A vital business management concept is to understand that customers today are better informed, more discerning and value conscious than ever. The Internet has changed the way we do business, change and change management are necessary and vital elements in all business and the manner in which these are embraced determines not only levels of success but often even survival. Momentum is primarily important.
If your business is standing, still it is declining and will eventually die. Winning businesses of today and tomorrow will have clear, concise and understandable strategies in place over a range of business disciplines that will ensure momentum, drive their success and secure their future.
The axiom that the more things change the more they stay the same is still true however. We all tend to make things more complicated and difficult than they need to be. It does not have to be that way however.
A key element to fulfillment in any small to medium business is that it is and remains enjoyable and rewarding to its proprietors and owners. How to sustain the passion that sparked the business flame in the first instance becomes the primary challenge. There is little doubt that this flame is maintained and enriched by success and success can be determined and its results measured by the answers to the following four questions:
Q1 What percentage of your customers did you retain and develop business with during the review period?
Q2 How many new customers did you gain for your business during the review period?
Q3 Did you return an after tax profit in the review period?
Q4 Did you achieve your budgeted return to stakeholders during the review period?
Firstly you must be able to answer yes, with some qualifications to the final two questions. Whether your answer is yes is in turn determined by your answers to questions one and two. Question four is entwined to some degree with question three.
Amongst the strategies employed in your business, the most important will be those that address the following:
1. Retaining and developing relationships and business with existing customers. (The perimeter fence strategy)
2. Developing relationships and business with new customers. (The planned expansion strategy)
3. Exercising prudential core management practice. (Standard management procedural strategies)
You will see from the above that quality strategic management to drive business growth, customer satisfaction and ultimately healthy profit and return on proprietors investment does not have to be complicated.
In future articles in this series we will detail strategies that you can implement immediately so that the answers to the four questions above will be ones that reflect your business as being rewarding, enjoyable and profitable.