At Business Doctors we work with businesses looking to move to the next level of profitability.
Our approach is always to stop and look at where the business is now and how it arrived there, before we look at how to move forward.
We specialise in helping to identify, unlock and maximise the potential in business whilst at the same time making sure that the future plans being considered remain within the bounds of what is both practical and achievable.
There are two areas that we find invariably surprise business owners in terms of where there may be some chinks in their approach and how this affects their business and, with just small changes, what a difference tackling these issues can make to their bottom line.
The first is the common misconception that we always have to be looking for new business and the majority of time, effort and budgets are often spent on looking for new clients. However, often a big difference can be made by looking at how we can increase revenue from the clients we have.
An example of this is a business we worked with about a year ago who knew their turnover was not increasing as it had done but did not know why. We found out that they didn’t analyse and monitor the orders they were getting from their existing customers and they didn’t keep in touch with them either. We did some analysis of their top 10 customers and found that their turnover had dropped from these customers by 30 per cent in the previous year.
We then spent some time talking to their top 10 customers and found that they were unaware of many of the products available to them. We also asked them for input into the ordering and delivery process, which they were happy to give. As a result of this exercise, and then putting in place a key account manager, their total company profit has doubled in the last year.
One of my favourite quotes, from John Romero, the highly successful video gaming entrepreneur is this “In marketing I’ve seen only one strategy that can’t miss and that is to market to your best customers first, your best prospects second and the rest of the world last”. A truism for all businesses to remember.
The second, and very common, mistake often made is for the business to be built around the people, whereas we strongly believe that the people should be built around the business.
It is really important to involve the staff in the business and for business owners to take the time to really look at what the business needs and what our staff profile needs to look like to support this. This is where Business Doctors, after undertaking a staff engagement day, advise looking at the four R;s:
- Retain – the good staff who support the business model need to be retained and valued.
- Retrain – where we may have good people but there is a deficit in their knowledge or experience, we need to retrain them.
- Recruit – where there is a gap we need to recruit the right person/people to fill it.
- Release – when necessary we need to be prepared to let those people go who don’t fit into our business model or ethics.
Two practical examples of this are, firstly, of a guy who had built his business and reputation on delivering in full on time 100 per cent of the time – his goal was perfection in the service he delivered to his clients. His business was growing and he employed a new sales director to help him drive the business forward. The new director came with excellent credentials but it quickly became obvious that 90 per cent satisfaction was good enough for him. This was not acceptable to the business owner and they parted company. Knowing what your own core values for your business are is critical in being able to recruit the right people.
Secondly, we worked with a diamond drilling company whose staff advised us that they were embarrassed by the mess in the owner’s office when they brought clients in and also felt that the company required more branding i.e. a sign outside the office, sign-written vans and branded overalls. The owner took these comments on board and by making these changes he increased company turnover by £1M and improved profits by nearly 20 per cent.
He engaged with his staff, to everyone’s benefit.
Business Doctors help businesses focus on what makes them more successful and provide practical support to make it happen.
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