The numbers don’t lie. They might tease you now and then, but they always tell the truth.
If your problem is weak top-line revenue, check out Coaching for Profit’s Grow Your Business program to learn how to turbo charge your sales by giving your managers the tools and techniques they need to get more out of your producers and build true accountability into everything they do.
But if your problems lie elsewhere . . .
If customers aren’t coming back for more . . .
If clients aren’t sticking around . . .
If you struggle with employee retention . . .
If it costs you more to deliver than it really should . . .
If your margins are shrinking . . .
Well, have we got some pointed questions for you.
1. How well do you know your numbers? Your balance sheet and P&L are the right places to start, but there are a lot of other numbers you need in the executive war room. We’ll show you where to look, how to gather actionable data, and what it all means.
2. How important is your internal chain of command, and how well-respected is it? You can undermine it by allowing employees to ignore or sidestep the chain at their convenience, and you can undermine it yourself by working around the people who ought to have real accountability. We’ll show you how to trim the fat, but also instill respect for the way things have to work.
3. Can you handle a sudden surge of growth? How well did you handle the last one? No sugarcoating allowed. We’re talking about capacity planning, or the lack of it. We’re talking about having the foresight to avoid having to improvise when the pressure is on. We’re talking about your workflows and processes. Are you confident they’re scalable? We’ll give you proven ways of testing the system, and highlight where you need to devote first.
4. When was the last time you took a fresh look? Sometimes it’s a good idea to challenge the thinking that compels people to say, “That’s how we’ve always done it.” When people bog down in old habits, they become less productive. When companies bog down in old processes, they can do the same. We’ll show you how to revisit your most critical systems, and how to profitably challenge exactly how you get things done.
5. Do you have more business answers than questions? In order to achieve meaningful improvement, you must avoid the occupational hazard called the All-Seeing, All-Knowing Disease. If your first answer to the question “What is causing our mediocre performance?” is, “I know what it is,” start to worry. We’ll help you live disease-free.
6. Are your company’s solutions really solutions? Says who? How painful are the customer problems your company seeks to resolve? How urgent are they? What is the cost (or risk) to the client for doing nothing? Lukewarm answers to these questions could lead to a slow and painful decline. We’ll show you how to conduct market analysis that helps you sharpen your company’s focus.
7. Do you work a certain way because that’s all your software allows? They call it “wagging the dog,” and the consequences can be painful. Locking your workflow into what was logical when you made that big investment six years ago is no way to optimize your internal operations. We’ll show you how to make those systems serve you, rather than dictate how you run your business.
8. How well do you know your customers? You might think you know them. But until you’ve undertaken the difficult process of building actionable demographics, you cannot build on what you know to attract more customers of a similar type. We’ll get you out from behind your desk, and help you create demographics that go well beyond industry and size, till you have a blueprint on how to go to market more effectively than ever before.
9. Are your key people in the right jobs? Do they respect each other? There is more to running an effective operation than “getting the right people on the bus.” We’ll provide a proven 18-step process to transform your culture into one of continuous improvement.
10. Does your problem solving address tomorrow’s problems, as well as today’s? It amazes us how often we hear executives complain that this is the third (or fifth) (or tenth) time they’ve addressed the same process problem. We’ll show you how to attack business challenges with an eye on tomorrow’s needs.
11. How entrenched are your people? Dictionaries define the word as “attitudes, habits, or beliefs that are firmly established and difficult or unlikely to change.” Does that sound like what you’d want in a staff? We’ll give you a proven formula for keeping your people fully accountable.
12. Do you spend more time talking with each other than you do talking with customers? Everyone knows the danger of too many internal meetings. But on top of the time-wasting aspects, there is also group-think to grapple with, which leads to self-reinforcing thinking that can be the death of creative problem solving. We’ll analyze how vulnerable you are to group-think, and show you how to bring other voices into the conversation.
13. Can all of your employees describe your company’s values? How similar would their answers be? How often do you go back to those values when you are strategizing or problem solving? Working for your company is supposed to mean something. If your people can’t articulate what it means, they will struggle working through the difficult decisions that impact every business. We can help you rediscover and articulate your company’s values, and give you strategies to assure that you practice them in the crucible of day-to-day business.
14. Are your prices too low? If your sales and marketing programs are working but you don’t like your numbers, you already know the answer. We’ll benchmark your competitors, analyze your market, and give you proven strategies for getting those numbers closer to where they need to be.
15. How much do you want this, anyway? Change is difficult. A lot of companies enter this process in search of an easy fix. We know our programs work, but we’re not going to tell you, “Sign here and kiss your troubles goodbye.” What we will do is show you exactly how to instill the process discipline necessary to make a lasting change in the health of your business.
If any of your answers make you uneasy, they probably should.
And we should probably talk. Give us a call.