The fifth strategy in business growth is about the ‘flow of your business’. 

In the previous four articles of this series we covered:

  1. Increasing Customers and Clients
  2. Increasing Transaction Frequency
  3. Increasing the Transaction Value
  4. Effectiveness of the Sales Process

In this article we consider how your business flows, whether it runs smoothly or does it have some processes that feel disjointed.

Let’s consider one business that flows smoothly - Subway.  When you stand back and observe the process that Subway use for delivering their product you can see how it flows quickly and reliably.  Consumers have confidence that they are going to consistently receive what they ordered and the business owners are confident their customers will be satisfied.

Think about the process they have implemented.  Once you make your decision from the clearly advertised menu the next stages flow smoothly. You have a choice of bread, cheese, whether it be toasted or not, the salads, dressings, finally the cash register and out the other side.  The system is designed to move you along at a predetermined pace, with anticipated steps along the way to arrive at an expected result.  The service staff are able to process your order quickly and efficiently with little training resulting in a very profitable model of service delivery.

How does your business flow? I am not just talking about the issues related to the sales function but also other components of a business such as payroll, product ordering or warehousing  If any areas of your business are not flowing they could create some of the following issues:

  • Inefficiencies and repeated work to fix errors.
  • Turning simple tasks into complicated ones
  • Inability for strategic people (especially business owners) to be absent from the business for periods of time.

For example a business that relies on commissioned sales typically has different remuneration methods for staff members that perform similar tasks.  Some may be employees whilst others are under different commission arrangements.  Whilst this may have been implemented to attract the employee, the flow on effect was a complicated approval system that is time consuming and prone to error rather than simple pay structure.

Identifying the problem that prevents the business flowing is quite easy. You can simply ask people or yourself what is causing the frustration. Once the issue is identified you then need to take a step back to see how it could work more efficiently, or seek advice.

The next thing is to be brave enough to implement the suggestions. Many people are resistant to change and afraid they may upset the current status quo.  However we need to keep in the forefront of our mind how much better the business will be if we have the courage to change. 

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing expecting a different result. If we want a different result for our business, a business that’s growing, let’s have the courage to identify the areas that are not flowing, seek out more efficient procedures and implement the change.

If you would like to explore changes to enable your business to flow more effectively and any other business growth strategies, please feel free to contact us.

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