Reevaluating the business processes you need to achieve scale
When you first start out in business, you hit the ground running. Make the product/design the service, find your market, connect the dots by whatever means necessary. You follow your carefully constructed business plan, trying to make sure you don’t stray too far. It’s a good idea, you wrote that plan for a reason and it is important to stay on track and keep your goals at the forefront of every decision you make. But then you get a few years in and the business you’re running mightn’t look quite the same as the one you’d planned for.
Things change; the world changes and your customers change too. As we’ve seen from so many retail examples, those that don’t adapt don’t survive, so it might be time to get with the times and rework your processes to make sure your business doesn’t end up on the endangered list (or worse, extinct…).
How do you know it’s time to reevaluate your model?
Put simply – it’s all in your results. Did you meet your SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals for the year? Did you make your anticipated revenue? Your profit? Of course, it might be other factors, external economic forces will always play their part. But if you want your business to survive, your internal processes need to keep up with all kinds of changes, whether you can control them or not. And at the end of the day, running a business is about making money at the end of the day (even if you’re aiming for unicorn status and selling your business for billions).
Where to start?
Typically, there three major areas which should be evaluated to know if rejig is what your business requires.
How efficient is your production process? For most business owners, their products are the catalyst for starting their business. You see a need for a product (or service) and you figure out how to supply it – ideally before anyone else gets the idea. But in that rush to get your foot in the door you might find you’ve sacrificed money for speed, good in the short term but ultimately deadly for your business.
If you make the products in-house evaluate how that’s working out. Is that the best use of your or your employees’ time? Are you personally heavily involved with the production? As admirable as your hard work is, it comes at a cost – and it’s limited by the number of hours in a day and your capacity to work most of them. Every moment you spend doing a job that could be done by someone else (or in some cases, completely automated) is a moment you aren’t chasing new business opportunities and giving your venture its best shot.
If you don’t make your products in-house, it might be time to research whoever you have making them. Have they been on-time with your orders? Does the cost of production reflect the quality of the products you’re receiving? Do you feel like your business is valued? If it’s not, it might be time to check out their competitors in the field.
Promotional and marketing strategy
Ok you’ve got your products, now it’s time to make them move – in front of your customers. You likely already know the importance of social media marketing, but have you checked up on which platforms are really getting you site traffic? There will always be another social media site that everyone swears is the future of ecommerce and in some cases they’ll be right. But the reality is that you don’t always need to be on the most popular new app, you just need to be on the one your particular customers are on. And focus there.
Most business social media profiles will give you a basic break down of your traffic and successful posts (and there are a number of apps that can help you out as well) but it’s also worthwhile doing some research of your own. People of different ages, financial or social circumstances gravitate towards different platforms. See which ones are actually serving you well and don’t waste your time on the ones that aren’t. Combine your social analytics with your google analytics and see which is leading to the best sales/customers.
If you feel like 2019 is the year to ‘scale up’ and you think it might be time to review your shipping or logistics, we’d love to help move you forward. You can give us a call on +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney), +61 3 9240 6300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below. Alternatively, you can find a full list of available services here.