Sustainable and profitable growth must your strategic intent heading into 2020 and the new 2020/21 fiscal period.

I am listing some of the strategic areas where I believe you need to focus which are based on hard experience over the years but are still very relevant for sound budgetary and operational controls.

Give existing and potential clients a place where they can share

  • Choose social media platforms that work best for them. Re-think website content to let the marketplace know more about you
  • Word of mouth is powerful where interaction on a continual basis will grow your client base. If you deliver excellent client service and exceed their expectations they will tell others
  • Accumulate client data every time there is an interaction. Know what the marketplace is looking for and ensure you know more about the client than they know about themselves

Some important growth suggestions

Marketing

  • Your products, processes and capabilities are the best MARKETING TOOLS
  • Wholesale promotions invariably are unsuccessful
  • Word of mouth is a powerful promotion
  • Have a shopfront and get people to your business
  • Special promotional deals will support word of mouth programs
  • Eliminate the high and low sales periods of the year by developing changing special deals

Management

  • Learn from a mentor – Someone who has made things happen through personal experience and success
  • Get your staff on side. Make them part of the decision making process and remove all status barriers – There can be no ‘them & us ‘ culture
  • Train staff at all levels and provide them with opportunities for growth

Money

  • Always have the confidence to invest to maintain the advantage over competition
  • Justify expense at all times ensuring investment adds value to the business on a sustainable basis. Investment must always add value to Safety, Quality, and Efficiency combined
  • Maintain daily controls of finances and have an overview of the ‘Vital Signs’ which contribute to the business success – No end of week/month/year surprises
  • Cash flow is king

Technology

  • Investment in technology based on an acceptable ROI is a substantial ‘value add’ to the business
  • Maintain software to best practice levels where cost reduction, cost control, and cost avoidance is paramount
  • Maintain the highest level of communication throughout the business

Family

  • Growth takes sacrifice and requires professional and independent advise regarding funding of growth
  • The biggest lesson is to not expand regardless – It must be carefully planned and costed
  • Remember, if you are spending any more than 50 hours in the business each week, there is either something wrong with you or something wrong with the business
  • Allocate responsibilities based on competencies – The old saying is ‘Stick to your Knitting’

Preparing 2020/21 budgets and strategic business plans should be on your radar now. Basing your next fiscal period plans on experience, being careful not to ‘Blue-sky’ them is important. Make them all stretchable but achievable.