5th October, 2015
It is a dream to be perfect, where the sales are consistent, predictable, customers are pleasant and offer endless amounts of praise for your service/products and your working environment is a joy. Unfortunately there are a few points in every individual’s perfection list which are hard if not impossible to achieve, especially all at once.
Being perfect is subjective, fraught with complexities and challenges which can include difficult personal circumstances, unrealistic set of expectations, poor understanding of the market place, insufficient knowledge of the demand for your work, incomplete assessment of your competitors and a poorly judged pricing policy.
So what can we do about it? Well, being perfect is actually not a very helpful way to gauge business success so let’s turn it into something more business-like as a more practical way to measure it e.g. becoming profitable, resource efficient, gaining a high level of customer satisfaction and a workspace that is fit for purpose.
Becoming a Profitable Business
Usually being profitable means achieving financial gain. This remains true but it is not the full picture. Being profitable can also be measured by broader factors which contribute to feeling successful and happy, these can include achieving emotional satisfaction, improving brand worth, doing social good or achieving intellectual growth. There are also many other indicators which can be seen as gain. These additional indicators can be vital for some people e.g. who have given up on a corporate life to be self-employed or may have been looking for a more rewarding outcome, maybe looking for a balanced lifestyle, achieve their potential or simply to make more money . Measuring profitability properly is key if you hope to achieve perfection and know when you have achieved it. So start by making your own list.
Achieve Resource Efficiency
Yes, resource efficiency. It sounds very serious and probably more appropriate if you were a manufacturing business or big business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Managing and being careful with your resources could make all the difference in achieving business success. Let me explain. If you are unable to charge more for your work or talent because the market place will not pay more, then a significant factor which can help is to keep your resource costs down so you can afford to offer your goods and services in a commercially viable manner. This means ensuring your suppliers are competitively priced themselves and that your use of the supplies is fit for purpose. Clever management of resources or staff goes a long way to achieving profitability and a step closer to your ideal.
Keeping your customers satisfied
As a business you will have to have customers and as such they will wish to be kept happy. I am stating the obvious, however this is something which can be extremely difficult to consistently achieve. Being nearly perfect for most is the best they will ever achieve and they should not feel bad about it as long as a serious attempt is made to do well.
So what is customer satisfaction? Simply put; it is how well you have helped your customer as they journey through your business. It is NOT just related to the purchase/s made. This can include; the manner which customers were engaged, your ability to listen and understand and answer queries, your sincerity and honesty when engaging with you, your knowledge of the topic and product or service, speed which you resolve issues or respond, efficiency of purchasing and delivery or transaction. These may vary from business to business but are the usual suspects. It is important to know what your customers think of you because it is the easiest and cheapest way to improve your business, increase profitability and a total winner for a sustainable business.
Happiness within the workspace
How important is it to be happy in the workplace anyway? Stupid question, it is crucial obviously. However not many achieve it. As an employed person it is a trade-off for a regular and reliable pay cheque which for many is an acceptable reality. Being unsatisfied with the workplace is also one of the top reasons people become self-employed with a view of being in greater control. But all too often this is also compromised by the sentiment that it is the price you pay for doing what you love, but it doesn’t have to be.
So what do we mean by a workspace? It is the place you spend much of your life. It needs to meet your needs but must also meet your customer s needs.
If you are home based then it is important to be physically comfortable, have access to necessary resources and a space you can be productive in. If in commercial premises then the above applies with the addition of being accessible to visitors or deliveries, have a good location to attract footfall if retail, manufacturing or distribution and ensure you are legally compliant e.g. health and safety and insurance. You must have suitable facilities for staff and visitors, styling that has curb appeal and achieves a pleasant client experience and affordable.
If you/ your staff are happy then it will have a positive impact on productivity and quality of output. If your clients are happy it will have a positive impact on your sales, profitability and customer satisfaction. Your workspace needs should be planned carefully and well in advance.
With these actions you are well on your way towards being the perfect business you deserve to be.
Written by Fardad Amirsaeedi, NBV Enterprise Solutions
Starting your business can seem daunting and this article opens the way to understanding the features, benefits and the process. You can access further support for more in-depth information; training and personalised consultation by contacting the Cavendish Consortium partner covering your region.
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