Over the next few posts we’re going to talk about how to take a hard look at your current resources and get the most out of them. This can help your capital go further and increase your profit margin.
Today we’ll cover three different ways to maximize what you already have. These include:
• Recognize the obvious
• Unconventional breakthroughs
• Face the facts
Recognize the Obvious
Sometimes when you are too close to something, you can’t make out the big picture. You need to step back and really take a hard look at the resources you currently have in front of you. You are surrounded by opportunities that can boost your career and help your business become more successful.
Don’t sit around waiting for breakthroughs you need to create them yourself. A breakthrough is merely a new way of doing things or finding a new thing to do for the same or better results. You should be having regular brainstorming sessions and encouraging your team to come forward with breakthroughs or ideas any time they have them.
Some great examples of breakthroughs are:
• A health and beauty company discover a side effect of a product that can be re-marketed and sold.
• A company creates a roll-on deodorant inspired by the shape and size of a ball point pen.
• The founder of Nike poured rubber onto a waffle iron and created the most innovative and successful running shoe ever.
When attracting or strategizing for a breakthrough there are some key objectives you need to keep in mind. They are:
1. Look for the hidden opportunity in every situation.
2. Look for at least on cash windfall for your business every three months.
3. The more value for your client, the better your breakthrough.
4. Create multiple streams of idea to find the best breakthroughs.
5. Effective breakthroughs remove all risk or resistance.
Face the Facts
Before you can put your breakthroughs to work you need to face the facts of the processes and systems that are not working for you and work to correct or get rid of them. System analysis is a good way to do this. Once you have a listing of your strengths and weaknesses, you need to compare those to the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors.
There are some great questions you can present to you and your team to get a handle on where your business is right now. They are:
1. Why did I first start this business? Why am I in this industry?
2. What products/services did I offer then? Which were the most popular?
3. Why are my customers/clients buying from me right now?
4. How did I generate new customers/clients then?
5. Which of my marketing efforts were bringing in the best results?
Once you’ve got some answers to these questions, you’ll know better how to approach your weaknesses. These three areas we’ve gone over give you a jumping off point for how to utilize your current resources to their fullest potential.
If you need any help with your strategic or systems analysis, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with one of our amazing business coaches.
The last 2 posts covered the first four of the killer mistakes you can make that will not only make you lose your fish, but possibly your entire company. Today we’re going to talk about the fifth killer mistake: Up Cash Creek Without a Paddle.
Even when business is good there’s still a change of running out of cash flow. You have to always be prepared for a slow in sales or a surge in expenses. One of the keys to balancing your cash flow is to get your clients to pay on time. This can seem like a nightmare but is absolutely essential to a successful business.
Here are some tips to speed up the payment process:
• Always send invoices on time and adjust your records for potential audits.
• Learn how the client processes payments on their side and find out precisely where to send invoices.
• Find out who’s in charge of processing orders and payment, so you know who to contact if needed.
• Have a follow-up procedure in place, just in case.
• As a last resort, call your contact to ask questions.
• Always make sure your invoices are correct before sending them out.
You also need to make sure your cash flow is protected. You can do this by:
• Always know which accounts need paid and when.
• Negotiate with your suppliers for the lowest cost possible.
• Have a bank contingency plan in place.
• Build your own inventor network.
These are all great ways to protect the cash flow of your business and prepare for fish transitions and slow sales. These last few lessons are all about finding and catching your big fish clients. These clients are essential to your success and your need to take the time to work through each of these steps carefully and correctly for the best success.
If you need help with any step of the process of catching your fish or subsequent big fish clients, try our GUIDED TOUR for access to a wealth of great tools and resources as well as our business coaching staff.