When we work with any organisation we feel that it is important to have an overview of all the elements of a successful business. This is because each element is related to all the others in one way or another. To make each segment work there is a need to allocate appropriate resources; that is time, energy and money.
The segments that we work with are:
There are four groups of people that make any basis successful. We start with colleagues – the owners, directors and or shareholders. The second group are our staff, the third group are our stakeholders. And lastly we come to customers or clients. In today’s world we have to get closer than ever to all four groups and this work ALWAYS starts with ‘colleagues.
Products and Service
Each idea will eventually lead to products and or services that are taken to market. Although we can all aspire to excellence with our business activity, it is only feedback from customers that can validate our performance. For this reason, we encourage clients to allow us to conduct a customer survey. These surveys usually consist of about eight questions based on business core competences.
All organisations that want to increase their presence in the market by winning more or bigger or better customers need to have an effective marketing plan in place. In today’s world there are so many different ways of reaching out to the market; be it blogging, speaking at events, writing articles or appearing at trade shows. In many cases you have to try some of these things to find out what is worth allocating resources to and what is not.
This is the ‘Cinderella’ segment, the one that so often gets left to an employee who has actually not got any experience of purchasing other than going to the supermarket each week! It is no use focusing on sales and marketing if money is being thrown away because there is no effective purchasing procedure in place. Price, quality, quantity, delivery and much more besides make up the effective buyers armoury.
When it comes to finance in a business we look at the past, the historical Trading, Profit and Loss account and Balance Sheet. We look at the present which is the management accounts that show how effective we are on a month by month basis. And finally we look into the future to see budgets, forecasts and the Bull’s Eye. Where would the business like to be in three years’ time? Our job is to help it get there!
All the marketing in the world is no substitute for selling. Someone has to bring home the bacon, week in week out, month in and month out. Organisations need a sales pipeline that is monitored on a monthly basis in order to ascertain what work is likely to come in, and what needs to be done to enable the business to hit its budgets (12months) and ultimately its Bull’s Eye (three years).
Research and Development
This is often the starting point for a new business. Someone has an idea or spots an opportunity in the market. Some people are full of ideas all the time, but what we are looking for are ideas that link directly to an income stream within a definable period of time.
Administration and IT
Effective and efficient systems and processes are essential for any business. With technology changing so fast somebody needs to be on top of what is possible in this area. If this is not addressed then there is every chance that we become uncompetitive, allowing others to take some of our market share.