We know that creating and maintaining best practices for a business is a proven strategy that works over and over again to increase your company’s growth, bottom line, and influence. Yet, we see that businesses consistently choose not to employ these well-documented best practices for the benefit of their company. Many times, a business owner may find him- or herself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of planning and forethought involved in this process. We understand you may not know where to begin – and that’s why we’re here to help. Below, we have listed a few of our best practices that are proven to make a difference, so read on to find out how you can change your company for the better today.
1) People and Human Resources
Without the right team and the right people, your business will go nowhere. You need to make sure that you seek out and hire the employees that are ready and willing to go to the extra mile every day to make sure your clients only receive outstanding service.
Once you have your team assembled, make sure you get their input on a regular basis! They can give you great insights on what your clients really need and expect. Focus on creating a culture that welcomes new ideas, promotes open communications, and allows each team member to use their knowledge and skill.
You know better than anyone that a business has many parts working together to keep the company running smoothly. That means every department needs to have processes in place to ensure that their team has what they need to do their job, and every team member needs to follow the protocol set in place to promote a seamless set of operations within the company. As CEO, you must make sure that your team has the tools they need to do their job!!
These processes won’t happen on their own – you will need to develop steps for team members to follow that complete the task assigned to them. You may have to try different steps to find what flows best for your business, but once you find those steps, make sure everyone is following them! Review your processes with your team on a regular basis to make sure you are adapting to current trends and needs. Don’t forget to measure what you can.
No matter which industry your business is in, you are using technology somewhere. Whether it’s a social media marketing campaign or just the computers and phones in the office, technology is a given in every business scenario. It is imperative that you remember a few key items when it comes to your technology.
Never assume your team understands every new piece of technology you decide to employ. While most people are able to operate a computer and phone, you should consider having tutorials available for some of the more complicated operations. Your IT department may even hold regular meetings to go over some of the most commonly asked questions.
You also want to find the technology that works best for your team to efficiently perform their tasks. Does a tablet make more sense for some team members? Have you noticed that your sales team really needs to upgrade their laptops? Updating or purchasing technology can be costly, but if your team is unable to keep up with the demand of your clients and competition, you will find that cost runs much higher. Having the right technology will save you money and time and maybe hiring another person or two.
Marketing is a crucial tool in building the best practices and communicating your message and business. It’s not enough to be the best – people have to know your company, know who you are, and associate you with the top of your industry. This means you can’t wait for people to come to you – you have to go to them.
Consider more updated marketing strategies, like social media platforms and email campaigns. Many companies are now using text messages (with permission) to update clients about exciting business news, current industry trends, and promotional information about products. These types of marketing strategies are successful because you are reaching out to clients or potential clients on a regular basis without requiring them to do any extra work – they just have to get on their phone or tablet, which is already a habit among nearly everyone you will come across. Also never forget how and what you are communicating to your existing clients. It is always less expensive to keep your current clients than bring on new clients. However you choose to get your message across, be sure you use a consistent voice in every message.
Take some time to research current events and trending topics, as well. Even if a topic seems irrelevant to your business, you will find it useful to know which trends and ideas are capturing the attention of millions of people. Odds are good that you will be able to use this knowledge to bolster your own marketing efforts.
The sales team is a key player in the game of success. They are the face, and often voice, of your company. That’s why it is critical to ensure that your sales team is adhering to best practices in every client meeting or call.
For instance, more recent studies show that it is not enough for a company to create a product and then try to find client’s who want or need it. Instead, look at potential or current clients and find out what they need, and see if you can adapt your service to fit them. Learn what is most important to each client and note any similarities or recurring frustrations so you can report back to your team and come up with a solution together.
Your sales team also needs to be organized. They likely have regular goals, such as a monthly sales number, to reach. But do they have a plan to achieve their goals every month? Ask your team to make a daily schedule that they will use to plan their day. Client calls, office visits, even lunch – when they stick to a schedule, they will make the best use of their time at the office.
The same type of planning goes for each call your sales team makes: What is the objective of their phone call? Do they have a specific goal in mind? Ask your team to write down the objective for each phone call or visit before it happens, and then follow up with them to see how they have progressed in achieving that objective.
6) Quality/Risk Management
If you want to efficiently manage both the quality and risk of your business’ services, you can’t sit back and watch it happen. Your team members need to know that risk management is something that matters to the whole company, not just one department. You don’t want to micromanage your team, but it’s important that you and the other leaders of your company set the tone for risk and quality management.
One of the best ways to accomplish this (and so many other business practices) is communication! You have to let your team in on what your expectations and concerns are, and they need to do the same for you. Establish a chain of command – you don’t have to send every email yourself, but you need to make sure that your team is so well-rehearsed in the processes you have in place in order to be confident that your department heads or team leaders will communicate the right information.
Do you know what risks your company faces? Do you have a plan in place where everyone knows their role and responsibilities in the event of an unforeseen circumstance? If the answer to these questions is not a resounding “yes,” you must make some changes! You need to have a written policy that outlines what is needed and who is in charge of which tasks during all risk events. You can always see how strong a company is by how well they handled a negative event.
No one likes to talk about the budget, but it is another crucial best practice that is so often overlooked. It’s no secret that your business needs money to operate, but how do manage that on such a large scale? As they say, cash is king. The first step is to take an honest look at the reality of your cash situation. You must be familiar with how much your company is spending, how much revenue it is bringing in, and what your financial future is project to be.
This all starts with the same basic principles you learned when you received your first allowance: If you want to stay financially stable, you have to create a budget! Make a plan of what you think your company will spend in each area – we know you can’t predict the future, but you can use information from previous years to make an educated guess. Once you have your budget in place, stick to it! Don’t make significant changes unless they are absolutely necessary. Make sure you are reviewing your key financial reports every month and make sure you understand what they are telling you.
Depending on the size of the company, don’t be afraid to outsource this department – you may find that a reputable accounting firm is able to better handle your company’s financial needs. Using an internal department is another great choice. Just be sure that, no matter which direction you go, you always have a plan first!
Are you ready to get your business back to the best practices? We are here to help. Give us a call today to learn how your company can succeed in 2019.