Be Better or Be Bigger (Part 1)? In Blackboard Fridays Episode 35, Jacob talks about Growth Planning. Need this implemented into your business? Talk to the international business advisor who can do exactly that – Contact Jacob, Learn More, or Subscribe for Updates.
On my live webinar a few weeks ago, I challenged those who attended about whether their immediate focus in business was ‘Be Better’ with their existing resources, or ‘Be Bigger’ by growing the size of their business engine.
Of course, everybody wants to ‘Be Both’. Which is achievable, just not by trying to do both at the same time.
This week we focus on the 6 Ways your business can ‘Be Better’. How can you reduce waste, improve profitability, and maximise the power being generated by your existing capacity.
Which of these 6 are you doing well?
Watch this week’s episode here.
Who is Jacob Aldridge, Business Coach?
“The smart and quirky advisor who gets sh!t done in business.” Back independent since 2019.
Since April 2006, I’ve been an international business advisor providing bespoke solutions for privately-owned businesses with 12-96 employees.
At this stage you have proven your business model, but you’re struggling to turn aspirations into day-to-day reality. You are still responsible for all 28 areas of your business, but you don’t have the time or budget to hire 28 different experts.
You need 1 person you can trust who can show you how everything in your business is connected, and which areas to prioritise first.
Welcome to the first of this two-part Blackboard Friday’s conversation where we’re building a little bit deeper into capacity.
If you go back to one of the first blackboard Friday’s episodes we shot, we talked about like growth is the most dangerous word in business because it can mean different things to different people. What we want to break down in this episode is the difference between focusing on being better, getting more revenue out of your existing resources, and being bigger, growing your business and your resources and increasing that capacity size.
There are six ways to do each of these and I’m going to give you a little bit of example in each of those six today focusing on being better.
So when is it appropriate for your business to focus on being better? It’s best addressed when you find that your utilization rate, the actual revenue that you’re generating from your team each month, has a large element of waste compared to that capacity.
That’s why it’s important to calculate your capacity and know exactly the dollar value of that waste. It gives you and your team the incentive to focus on being better to reducing that waste. There are six ways that you can do the—six categories.
The first of those is better analytics and financials. To give you an example of a client of mine that worked on, this they pulled out increasing amount of data from their sales team. They had a retail business doing counter sales and what they discovered was that the variations in each individual sales performance was as much as a hundred percent over the course of any given day.
Two people standing next to each other, and one was selling twice what the other person was doing. That gave them the incentive to focus on some training to improve the sales skills of all their team to grow that.
It was only when they had that analysis that they were able to break down the per salesperson data that they were able to identify that that was a gap in their business. Looking at the analytics and the financials in your business, can help identify waste that you may not even realize exists.
Better skills are an obvious one. The capability and training of your team is one that can make real difference. One of my clients ran of training needs analysis and mapped out a 12-month program with their team. At the end of the 12 month, not only had they increased the skills of their entire team, but they’d also managed to build through that process a career progression journey so that new people coming into their industry had this level of skills and they had a training program that helped make them seniors, managers ,and eventually set them up to become partners in the business and build a succession plan, all as a result of focusing on skills to reduce waste.
Better sales and a better sales system. This is an obvious one for most businesses when it comes to bringing in more revenue. I’m really excited now because I got an email last week from one of my clients, we’ve doubled their revenue turnover in the last six months, and this was the project we focused on.
Breaking down their sales activity and helping to empower those in the business who were going out and doing the sales through a very simple process. We discovered that the business owner, well great at what he did and loving what he did, didn’t exactly know what conversations to have in what order. Breaking down his sales process gave him a lot more confidence and a lot more focus and doubling your revenue in six months is a goal that many businesses would love.
Better branded marketing is similar. If you don’t have leads coming into your business, then there is almost certainly going to be waste. There’s either going to be idleness in general, or there’s going to be ups and downs where a busy month is followed by quiet month because those new clients are not coming in. Have you got a clear brand archetype that stands for what your business represents? Have you got a marketing strategy linked to that to keep the flow of ideal client coming through your door?
Better culture. When your team are engaged, they will step up they will go the extra yard and they will help close that waste gap create more revenue and therefore more profit for your business. Culture has a very clear return on investment. If you’re not clear what the return on investment is, and I’d love to have a conversation about how we could define that in dollar value for your business.
The last category of being better is better operation and this really comes down to the structure of your team. Have you got the right people on the bus, and importantly, are they sitting in the right seats? I see this all the time. Businesses that have grown into a capacity engine of this size, and they discovered that the fantastic office manager when they were small is now holding back a whole lot of information, is becoming a bottleneck.
They need to restructure that business and get that individual to hand things over. Similarly, you as the business owner may be creating a bottleneck. You might have this great team underneath you capable of generating a million dollars a month, but because most of the decisions still go through you, your capacity is holding back the capacity of the entire business.
Understanding your operational structure gets you the right person doing the right job at the right time and reduces that waste. On average, when I go into a business and do some of these projects, we find profit increases by 20% in the 3 to 6 months we’re designing the strategy.
A 20% increase in your bottom line is that shorter timeframe is a great outcome for just about any business owner, especially when it comes without having to invest in the growth. But of course, once you’ve addressed these, once you’ve minimized that waste, you need to decide to grow into a bigger engine. And that’s going to be the topic of our conversation next week.
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