In rehab, you engage with experts and specialists to get through the first few stages of recovery. You can also speed it along by outsourcing to clinics outside of the public health care system.
At some point, you have to do some of the work on your own. If the exercises are too complicated or time-consuming, most people won’t do them.
So here are some simple but powerful exercises you can do to rehab your business. You will get stronger faster, by pushing the exercises further.
Ask better questions. Find the answers. Drill down deep.
1. You and Your Food Chain
The farmer grows the grain. Someone grinds the grain into flour. The baker turns wheat into bread. You buy the loaf in a grocery store.
But, this view is oversimplified.
The farmer depends on many others. The bread has to get to the store somehow. The government has to skim off the top to run its services.
The farmer gets pennies from that four dollar loaf of bread. Without the grain, there would be no bread.
- Where is your business in your industry’s food chain?
- Who is making money when wheat prices are high?
- Who is making money when grain prices are low?
- Who never loses?
Making and selling the bread creates more demand for grain.
2. Creating More Value
What are you doing to help your customers succeed?
The obvious answer is keeping prices low. Unfortunately, your competitors are being pressured to do the same thing. The race to the bottom based solely on pricing produces few winners over the long-term.
Costs are another matter. If you can serve your customers better than your competitors but at a lower cost, you can make a bigger profit.
Alternatively, you can do something they aren’t willing to do.
3. Innovation and Costs
Cutting costs is not the same thing as innovation. Innovation can lead to cost reduction. However, reducing costs doesn’t directly correlate into innovation. In fact, it can lead to the opposite.
When you cut costs too deeply, you can no longer afford to make mistakes or experiment. So you rely on the old, proven ways of doing things, even if it is not the best. You stagnate.
In agile software development, they have a concept of “spikes.” A spike is a limited programming exercise to test out an approach or feature without fully committing to it.
How can you keep innovating while minimizing the risks around doing so?
4. Processes and Managing Inputs
Nearly every business has inputs to their products and services. They also have a mix of formal and informal systems.
Our friends at the Oilfield Hub build some software to allow you to manage your procurement process better, increase your vendor depth, and generate cost efficiencies.
We usually think of this regarding reducing the costs, or increasing the quality and consistency of our inputs.
How can you make better use of your vendors to serve your customers better?
We often get inputs from a supplier. Those providers often sell other products and services. What would happen if you worked with them to bundle some of those other things with your stuff?
5. Sales and Marketing Magic
We were talking to a local manufacturer the other day. They had managed to steal a superstar salesperson from a competitor. According to one of the owners, this person was going to transform their business with all of those connections.
Hiring high-performers is usually a good practice if they are also a good cultural fit.
Do you see the potential problems, though?
- All of their revenue growth performance relies on one person.
- They are unlikely to systematize why the person is successful, so when they leave, the sales go with them.
- Superstars tend to outperform their peers in your company by a significant margin even if the sales process is busted. This bias causes a company to underestimate the full potential of that salesperson because there are no valid comparisons.
- If the person is a lone-wolf or otherwise highly competitive, they may not willingly share their leads or network with others, or commit to using the CRM.
- Companies rely on the individual for performance and don’t provide enough supporting tools like marketing assets.
They leave much of the full potential of the employee to drive sales revenue on the table.
There is a fine line to walk here. Great salespeople often don’t make great sales managers. They might not be good at teaching. Some if it is magic – the magic of the individual and their unique experiences, drive, and talent. The impact on short-term sales is minimal when correctly performing the capture process.
How can you innovate and improve your integrated marketing and sales process to maximize overall revenue and profit?