Next Level, Part Two.

Next level, part two is the distillation of the essence of your business. Now that we’ve identified the areas of stress within your business. The next part of the exercise is to go through and look at how you can refine each of those areas. More importantly, as you’re working through that list, what could you get more leverage by bringing in an expert or getting somebody else to provide some business services. Traditionally finance and accounting functions were always an inhouse affair. Over the last five years, however, there’s been a rise in what we call boutique shared service providers. Who can deliver those a range of business services at a very comparable cost, but without any risk to operations.

One of the critical things that you want to do is use every advantage so that you are not putting time into something that won’t drive your business forward. If you’ve studied any of the great business entrepreneurs, they all tend to have a way of focusing on their business. They know very quickly which parts of their business matter to make more money and which parts they know that they can rely on the help of others. A good example is the drop shipping model, where you’re creating an internet-based supply chain, but you don’t have any warehouses, trucks or logistics teams involved.

Once you’ve found the stress points in your business, look at the underlying systems and how they maintain quality. One of the most significant casualties is quality when a company grows quickly, and they don’t have a good plan in place. Ask yourself what systems and processes and structures have you got around those growth areas to maintain your quality? When you’re taking a holistic approach, you don’t want other areas of your business to become casualties of that growth. Saying, “we’ll deal with it later because we’re growing.” is a short-sighted statement.

What you want is a more holistic approach. Think about the end result as opposed to the short term issues. You need a plan or a map to help you stay focused on the ultimate destination. Consider sailing from Brisbane to Perth you use a map to navigate unknown waters, while keeping the ultimate goal Perth in mind. Rather than losing track and ending up in unknown waters. The best sailors follow a map.

Once we’ve identified the ultimate goal, the next step to create the plan with timelines. To reduce risk you need to have an effective feedback loop with fall back options. You don’t want to grow and fail or find that what you’re doing isn’t working too far into the journey. Often having an effective feedback loop can help you make course corrections as you progress.

Feedback loops are created using simple easy to understand metrics (e.g. sales, customers, gross profit) that can be translated into action. The ability to drill down and check your course is true must be a factor in developing your metrics. Beware the average of the average which may be hiding a flaw in the plan. Effective metrics should report the health of critical systems for quality control and growth. To put it another way you can’t increase sales if you have no stock or your staff are poorly trained.

Thanks for checking out next-level part two, if you need any help mapping out your plan to take your business to the next level, contact us. We have the experience and tried and tested methods and systems.