Are you in control of your business? Most people would say yes without thinking of it. But to really be in control, you need to be closely connected to each facet of your business. Here are eight steps to help you do so.
1. Be Solution-Focused
When things go wrong, it’s easy to play the blame game. Maybe you blame a disappointing sales quarter on the time of year. Or maybe your employees start pointing fingers at each other every time something goes wrong.
Either way, working toward a solution-focused culture will foster a spirit of teamwork and ultimately help you correct issues quickly. It can be hard to shift the existing company culture, so be patient. Attitudes often come from the top down, so do your best to lead by example and encourage supervisors and others in leadership roles to do the same.
2. Utilize Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is critically important for any business with multiple branches (think HR, engineering, finance, etc.). Your business branches may function beautifully on their own. But if there’s no connection between them, the business as a whole will suffer. The right ERP connects systems and allows executives to easily monitor business processes and metrics.
One of the ways to ensure your ERP implementation is successful is to make sure you choose the right ERP for your industry. With a turnkey ERP solution, you can get a custom-tailored solution to streamline your business.
3. Create Measurable Targets
If you want to ensure success, give your employees clear targets. For instance, if you simply tell your employees to improve the sales process, they won’t know where to start. Instead, you might say that you want them to increase total sales by 5% next quarter. When you have a clear metric, you can assess how close you can come to meeting that goal.
4. Evaluate Your Sales Pipeline
You already know that you won’t get a sale from every single lead you get. But if you think of your sales process as a pipeline, you can clearly see where you’re losing customers. For example, if most of your leads obtain quotes but 25% back out after a consultation, you might evaluate your consultation process and find ways to retain customers.
5. Don’t Forget The Importance Of Feedback
Regular constructive feedback can do a lot when it comes to connecting your employees and improving virtually every business process. For example, if you have a sales rep who seems to struggle with closing sales, don’t simply tell them they need to get better at closing. You (or the sales rep’s direct supervisor) can offer some suggestions and strategies that might improve performance.
6. Make Sure Your Business Structure Makes Sense
Chances are that your business is made up of several distinct processes and procedures. To really optimize and control functioning, make sure that each employee is in a role that clearly connects to this process. If you or your employees can’t easily see which responsibilities belong to which people, you have a problem.
7. Evaluate Your Return Per Hour
When you want to improve profit and efficiency, it can be very helpful to see things in black and white. To start, figure out how much total profit you make (per hour) for each product or service. From here, you can quickly identify where you can cut costs, make processes more efficient, or both.
8. Choose Systems You Can Rely On
Being in control of your business doesn’t mean making your business the central focus of your life. When you set efficient and scalable processes for each part of your business, you give your employees a framework to work with. When you trust the process and trust your employees, it becomes easier to take a step back.
Like business success, control of your business is an evolving prospect. You want to be able to step back a bit. However, you also want to be connected enough to see when changes need to be made. It can be a hard balance to strike, but it will lead you to both freedom and business success.