Business happiness can come in all shapes and sizes and often the key to achieving happiness within your SME is having a BHAG; a big hairy audacious goal.
Thinking and forward planning will help create a logical and direct route to achieving your BHAG and make your company a happy one.
So here are 6 steps to business happiness.
Ensure you’re serving the right customers to drive profitable grow
In your business do the top 20% of customers drive 80% of the business? Think about who your key customers are: what are their needs? Where do they come from? Why are they your key customers? Tailor your marketing towards the ‘sweet spot’ and don’t be tempted by spending too much time on the other 80%.
The cost of attracting new customers is five times more expensive than retaining an existing customer – so retaining your most valuable customers is crucial to driving profitable growth.
Sense check the relevance of your product and services to your target customers
Are you clearly creating a point of difference versus your competitors? Are you continuously improving and innovating your products and services? Are you giving your customers the best service possible? These are all questions which should be addressed and in order to be business-happy the answers should be YES.
Differentiating your product from a competitor’s and understanding the value will help keep your product or service relevant to your customer; speak to your customers and understand what it is that they want and what the added value means to them.
Having the right set of plans will make your business more resilient
Planning and having clear KPIs in place across the whole business can help to unify the team to drive towards the same goal. Consider setting out clear targets and factor in milestones.
Planning for the unexpected is also key. Here are a few circumstances to think about:
- Losing a big client – will there be a potential financial risk?
- Working from home arrangements – are practical factors and facilities in place?
- Office flood – is there an option to move to an alternative site?
- Data / IT hack – do you have data and contacts backed up?
- Corporate responsibility obligations – e.g. GDPR, is your business compliant?
Get it right for the people that work for you and with you
It’s important to make your team feel as though they are part of the business and the culture is reflected by this. Ask yourself, is this the culture you want in your business?
It’s important to employ individuals who want to buy into and support your values; it may be a case of unravelling what really makes the business tick! Make sure that you ensure everyone supports the company’s values and is working towards the same goals, invest in training and development and have a clear feedback system in place for your team to suggest ideas for continuous improvement.
Review whether your financial performance is robust enough to be sustainable
Establishing your financial strategy and how it underpins the future is key here.
By taking a proactive approach to your business’s cashflow forecast, you’re not only ensuring that everyone in the business gets paid, you can focus on prioritising investments for the company such as new employees, and actively look for any warning signs in the future.
Consider how to get the direction of the business right for the future
Take a step back from the business to really think about your vision. What are you passionate about? Do you want to be the go-to business in your industry? If so, how are you going to get there and how does this fit in with who your customer is?
Consider the following:
- How does your business vision help you plan for the future?
- What does the future hold for your business?
- Do you have the right skills and the right people to meet the challenge?
Keep your big hairy audacious goal at the heart of everything you do to continuously improve your business happiness. Forward plan, visualise where you want to be and how you’re going to get there.
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