1. Structure the Organisation for Growth
Define the primary business functions within the company and define the responsibilities associated with each of these. For each business function, identify which person in the organisation is responsible for the results in each and specifically note any gaps. Redefine your organisation structure so that the roles and responsibilities are clear.
2. Define a Clear Direction for the Business
Develop a simple, clear and compelling Business Strategy which includes a clear vision of where you would ideally like the business to be, a defined purpose for the business and establish the company’s corporate values. Identify the key issues holding the business back and develop a set of practical goals to be achieved over the next 12 months.
3. Implement Simple Business Measures
For each of the practical goals identified above, determine how you will measure your results and how you will monitor their progress. It is essential that whatever measurement systems are defined are simple to use, easy to interpret and the data easy to collect.
4. Create Simple Business Models
Many people believe that business performance cannot be predicted, but by gathering data on what has worked/not worked in the past and using simple business models to determine what may happen in the future, it is possible to have a significant impact on your business results. As above, measuring your results against your forecast will enable your underlying assumptions to be tested and reworked if necessary.
5. Optimise Target Market
Revenue will come from one of three places: 1) customers that already know and like what you provide and want more of the same (the ‘Cash-cow’ model), 2) customers that already know and like you and are willing to try your new products/services and 3) potential customers that don’t already know you but can be convinced by your track record in your defined areas. Determining sales and marketing strategies and plans to address each of these three sectors will yield tremendous benefits in terms of action as opposed to reaction.
6. Engage Staff at All Levels
Communication of the business strategy on a periodic basis is a great way to reinforce the desired company culture and regular feedback on company goals does much to increase staff’s sense of their role within the organisation. Well-defined KPIs, recognising team and individual successes, holding people accountable to the corporate culture and respect for all are key elements.
7. Automate and Systemise
For a business to achieve sustained growth and profitability, it needs to reduce its reliance on individual staff members and invest in creating systems and processes that enable the business to run successfully from an operational perspective thereby allowing room for continuous improvement and innovation. This should be done throughout the organisation and with the direct involvement of the staff.