05 October 2012 category: strategy & business planning
Tags: business strategy
Whatever the level of performance of your organisation, it is always possible to make improvements. Our Top12 actions to improve every business are:
- Prepare a strategy and business plan. There is nothing more powerful in business than to decide where you are heading and plan how you are going to get there.
- Set up first class administration systems. Any business runs more efficiently if you know where everything is and have a system to run every business process.
- Review and plan finances meticulously. It is imperative that your business has sound financial information and that you use it to monitor and improve cash flow and profitability.
- Focus on the needs of your customers and provide a high level of service. Make sure that you understand what they want and need rather than what your business provides. (This is the essence of the marketing process).
- Look intelligently at what your competitors are doing. Ensure that you match (or better) your competitors’ good points and avoid any mistakes that they make.
- Put considerable, focussed and consistent effort into sales. Ensure that you do not waste time and money chasing people who are not pre-qualified as potential customers.
- Put business technology at the heart of your business. Ensure that your people have the right tools to do their job efficiently and cost effectively.
- Recruit good people and give them ample responsibility. You should seek people who stretch themselves and take the initiative.
- Create an atmosphere in which people can develop and flourish. People perform much better when they are relaxed, treated fairly and respectfully and feel supported.
- Communicate frequently with your customers, your people, suppliers and the public. Be quick to thank people for what they do.
- Introduce policies that ensure that you retain a high level of service and act in a responsible way. This means preparing policies on quality and corporate social responsibility and monitoring it fully.
- Measure everything and take action to improve things. The majority of businesses would benefit from making small incremental changes rather than radical alterations to what they do.