Achieving strong and sustainable revenue growth is one of the most difficult parts of running a successful business. As your company grows, the number of employees, customers, products, and suppliers must increase, and old processes must be reshaped and reimagined. This is because failing to address the shortcomings of a business and to continually refine old company procedures is very likely to impact productivity, growth, and profits.
Although streamlining a business as it grows can be difficult, there are several strategies you can use to make your budgets lean as your sales soar, thereby achieving maximum cost-efficiency and an advantage over competitors. Such strategies fall under something known as process improvement and could include any number of initiatives, such as improving company delivery times, upgrading service quality, improving the quality of your products, or reducing billing cycles.
To help you kickstart your continuous improvement journey, we have put together a brief strategy guide to ensure your business does not fall at the first hurdle:
First things first: Determine key areas for change
Before you start making changes to business processes, it is vital that you determine your company’s weak spots. The best way of doing this is to conduct a business audit to locate potential risks and identify any recurring problems affecting your ability to drive profits. The audit should attempt to understand how existing operations affect factors such as employee motivation levels, customer satisfaction rates, revenue, and business growth. The audit will need to be relatively comprehensive and should include a variety of data capture methods such as:
Time audits: Track the time it takes for employees to complete specific tasks and try to establish whether new processes or technologies could increase time-efficiency.
Company polls: Poll everyone working within your company on a regular basis. This is a very effective auditing method as workers on the ground often have the best insights into the primary causes of inefficiencies. You may also wish to send out surveys to vendors and customers to track the success of your process improvement endeavors.
Strategy sessions: Hold regular strategy sessions open to a select number of employees throughout the business. Make sure you include people from several different teams so that have access to different perspectives. In the meetings, you should allow teams and individuals to present their ideas for making operations more efficient.
Set attainable goals
Once you have ascertained your key areas for improvement, you must set attainable goals that can be measured regularly. If you find that new processes are not helping to meet these goals, then you must go back to the drawing board and get creative. Think about factors that may be affecting your ability to attract sales, such as your budget, your implementation of technologies, the state of your competition, key trends in your sector, and any possible demographic shifts.
Remember to prioritize
Often, it is simply too much work to carry out several business process initiatives at once. Try to prioritize the area of your business which needs the most attention and work from there. It may feel like an overwhelming job at first, but a serious dedication to continuous improvement will drive up revenues and help your business stay afloat even in the rockiest of economies.
Start your continuous growth journey today
As you can see, a continuous improvement strategy is absolutely fundamental for the success of any expanding business. If you are keen to secure a healthy future for your business, start thinking creatively about streamlining your processes and installing a sustainable continuous improvement plan that works for you.
By Ellis Bledsoe, Principal Owner ECB Solutions, LLC