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How to improve your businesses performance

In these tough times, most businesses are finding it hard to stay profitable and maintain their revenues, never mind moving their performance to the next level. So what can you do to make a step change in your business output – and get more money to the bottom line?

  • Know where you are going
    This sounds obvious, but many businesses do not have a clear view of what they are trying to be. Do you want to be a premium service to a small number of customers or a mass market option? What is your aspiration in terms of growth – if you want to double the size of your business, you have far more chance of doing it if you set out on that route.
  • Really understand your business drivers
    What are the real costs of the business and what really makes a difference. If you know the one or two things that make the most difference to your business model you have some chance of making a difference.
  • Prioritise ruthlessly
    Once you know what the key drivers are, prioritise ruthlessly to make sure you are driving towards improvements in those areas. Stop doing the nice to do stuff and doing things that seemed like a good idea 6 months ago. Prioritising needs to be done all the time – and if you are not sure get someone with an external perspective to help you work out what is important.
  • Build capability
    Corporate businesses are full of senior managers who have got to their position by being good at their job, not by developing other people to do theirs. If you haven’t got the right talent around you go and get it – and then focus everything you can on building their skills and capability. One person can never do it all, no matter how good they are.
  • Plan rigorously
    I see businesses all the time who know what they want to do but do not have a plan to make it happen. It may sound dull and boring and even feel tactical, but planning well can save you a huge amount of time and lots of wasted money and resources.
  • Take small steps
    Sometimes when you’ve done all that, it can still seem daunting. Just start taking small steps. You’ll be surprised how actions speak louder than words and people will soon see what you are trying to do – once you take those first few steps.

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