Business Performance Review

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On a scale of 1-10*,  how happy are you with consistently reaching your business goals?

*1 = lowest, 10 = highest

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More importantly, do you know what to change to improve your results by 1-2 points in the next 90 days?

You can choose at any time to do things differently and start hitting your goals for the quarter. You’ll achieve this through doing a business review which will give you clarity, help you with planning and then it’s about taking daily prioritised action.
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A Business Review is super important because it:

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  • Gives You Control + Peace of Mind
    A large percentage of business owners don’t have a clear picture of how well their business performs at any given time. What you don’t know about your business is a blind spot that keeps you from reaching your goals.
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    A business review look at the facts and will show you the level of efficiency the business is performing at and if you need to make any adjustments to reach your goals.
  • Helps You to Work ON Your Business
    We all get caught up in the day-to-day running of a business and that’s why you need a chance to lift your head, reconnect with your vision and see the bigger picture. It’s like zooming out on a Google Earth map.
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    Zooming out will give you a helicopter view of where you’re at, if you’re moving in the right direction + how far you have to go. Small tweaks on a consistent basis in all business areas are the key to success.

 

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The aim of a business review is to perform a health check and take your business’ pulse as it is, right now.

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BUSINESS AUDIT + VISION REVIEW

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The first section of the review is about assessing your current situation, looking at your vision and deciding how you’ll get there.

Questions To Consider:

  • What’s your 3-year business vision?
  • What is your definition of success?
  • What are your 3-5 main main goals for this year?
  • What worked well for you over the last 6 months?
  • What needs to be improved?
  • What resources do you need to succeed? (staff, training, systems, equipment, cash flow)
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MARKETS + PRODUCTS REVIEW

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In this part of the review you’ll look at who you serve, what you offer and how profitable your products/ services are. Then you’ll look at how to improve your results over the next quarter.

Your marketing plan will outline your target markets, positioning, customer demographics, message, offering, marketing strategy + tactics.

Over the years, I’ve found very few business owners who have any marketing plan whatsoever and it’s key to your success.

Without a plan, you’re bound to fall prey to the bright shiny object syndrome, waste money on strategies that won’t work for your business and make other marketing mistakes.

  • How effectively are you matching your products/ services to your customer’s needs?
  • How effective is your marketing? (leads coming in + conversion rates)
  • List your best performing products/ services – what percentage of revenue are they responsible for?
  • Can low performing products/ services be improved or phased out?
  • Products/ services costs – direct costs, overheads, brainstorm ideas to lower costs, negotiate better deals with suppliers
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MONEY/ FINANCIAL REVIEW

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If you’re using accounting software like Xero, MYOB, Cashbook Complete or Quickbooks all your financial reports are in one place and it’s easy to print out or view them online. Or contact your bookkeeper for up-to-date information.

Business Numbers To Review:

  • Budget
  • Targets vs Actual Revenue generated
  • Costs/ Expenses – keep costs under constant review
  • Profit
  • Cash Flow
  • Borrowing – credit available, loans
  • Growth/ Investments
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BUSINESS OPERATIONS REVIEW

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Operating your business in a short-term reactive way costs you time and money in the longer run and isn’t sustainable when growing the business. A clear strategy will guide you in your overall decision making process and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Technology

  • In which areas of your business do you use computerised systems to be more efficient?
    (cloud applications for storage, remote back-ups, to work from anywhere + increase productivity)

 

Processes/ Systems

  • How do you manage repetitive tasks in the business?
  • Is your marketing + sales process documented?

If not, start the documentation process through outsourcing or record the process on your phone and send the audio file to be transcribed.

Continue to add instructions to the document every time you do the task, even if it’s one sentence at a time.

 

People

  • Do you have the right team (management, staff, suppliers, outside consultants) in place to achieve your goals?
  • Do you personally have the skills you need to succeed e.g. leadership, sales, IT, HR?
  • Are you clear on which tasks to delegate and outsource?

 

Productivity

  • Which tasks are most time consuming?
  • Which tasks generate the highest income?
  • What are the lowest income generating (but necessary) tasks in your business?
  • How productive are you (working only on high level activities) vs busy (working on tasks you’re not good at or where you can hire someone at $20 p/h to do the task)?
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Success is a few simple disciplines practiced every day;

while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.

~ JIM ROHN

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QUESTION:
Which area of your business will you focus on most in the next quarter? Leave your comment below.
#smallbusinesssuccessskills

 

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld is an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 17 years who loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to small business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and productivity for individuals and teams. Streamline your business to support your lifestyle.

3 Ways To Improve Your Marketing Results

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On a scale of 1-10 (1 = lowest, 10 = highest), how happy are you with the results your marketing produced for you this last quarter? If it’s anything below 7/10, do you know why your marketing wasn’t effective?

More importantly, do you know what to change in the next 90 days to improve your results?

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At the start of a new year we all feel energised about the opportunities awaiting us and the dreams we will realise this year.

Sadly, no changes or improvements will happen in your business or life without:

  • being more strategic about your decisions
  • planning your approach 
  • being committed to executing the plan
  • measuring and tweaking for better results.

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“Without strategy, execution is aimless. Without execution, strategy is useless.”  
~ MORRIS CHANG (CEO of TSMC)

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Let’s look at how you can improve your results and make the most of your marketing without reinventing the wheel.

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3 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MARKETING RESULTS THIS QUARTER

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KNOW WHAT WORKS

With a new year well under way, now is the time to dig into reassessing your business marketing strategy and really understand what worked well and what did not perform up to standard.

The key to marketing success is:

  • knowing your customers
  • using tactics that deliver results for your business
  • mapping out your marketing 90 days in advance, and
  • consistently executing and tweaking the plan as you go.
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Having worked with hundreds of business owners, I find that too many businesses try their hand at a new shining marketing tactics without stopping to get all the facts or ask how it fits in with their existing strategy or their customers’ needs.

To make things worse, a lot of people choose marketing tactics using their ‘gut-feel’, they hardly ever track the results they get and they only try a tactic once or twice before letting it fall by the wayside.

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Be smart about your marketing this year. 

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Reviewing your results and numbers monthly will lead to making smarter business decisions about where to spend your money, knowing what brings in sales and not being seduced by the latest trends because you know your customers and your business.

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MARKETING REVIEW

  • List all the marketing activities you’ve done in the past 3-6 months
  • Decide what worked well and list the reasons why it worked well
  • Decide what didn’t work well and list the reasons why it didn’t work well
  • Inspect the cost of every marketing campaign and the sales it generated
  • Review your products and services, and marketing numbers – find a post with questions to ask yourself here.

These exercises will give you fact-based insights into what to repeat or enhance, and highlight poor-performing products, services and tactics that need to be retired.

Then create a 90-day Marketing Plan, outlining your marketing objectives and sales goals, and list 1-3 key marketing tactics that you’ll focus on for the next quarter.

Set up success criteria when you do the planning and put systems in place to track your results the next 90 days.

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MAKE YOUR CUSTOMERS A PRIORITY

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customer-the-hero-of-the-storyThis sounds so obvious but if you look at the poor customer service we receive daily, I think it’s important to note that without customers there is NO business!

So make your customer the hero of the story this year and see how your business thrives.

Start by mapping out the typical journey your customer will take and who they will interact with at every point – from the moment they hear about your business until a sale is made.

The journey after the sale will be a separate process.

Review who truly is the ideal customer for you to work with and think about the problems you solve for them.

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Every interaction or touch point with your customer is a marketing opportunity.

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If your receptionist isn’t professional or knowledgeable enough about the business, start with training.

If your website isn’t mobile friendly, easy to navigate or invite people to leave their details and ask for quote, start making changes there first.

Review your customer’s journey when you do your 90-day marketing review to ensure continuous improvement and involve any staff in your review process. Two or more heads are always better than one.

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ELIMINATE. SYSTEMATISE. AUTOMATE. DELEGATE.

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Business owners want to better engage with their customers but they find they don’t have time to do it all. This is a sign that elimination, systemisation, automation and delegation is needed in your business.

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#1 ELIMINATE

The first step is to get rid of all recurring tasks currently being done in your business which does not help the business to function effectively. This could include ineffective use of email, several phone calls to set up a client meeting or too many steps in a process.

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#2 SYSTEMATISE

The second step is to document step-by-step how you currently handle tasks required for your business to function. For a detailed blog post about creating business systems, click here.

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#3 AUTOMATE

Once you understand your processes and know it can be automated, you can start thinking about specific tools or a machine to do the automation for you.

A simple task businesses automate is social media, using apps like HootSuite, Buffer or SmarterQueue to schedule updates ahead of time. Finding the right marketing technology for your business to engage with your customers on a regular basis, is a great long term investment.

Core areas to consider automating this year could include your:

  • enquiries and quoting via your website
  • social media posting
  • email newsletters
  • customer email follow-ups via systems like ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, Ontraport or Infusionsoft.

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#4 DELEGATE

The reason delegation is last is because you should only delegate tasks that have documented procedures, and only those that could not be eliminated or automated.

When handing over certain tasks to employees or virtual assistants be prepared to take the time to train them on how to execute each task successfully.

I talk in more detail about the preparation you need to do before being able to delegate tasks effectively in this post, here.

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KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK:

// Which tasks/ activities that aren’t delivering results, can I completely eliminate from my marketing?

// Which marketing systems will give me the highest ROI in my business over the next 3 months?

// Which 3 routine tasks I can automate in my business? What technology or tools can I use?

// Which 3 tasks am I ready to start delegating right now?

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LET ME KNOW:

Which of these three tips on improving your marketing results will work on first? Leave your comment below.

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#smallbusinesssuccessskills

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld, an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 16 years, loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to successful business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and effectiveness for individuals and teams. Design your business to live the life YOU want.

Avoid These 5 Common Marketing Mistakes

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[Article originally published in Business News]

The key to success is planning and consistency, so reassess your marketing strategy today to avoid these five common marketing mistakes that can stand in your way of success.

In general, business owners know they need to do marketing but it’s often coupled with urgency and no plan. In most cases, many marketing activities have been attempted but not on a consistent basis and results have not been tracked.

Enthusiasm without a plan will put any business at risk and result in thousands of dollars spent on marketing that doesn’t deliver results.

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NOT KNOWING YOUR POSITION 

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Knowledge really is power because you can’t improve what you haven’t measured.

Not taking stock of what you’ve done or knowing what results you got means you’re throwing darts in the dark. Start by knowing your position.
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WHAT TO DO NEXT:
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  • Make a list of all the marketing activities you’ve done in the past 6 months.
  • Decide what worked well and why it worked well.
  • Do the same for all the activities that didn’t work well.
  • Use your current results as a benchmark to judge future marketing performance against
  • Set realistic goals for the next quarter for each marketing activity.

With the right knowledge, smart decisions can be made and you won’t be caught off guard by the latest trends or bright shiny objects.
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NOT HAVING A MARKETING BUDGET

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Most business owners believe that creating a marketing budget is “too hard to do” and that it will limit you, so they don’t have one. The reality is that a budget will empower you and help you make smarter decisions.

If you’re clear on which marketing activities performed best and what needs to improve over the next 90 days, you can budget for the training and implementation needed to improve your results.

Allocate a percentage of the budget to activities according to its performance.

You’ll also be less prone to bright shiny object syndrome when you know what delivers results and you’ll know how much is available to spend in the next quarter.

Having a budget will give you peace of mind, lower your stress levels and keep the business on track to reach its goals.
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 NOT KNOWING YOUR TARGET MARKET 

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If you’re not super clear on who your target market is, what their biggest pain points are and where to find them, how will you be able to target them effectively with your marketing?

Get clear on the media your target market uses, both online and offline, and gain an understanding of when and how they search for businesses like yours.

A good way to get this information is by phoning existing clients and asking them a few questions or creating an online survey with SurveyMonkey* and posting it in Facebook Groups or directly to your email list. (*It’s a free online survey tool where you can create and publish surveys in minutes and view results graphically and in real time.)

By knowing your target market and where to find them, you can fine-tune your marketing message in a way that will really speak to your ideal customers and compel them to interact with your brand, products and services.
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 NOT REVIEWING YOUR MARKETING PLAN 

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A 90-day marketing plan encourages you to sit down and review your business and marketing numbers in a formal manner at least once a quarter.

This simple habit will put you streets ahead of the competition and anyone else who only think about doing marketing when the business dries up.

Reviewing the marketing plan with your team or an outside consultant will help you: blog-image-key-ideas1

  • be more effective in your business
  • focus your efforts to achieve specific goals
  • be more diligent about how you spend your marketing dollars
  • track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, and
  • create a road map of where to tweak and improve for the next quarter.

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NOT BEING CONSISTENT 

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Every marketing strategy has several key components that need to be executed successfully to ensure overall marketing success and reaching your sales goals.

Although this is a simple and logical concept, it seems to be human nature to get side tracked by everyday life in the execution of our strategies.

We tend to start with enthusiasm, a great idea and a plan but then before we know it, we find ourselves working on something else. We forget our aim and we lose our direction.

Stay consistent and on track this year by writing down your plan and using it as a blueprint for all your marketing activities.

Schedule time on a weekly basis to work ON your marketing, and use outside support and accountability like this business community to stay on track and combat procrastination.
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Small steps every day win the game, and marketing success is simply a collection of small steps.

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It’s never too late. Make a decision today to start spending time every day on marketing and other income-producing activities and you’ll achieve all the goals you set for yourself each quarter. It can be done.

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QUESTION:
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Which one of these marketing mistakes are tripping you up most often? Leave your comment below.
#smallbusinesssuccessskills

Alicia-MenkveldAuthor: ALICIA MENKVELD  Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld is an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 17 years who loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to small business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and productivity for individuals and teams. Streamline your business to support your lifestyle.