What Do I Need To Prioritise ...
To increase my business?
Posted on: 31/12/2014 By: Jacky Sherman
Like most business people, I have to decide where to prioritise my efforts. Here's a great tip on how I decide where to focus for improvements. I use a very simplified version of the Theory of Constraints by Eliyahu M. Goldratt ...
here's a simple diagram of the main processes in my business
In essence, if you want to increase your business start by clearing the bottlenecks in your process. Once cleared and flowing freely, a bottleneck moves to another place, further along the process. Then you focus on that one - and so on. When you think about it, it's another one of those blindingly obvious things in business.
Imagine you're getting work, delivering it but never find the time to invoice the client and suddenly the bank account is empty? If you don't believe people do this, my husband recently had someone invoice him 6 months after doing the job! Before looking for more work, this person needs to get their invoicing system sorted out, don't they?
Looking at my own business processes (from the image above), I have a group of strong referral partners who are referring me lots of clients. Most of these come on one of my workshops and the feedback says the delivery is good and that I invoice on time and get paid.
However, I'm not getting across clearly to many of them the value of continuing to work with me, so I'm not getting the level of repeat orders I believe are possible.. This means that in April I'm undertaking some sales training to improve my sales technique in this respect. I suspect the bottleneck will then naturally move to delivery so I'm getting ready for that too.
Here's a list of questions to help you identify where your bottleneck is. I am assuming that you acquire your clients by referrals. Modify this if you use a direct sales approach:
Does your network of contacts know who you want as clients?
Do you have between 6-8 strong referral partners?
Do you know how many referrals you want?
Are your referral partners referring you the number of prospects you want?
Are you meeting your expected conversion rate? (Referrals are 3-4 times more likely to buy)
Do you process the orders quickly after the client says "yes"?
Do you always deliver on time without problems?
Do you invoice as early as possible in the process?
How quickly do you get paid?
Have you any bad debtors?
Are you asking for repeat business?
Are you getting repeat business?
Are you asking your clients for referrals?
Are you getting customer referrals?
Look at your answers and decide where the clients are piling up behind the bottleneck. Address that area and ask the questions again, then free up time to fix the new bottleneck.
Do consider investing in some help though. The chances are, if you network, there is someone in your contacts who is an expert in releasing exactly your type of blockage! Then before you know where you are you'll have improved your bottom line no end! Works for me!
If your bottleneck is around receiving referrals then you may like to call me on +44 (0) 1908 678229 or even click here to ping over an email and we can talk about how to make referral networking work for you.
Until next time ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those “aha” moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forwards. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!