Small Business Tune-up Your Mechanical Systems
Your car and your business both have systems that have to function together to keep things moving. How well they are working individually and together determines every aspect of performance. Whether your business is a high-end sports car or an old jalopy, it will inevitably need a tune-up. Which systems are as good as the day you started the business? Which ones need a tune-up? Which need a complete overhaul? What your business needs depends upon:
- Make and model
- Markets and competition
- Environment and conditions
- Fuel availability
- Sales engine
Your Business A Well-Oiled Machine?
Your business, like a car, has various systems that need to work together. Your business needs to be a fine-tuned machine with you in the driver’s seat to profits and growth. So if your business isn’t performing, it may be time to check under the hood and see what needs a tune-up. Think of your business as having core systems that reflect the type, stage, and size of your business. The core systems are:
- Propulsion – Starting, Charging, Fueling and Running the Engine, Your Sales Engine
- Drivetrain – Steering, Braking, Adapting to Road conditions, these elements are your Operations and Financial Systems
- Monitoring and Environment – Windshield, Dashboard, Gauges, Warning Lights, and other elements that enable you to know the condition of the business and its environment.
When the business isn’t performing the way you want, then it is time to do some diagnostics. If you are like most businesses, you’ve been working harder and harder, but you aren’t getting results. You’ve been addressing the issues, or have you? Just like a car, your business may make sounds that lead you to believe the issue is X, when the reality is. A self-diagnosis is great, when it works. When it doesn’t, you should invest in:
- Diagnostic Service: Get help determining the root cause of your issues and alternatives to fix those issues.
- Training and Education Services: Learn how to fix the problem for yourself.
- Maintenance: Hire experts to provide needed services on as needed or recurring basis.
For many businesses, the issue is the Sales and Marketing System. With changes in how we communicate, shop, and get information, our sales and marketing system is in frequent need of upgrades and new parts. Businesses and consumers want value, quality, and convenience, and they want it NOW! Where are your customers shopping? According to one survey, nearly 90% of customers have made a decision to purchase before they contact a vendor. If they can’t find you, they won’t be buying.
Propulsion – Your Sales Engine
Your business has grown since your first started it. But things have changed in the past 3, 5, 10, or 20 years. What worked before to get the customers, isn’t working now. Your Sales Engine isn’t powering your business. What do you need to do? You need a supercharged, turbocharged sales engine that enables the customer to find you. You also need to be able to locate the client.
Drivetrain – Your Operations
I’ve worked with many businesses that had a great and active sales force. What they didn’t have were operational processes and systems to deliver the products and services (on time, high-quality, etc.). In fact, one business became a client after they hired a sales and marketing consultant to grow their business. They called me in when they realized they didn’t have the capacity to serve the new customers!
A great engine without the working gears and belts to transfer the power to the other systems will cause you to lose prospects and customers. Your business systems have to be integrated. They have to enable each other to work at high efficiency and not lose power (customers).