger. also consider the one thing that maybe we are not good at, collaboration working together and using each other’s strengths.
Plan prepare, and if you don’t this time then consider making provision for the unexpected in the future, this could happen again. We don’t tend to seek help! ‘until the horse has bolted’, This is not a criticism, more an observation. I know we like to do things on our own and tend to steer away from working with others and I get that; I have witnessed both sides of this having been on both sides at different stages throughout my career. Leading businesses and working in those businesses taught me a great deal about asking for help! Some see it as a very humbling experience, and others see it as a weakness in their ability. What I did learn working along side these very successful leaders is that they were wiser, healthier and their businesses grew exponentially as a result of their humility and willingness to reach out for help.
A defining moment for me, was the time I spent with a well-known wealthy business owner who agreed to share his story with me. And to my delight explained how important it was to him that he made that crucial decision to ask for help! at a time when the competition was getting more illustrious, and his business was going in the wrong direction, he decided to get help, and by his admission, he compromised his business by not changing his ways which nearly led to the business closing. It was only then that he decided to take the uncomfortable leap to get specialist support, he now as a result owns one of the largest successful corporations in Europe.
Have a look at this short survey I am confident it will be informative and give you a measurement and guide to what you can do to implement changes and Improve performance
I am praying for all our businesses to come through this with renewed strength & focus
In this time of unrest as we attempt to plot our progress and charter the muddy waters ahead, we are in unfamiliar territory, If we can, let's put a positive spin on this situation let's take action to be progressive whilst we investigate our businesses. We can box clever and re-position our businesses and attempt to use our time effectively,now is a good time to Lift the bonnet of our businesses and have a look at the engine, and fine-tune for the future?
Have a look at how your business is tracking against its targets and vision, read through and make notes on your answers, and score each area, and then when you have completed, re-score and compare from what you scored at the beginning, making the comparison to your original score. which will highlight the gaps
SALES: Let's cover Sales first, this is often sandwiched in the middle of company's meetings and agendas, and in some cases it’s not there at all.
Are you as a business setting agreeable and achievable sales.targets that line up with your business goals and vision? i.e. growth forecasts. Are you setting Smart Goals; (Specific – measurable – achievable – realistic – time effective)?
Do you have a regime that enables you to control, develop and improve your sales performance?
Is your training and development adequate, do you train and coach your staff continuously on a structure that enables them to build relations with their clients, and overachieve their targets?
If that is so, is your structure measurable can it be monitored and managed. Clients are for life, are yours?
How is your client retention and drop off, have you checked your stats lately, does the 80/20 rule apply? (Is 80% of your revenue coming from 20% of your clients) if so where are you spending most of your time? Have you engaged a professional that trains and develops your staff, this is the biggest investment you can make in augmenting your people and creating a winning formula?
Create that winning culture? Staff retention is at its highest when you train and develop your people.
It's a concern to us all in these times of rapid change, progress and technological advancement that we see businesses looking inward and taking care of their most important resource, ‘their people’. We must take seriously the development of our people who we need to retain and grow our business, as a result of persuading our key players to go that extra mile, We surely must introduce training and development programs.
Please don't ignore how important training and development is with your people.
Score your performance regarding your sales on a scale of 1 – 10 how effective is your sales 1 being not very and 10 being very effective.
Marketing: As you may be aware has many different routes these days and taking advantage of digital marketing is crucial, there are many methods that are out there, and they are growing at a fierce and competitive pace, keeping up with the changes is difficult today as is staying ahead of the game however, if you need help there are plenty of experts available, choose the right one that will work with you, is an expert and will give you a competitive edge?
How well is your marketing strategy working, does it complement and support your sales initiative. (are they working together supporting each other)? Marketing, should be effective in creating quality leads, and your sales operation should be turning them leads into sales
How does your Website rank on all the media sites and how does it generate inquiries SEO/SEM?
Are you generating leads through Technology and digital platforms how is your marketing coping with Funneling and strategic marketing ensuring you are reaching your target Audience, are you in that space where your prospects are looking for your product/service, what does your marketing landscape look like
Are you holding regular meetings, planning and preparing your Monthly forecasts and activities, putting in place responsibilities and accountability for those who are in charge, are they able and willing to report progress and performance ratios? SWOT analysis and client relations, are you checking your CRM and Reports? Do you have an effective situational leadership program?
Score your performance regarding your marketing on a scale of 1 – 10 how effective is your marketing 1 being not very and 10 being very
Technology Today: How is your IT, CRM, DATA performing is this key in your business processes, do you include it in your monthly matrix, working to support all functionality across your business?
Technology is it adding value, or is it something that you are developing.
Information technology fosters innovation in business. Innovation results in smarter apps, improved data storage, faster processing, and wider information distribution. Innovation makes businesses run more efficiently. And innovation increases value, enhances quality, and boosts productivity
This is an area where you can get expert advice and its worth any business having a complete overhaul of all your IT making sure they are functioning as you require giving you the data and information that enables you to run the business effectively, a dashboard that gives you up to date intelligence
This area should not be overlooked, bring in an expert it could save you money and time and, in my experience avoid headaches down the line.
Score your IT performance on a scale of 1 – 10 being not very effective and 10 being in good shape and supporting your business vision
LEADERSHIP: I know as leaders we are all committed to growth, and we have more than likely a clear defined vision for our business, however, one area that we probably take for granted is thinking that everyone in our business knows what our vision is for the future
As we grow our businesses we should remember to impart that vision to our people at every opportunity, and if possible have meeting’s every quarter with your people which will allow you to demonstrate your vision and how you and your team are faring against your objectives, advocating your strength, consistency with your people including they are involved in your journey.
It is always worth mentioning again how you are developing and growing your key staff. Hold quarterly meetings to report growth and plans for the business, set new targets, reward and recognise your top performers?
This area of leadership is one that destroys businesses and burns out leaders, are you delegating key management tasks. Please do not try and do everything on your own, this is one area that I suffered with on a major scale. I needed to learn the art of delegation and I needed to do it quickly I was in danger of burnout and until I understood the difference this simple technique makes; I was staring at a breakdown. My work had become my life and was completely out of balance, I learned from my dear friend and mentor back in the early days that I just had to change and delegate certain tasks. This change to my amazement had a real positive effect on me, my health and my business. Let me explain firstly I was free of tasks that I did not want to do, and that was probably due to me not being that good at them. (2 I could now concentrate my time and energy on the important tasks, that I was good at.
This is a decision that many leaders are having concerns with, around what tasks do I delegate and release into the hands of others which will allow me to focus my time on running my business more effectively and enabling me to focus on those tasks that are important to my business.
Something that I am always keen to do, Is to take time out to refresh and re-focus, as the leader of my business taking a few days away with DMs who share my passion and face similar challenges in Industry is crucial so that we can debate together and fashion fresh ideas, look at how we can add value to businesses? (under the present climate a conference call with like-minded leaders may be advisable or even a chat with your team or mentor)
Score your IT and data capture performance in your business 1 - 10 it's not working 1 – It's working well 10
Culture: How do you build a strong effective culture.
The one thing we all desire in our business is a winning harmonious culture, where each one of our staff is informed and included in the progress of our business, so that they enjoy coming to work, feel valued, and regularly receive praise and reward for their contributions, is this you?.
Many companies these days can neglect to look inwardly and spend a lot of time looking outward, this can hinder progress and growth. I believe that its crucial for all leaders today to regularly check what is happening in their operation, how well their departments work together. In larger businesses, have they got a process in place to check the culture and how it is defined and growing? A lot of problems today arise from not being pro-active, too often we hear of unrest and people complaining about what should be done and what should change. My advice here is ‘nip these problems in the bud’, prevention is always better than cure, working together and for each other in small to medium businesses is a massively important as is eradicating the troublemakers in your business.
Grow your culture, keep in touch with your people and show them you care, good leaders are consistent, reliable and approachable, display integrity, humility and strength when called upon. Master the art of communication and never underestimate the abilities of your team.
Score here regarding your culture; on a scale of 1 – 10 1 being not strong and 10 being very strong
Teamwork: Does your leadership team harness your vision and attest to it at every opportunity, can they and do they repeat it and support it at every meeting?
Make sure your people know and understand what your vision is for the business, How they can play their part in growing your vision whilst loyalty and commitment should be coming from all areas of the business, the business journey should be one of inclusion, and we are all guilty of making the mistake of not bringing our people on our journey with us, as we can get derailed with other activities and persuaded that what seems a given, is sometimes worth us having a closer look at, and we must remember the core values of our business are our people, and if they work for us we need to make sure they are up to speed with events and feel valued. ‘Don’t leave them behind’ We can't expect them to ride with us and play their part in building and progressing our vision, ‘if they don't know what it is.
A wise man once said there is no provision, without vision. He may have also said that collaboration with those that share the market, will and can add value to your business as well as sharing with your teams and people, the commitment to monitor, measure and manage performance checking behavior is vital today, I have seen how valuable this is when formulated into a measurable system.
Score your performance regarding your Teamwork on a scale of 1 – 10 1 being not strong and 10 being very strong
PROCESSES: This leads me nicely onto systems and processes. Have you checked lately to see if they are functioning well, and supporting your business effectively? Supplying accurate and up to date information is vital. We have been informed by leaders of large and medium-sized businesses that they simply are not getting the data they require, which would give them the quality information they need to run their businesses effectively. Top of the ‘I want to list’, that leaders intimated as their most frustrating challenge, was up to date data, this as they explained is essential and gives them the information/statistics, they need to run their businesses effectively. If you're struggling in this area then get expert advice?
Score: how well are your systems and processes working 1 -10 1 being poor and 10 being feeding my network and working well
Productivity: We would all do well to heed the advice of those experts that have walked this tricky road before us, and those that are walking it successfully today. Have you decided to Serve your businesses as well as lead it? Your people are your lifeline and if appreciated and treated well, will be the catalyst for your growth, brand awareness and performance.
Too often today I hear the words low productivity being debated as if there is a strong demand for people to work at an agreed pace. These discussions are often top of the pile when business leaders are debating the future of their business growth, or lack of it, this is sometimes given as reasons for poor performance. It's also high on the agenda when debating the challenges and issues they face and how in their opinion poor performance and low esteem are prevalent in the workplace.
Well let's be honest here, we are the ones that are responsible for recruitment profiling those we work with and how well they perform in their jobs, It's paramount in my opinion that we have a good understanding of those that we work with, when I was running a large sales operation it was key for me to have a good understanding of those managers that worked for me profiling them was the best days work I ever completed and it was only then that I realised how important situational leadership was to my business. I have now introduced this concept to hundreds of businesses during my career. Profile your people it will give you a thorough understanding of how your teams are working together, ask me about profiling your people I have access to an amazing profiling tool used by the large corporates.
Score your business productivity 1 – 10
1 being poor productivity – 10 being rich, operating fully productive
VISION: Now you've had a look over your business in a bit more detail let’s just take time to look at your vision and how that impacts positively on your business,, have you got total buy-in from your people and do they fully understand the vision and mission you have outlined for your business. Or have you dare I say it' left your people out and plotted your course, leaving your people behind.
Revisit and reposition yourself, if performance and behaviors in your businesses are not acceptable and achieving your game plan, then ask yourself why?
How do you inspire your people to perform and add value to your business what have you in place that allows you to get to know each of your employees? Situational leadership is fundamental in the business curriculum. Don't ignore the basics of human needs, emotions, and behaviors of your people, before you complain about their productivity explore the root causes And then, do something about it, this will probably mean getting everyone together and explaining in detail how productivity is impacting on your business performance and forecasts. Getting them to come up with the answers, not you?
Explain the purpose of your vision for the business why you started the business how you see it taking shape, how your people are the backbone of the business and how your vision includes working together and everyone enjoying the progress and inclusion of helping shape the business.
Some of the best techniques to ensuring your people are included and feel secure is to ask, hold regular surveys (at least once a year) and evaluate your people’s responses to your business and how they think its progressing.
Score your performance regarding your vision and purpose for your 1 – 10
1 being my people are not in tune and comprehend the vision of the business 10 being yes they all fully understand and all working towards our vision
Now before you move on tally your numbers and score yourself out of 0/90 then look at your score from the beginning of this survey
ACTION: Now you’ve had a look through some of the important parts of you're business and you have accumulated your scores> Has it exposed some areas that need attention, areas that need attention now! put them in order of merit. if you want to speak to me then please take the opportunity to do so by calling me on my mobile number 02102724797 and I will help guide you through any challenges you may have
I have been appraising, transforming and burgeoning businesses for over 35 years, but never in a lock down, this is unprecedented waters for me however I am ready and willing to help and assist those that need it. And prepare your business for the future, whilst we are in this state of the unknown, I will not be charging for my services so please do not struggle or worry about the future, and please do not go through this on your own
The only prerequisite I ask is that you have retained the passion, fire and determination for your business.
If that is the case then I will step in by your side, and grow you to your full potential, and as a result of this I am confident that we can see your business prepare for the future
Together we are strong.
Prepare your vision and give me a ring on 021 027 24797
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Remember my services are FREE whilst we are in Lockdown, even if you only want to talk through your challenges, feel free to ring me!
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021 027 24797
Leadership Mentor & Author
I am truly passionate about helping businesses grow and succeed, I hope I have gone some way to demonstrating that I care, I am always looking at ways we can scale businesses better. This is a particularly challenging time, we must care for each other, (especially our older community) lets work together to keep everyone safe. Our willingness to help and support each other is key. Invariably this predicament will take its toll on our business communities, however, we must stay positive and work through our plans together as we prepare for the future.
We will make a difference if we work together, and come out of this stronger, repositioned and ready to face the challenges that are to follow, we need each other and will benefit from helping and supporting each other.
If we rest on our laurels and just pick up where we left off at the end of this ordeal. We may find ourselves in a predicament that will be very difficult to resolve.
So please join me in making our business world better, as a result of the hardship that is to follow, we can show the world how we deal with these challenges by following our governments' advice, (don't panic) and along with that we must administer our innate ability to adapt, change and outperform. where others lack, we lead. I believe the focus now is how we come out of this. Being in lockdown has made us realign our priorities now we face the daunting challenge of staging our exit from level 4, the gradual process of coming out of Covid 19
Please keep each other safe
Kim M Allen Caring about our community
021 027 24797
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