How to make 2015 better than 2014
Do you want to settle for the same results for your business next year or would you like to do better? Jerome Jacobs shares advice on how to improve business performance.
The end of the year is fast approaching. For some companies it is their busiest time while for others they begin to slow down, possibly even through to the end of January. So it is a good time to reflect, honestly, on how 2014 has gone for you.
• Did you achieve the goals you set?
• Are you happy with the hours you are working?
• Do you enjoy what you are doing?
• Did the business make the profit you want to build to your retirement?
Another tough question to ask is, "Have things changed much over the last three years?" The truth for most businesses is that unfortunately, little has changed in that time. Sales maybe a bit better, owners are still working 60, 70 or even more hours a week and profit hasn't hit the high levels the business really should be generating. If this sounds like your situation, you are not alone; this is the most common pattern for the vast majority of business owners.
But in most cases, things could be vastly different. Plenty of business owners see big increases in sales, huge jumps in profit and can even spend fewer hours tied to the company. How is this possible you might ask?
The answer is one word – Simplify.
Most companies have too much going on so that they do not get the focus of their efforts targeted at the key drivers. They are spread across too many projects, targets, markets, products – you name it. Unless you have a big staff and huge cash reserves, it is simply not possible for the average business to tackle so many different and often non-aligned activities, all at the same time.
Think of one of New Zealand's finest, Sir Ed. When he was aiming to scale Mt Everest, he didn't think, while we are in the mood for exploring, let's take a look at the Amazon and on the way we can stop at the Pyramids. No, he found the right people, made a very simple, tightly focused plan which was then extremely well executed to produce the result they were looking for. And this is exactly the same process that all businesses need to adopt if they want to see different results.
The process can be summed up as People – Strategy – Execution – Cash
You find the emerging leaders who can run your business which gives you more time for other important activities. They may already be employed by you or you may need to recruit them. The key to requirement is that the people are not content with the status quo but want to grown and stretch themselves and the business.
The next step is to develop a clear Vision and Strategy which is shared amongst your team so that is becomes part of the culture of your business. Everyone pulls in the same direction with their eye on the main target. They do not have their own silos of activity or personal preferences. As an example, one company has spent the last three years investing in a custom-made software that has potential to strategically change their profitability by partnering with already successful firms in a similar industry.
The whole team works together on the Execution of the plan like this company which has developed a stand-alone security product for both the local and overseas market.
By executing the plan together they produce the desired outcome which for a business is obviously Cash. For another company the cash came in the form of being much more effective which meant they doubled their net profit yet only increased their turnover by 50%.
Jerome Jacobs is director of Rise Advisory in Auckland, a business growth specialist. Rise is offering a no-charge review: how make 2015 your best year in business. Go to http://www.riseadvisory.co.nz/
November 11, 2014