Tag Archives: Priority

Get Clear

How does an entrepreneur GET CLEAR?  Really clear about business, customers, profits and the entire spectrum that makes up an entrepreneur’s life.

How CLEAR are you about your business goals, most profitable market segments, long-term strategy, day-to-day business operations and the integration of all these with your life goals?

You may have an immediate sense of what you think you want. It could be one or more of the following:

  • Better Margins, More Profits, More Revenues
  • More Customers, High Ticket Customers, Customer Retention
  • New Market Segments, Products, Services
  • Get out of day-to-day Firefighting (Crisis Management)
  • Create more time for creating new avenues for your business instead of being stuck in day-to-day crisis handling
  • Find better employees (who own their work and are proactive)
  • Build Better Systems
  • Streamline your operations in such a way that your employees take ‘complete responsibility’ for their roles & solve problems proactively instead of making excuses

Whatever is on your list, it is often difficult to decide where to start.

Seth Godin has a riff titled “The Priority List”. He says, the ability to decide “what to do next” is an underrated skill. For example, he says:

Is it better to email an existing customer, send a brochure to a prospect or improve your product a bit? Should you tweet or post a new blog post? Should you have a meeting to coordinate your team or spend ten minutes returning phone calls instead?

His tip:

Do you have a list? Have you figured out which metric you’re trying to improve? Can you measure the impact of the choices you make all day?

I see this mistake in business development all the time. Assume for a moment that the goal of someone in this department is to maximize profit. Why then would this group spend most of its time tweaking existing deals (looking for a 3% improvement in yield) instead of spending the same time and effort doing new, game-changing deals?

If you already have your LIST along with corresponding MEASURES, and you are still struggling to “Get Clear”, then what could be missing is clarity regarding your goals.

When did you last review your Goals? What are you REALLY up to?

Stephen R. Covey said “Priority is a function of context.”

So, WHY are you doing whatever you are doing?

Is that CLEAR?

cartoon6559

Advertisements

BizVidya Guide: Create a Business Dashboard

A Business Dashboard is a single point, One-Integrated-View of the whole Business seen in Execution.

There are many Dashboard Solutions out there in the technology market and choosing among them is another discussion altogether.

At a fundamental level, what is more interesting is that a Business Dashboard can be used as a Tool to derive the Most Critical Measures that you MUST track in real-time to steer your business smoothly without any hiccups on a day-to-day basis.

Designing your Business Dashboard even on a piece of paper provokes a business owner to ask him/herself:

What do I need to know about my business, NOW, at this very moment?

For example:

  • Are all Pending Sales Enquiries being responded to proactively? Which enquiries are STUCK?
  • Have all Pending Sales Orders been scheduled to deliver across the entire supply chain (suppliers, transporters, warehouses, etc)? Where are the DELAYS?
  • Is my Accounts Departments taking care of all Legal Compliance Issues well in time? Is there a likelihood of penalty anywhere (especially, if it has already happened in the past)?
  • How effective is my Purchase Department? Are we taking all possible discounts? How much did we save in our purchases over the last month? Are we paying higher than the market rate? Are there new suppliers in the market who are offering the required quality at better rates?
  • Is my Production on Schedule? Are Raw Materials adequately stocked? Is regular Maintenance being for done for all machines (especially, if there is history of breakdowns)?
  • What is the percentage of Unplanned Absence (including unexpected ‘falling sick’) by staff? In which departments? How has such absence hampered work? During such absence, has the backup staff reported progress on all critical parameters?
  • Which customers are consistently paying late? Why? Is the follow-up adequate? Is the follow-up log being sent to you without your asking for it?

Each business owner will have his/her Pain & Gain Areas! Where do you want to focus now? How can Technology help you in this? Can a technology solution help you if you have not done your homework?

It is a great idea to start with a Pencil and Paper! List what all you would like to see on single A4-size sheet. You may have to fill many sheets before you get your “One-Integrated-View of the whole Business”.

Then, perhaps you may move on to spreadsheets before finally experimenting with state-of-the-art tools.

dashboard-snockered-1