Fear is that thing that stops us dead in our tracks from doing what needs to be done to grow and build a profitable business. In order to be profitable you have to put your big panties and drawls on and play the game the same way the big boys do, IF you want to have a sustainable business. Just scale the game to your size. Here are some other reasons why your business is not profitable.
This by all means is my favorite way to generate profit. How does this generate profit you ask? Well simply put, it gives you a point of reference as something to work towards to achieve. It’s setting the flag in the ground for the finish line. See once you set this flag on the ground as to where you are trying to go, it forces you to look at how you are going to get there. Charting this path puts you smack in front of the costs that it will take to get you there which then helps you determine the amount of money you need to make to not only cover those costs but also to
Having witnessed this lack of positive plans or programs created, far too often, during my over three decades of identifying, qualifying, developing, training and consulting, to over a thousand individuals in positions of leadership, as well as facilitated Board and organizational strategic planning sessions, I feel a simplified process, with checks and balances, and quality reviews, is a needed understanding. Here is a 6-step process to improve the results of strategic plans.
- Historic/heritage review and consideration: This must not be done as a one-plan-fits-all, but rather must be based on the specific heritage, mission, and vision of the specific group. Begin by understanding the history, and the perceptions of existing members. Understand why the group may, or may not be, considered as relevant, as it once was. Review opportunities taken, as well as missed, and clearly see the ramifications of each action. While great organizations evolve, they know who and why they are, and tweak, as necessary, but focus on their vital vision and mission.
- Objective analysis-strengths and weaknesses, and ramifications: Every group has both strengths, as well as weaknesses. Part of quality planning must commence with knowing where the group presently is, and how to
Strategy, within a business context, is commonly confused with strategic planning. Strategy is about the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of intended goals and objectives to reach, whereas strategic planning is about the ‘how’ to achieve them through tactics, campaigns and actions.
Strategy is all about the choices we make in utilising our resources within a competitive environment and relative to our customers, which give our organisation the distinct advantage at a point in time. Therefore, strategy is identifying the next ‘big thing’ before others do, and gaining a competitive edge in it to be able to take full advantage.
Business strategy is rapidly changing with the ever emerging trends and shifting developments within the modern, very connected world. In the past, the business concept and plan was set in stone and only changed yearly (if that). However, this is not flexible enough any more and will result in a poorly performing, stagnate organisation, lacking in innovation. This is why most of the top performing companies in years past, such as Kodak, are now nowhere to be seen today. Businesses must treat strategy as a living, evolving entity, ensuring that emerging trends, opportunities, threats and new information are
The problem is that we no longer do business in a bubble. Therefore, your competitive advantage can be enjoyed only for a short period of time. Modern business strategy must be a continuous process evolving with new competitive advantages. One must build their business on the basis of moving from one competitive advantage to another as smoothly as possible. This is a continuous process and one that is critically important to long-term success.
In general, you can only depend on new innovations giving you an edge for a year or two. For example, lower cost of base elements and new configurations can last a short period of time, sometimes as little as one-quarter of a year. These are tangibles that will impact your current edge. There are intangibles that must be paid attention to as well including how you are perceived by your customer base. This includes issues like how satisfied your customers are, how strong your brand is nationally and in some cases, internationally, how strong your distribution channels are and whether they can be expanded. The best part of the intangibles is they are far more challenging for your competition to duplicate without a significant
The inspection by FDA investigators sounds scary if your own internal auditing processes are weak and faulty. But, to understand FDA procedures and how to successfully pass their audits, you need to first understand the role of FDA investigators. The job of the FDA is to make sure the health of the common people is protected. It’s also their responsibility to ensure that the products launched in the market are effective and safe for the people to use and that there are no probable side effects of any new drug developed.
So, it’s obvious that their focus is upon sanitation, purity, quality, and a particular identity of the drug being developed. It also reflects why GMP or good manufacturing process has acquired so much importance for the FDA. There must not be any violation of the Food and Drugs Act. Furthermore, they are also supposed to make sure that no counterfeit or diverted drug is sold in the market.
Start your own auditing
However, you need not be scared of an FDA audit as there are simple ways you can improve the quality of your processes. The first such step is to start your own auditing.
Start off by taking a good hard look at your organizational chart. Are there measurements in place at each level that are satisfactory in proving performance? If not, take a moment to establish what is important to the organization, customers, and you in each area. Create measurements that will be regularly reported to you so you can monitor performance areas. I suggest creating the measurements in collaboration with the individual responsible for reporting to ensure that the specifics of the calculations meet your goals. If possible, perform historical measurements to show a history of years, months, and/or weeks. Make sure you include a trendline and are able to note occurrences that lead to sudden increases or decreases in productivity.
Once measurements are in place, analyze the roles of individuals and ask yourself: is this position necessary in this format or can we make improvements to individual responsibilities for efficiency? If you are overstaffed, address this immediately. If you are understaffed, work to hire and train suitable staff and show a minimum of three to six months productivity up to your standards prior to moving forward with your growth plans.
This is also a great opportunity to identify individuals from your succession planning resources
To survive and thrive in today’s business environment, it is therefore essential for Solopreneur consultants and other business owners to make an annual assessment of their venture’s business model and evaluate how the organization can deliver the right services in the right way and demonstrate to clients that the value provided improves the bottom line and makes clients look smart to the higher-ups.
The business model is the blueprint for the process your organization follows to connect with clients, deliver services and make and sustain a profit. The business model reflects what you believe about what clients need and value; the way in which those needs ought to be addressed; the types of solutions offered; and what clients will pay to obtain those solutions. Additionally, the business model shows organization leaders how to make the enterprise function efficiently for both leaders and clients. Perfecting it is the cornerstone to success (along with a healthy dose of good fortune!).
One direct way to reality-check your business model is to take a good client to a restaurant for some combination of libation and/or meal at the conclusion of a project, when the client’s trust in you is high
Starting your business off by investigating the requirements of operation is one of the first things any business owner should do. Several businesses require licensing and certification. Check with business associations or trade associations for the type of business you are seeking to start to find out if any such requirements exist for your business. For example, if you are looking to open a restaurant, you need to you need to contact the “food and drug administration.” If you are opening a grocery store and intend to sell seafood, you must acquire a license from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, and could incur a criminal charge if you are found operating without a license. If you are looking into entering the lending business, doing things such as “second chance” financing, or mortgage loans, make sure you check the federal and state requirements to understand the regulations regarding that business.
Failing to obtain the proper licenses for your business can doom you from the start. Many of these requirements come with stiff monetary penalties and sometimes criminal charges for failure to comply. Generally, these types of liabilities are not negotiable and ignorance of the law is no
Asking the right questions ensures the right solutions are applied to the right problems. For example, you are a wannabe farmer who was recently inherited a herd of cows. With no farm experience, you do not know where to begin so you go to a farmer’s conference. In the conference you focused all your efforts on increasing your knowledge of how to make your cows produce more milk. You did this because research showed that milk consumption was up and it was the most cost effective way to increase revenue. You go back to your farm to try all the processes you have learned. After one week of no result, you call one of the conference gurus to express your frustrations. The guru out of compassion comes over to your farm and discovers your cows are all males: Males do not produce milk!
This wannabe farmer failed to ask the most basic question of his business, “What am I working with?” As silly as this may sound, failing to ask the important questions causes entrepreneur to do silly things. As a consultant, I have had clients call me thinking they had one problem only to find out