To improve business performance:
- Define the present and future.
To improve performance, you will need to understand the business’s current performance and future potential using tools and resources such as the following. A SWOT analysis reveals the weaknesses and strengths of the business – as well as threats and opportunities. A benchmarking analysis compares your business’s performance against similar businesses. Market research and trend analyses look at large-scale business data to discover how to better serve your customers. Finally, a consultant could help you create a new business model taking trends and other data into account.
- Pick a few well-defined goals.
Usually, a business with more than five major goals won’t be able to focus enough resources on any one of them to accomplish it well. To make your business more efficient, pick only three to five goals. Make them specific, measurable, achievable relevant (improving your business), and attached to a deadline. Finally, put them in order of priority, because it’s efficient to focus on some goals before others, rather then trying to do all of them at once. Some are more urgent, and some can only be achieved with a methodical, long-term plan.
- Create a plan.
To move toward achieving your goals, you’ll need to create a plan composed of the following elements. First, list the necessary actions and tasks in detail. Next, define a length of time for each, with start and end dates. Next, list personnel who are responsible for the completion of each task. Also, list all the staff, supplies, and other resources needed – including budget. Finally, define the desired result of each task and how it will be measured.
- Get the right people on the job.
Your success will be based on having the best people for each task in place. You’ll also need to build a culture that supports the kind of people the plan needs, and which encourages them to collaborate. Besides getting to know your staff well enough to fit them in the best tasks, your HR department should also hire people who are a good fit for your culture from the beginning. You should also hire personnel who are excited about being mentored; if they’re willing to be coached to improve their individual performance, they’ll be better equipped to improve overall business performance.
- Monitor activities and results.
You’ll need to monitor the progress and results of tasks using the measurement criteria you defined in the “Create a Plan” step. Some simple tasks may be measured as simply “completed” or “not completed”. But you’ll measure goals with numbers, such as percentage increase in profit. You can also increase productivity by setting milestones on the way to each goal that help employees track how well the plan is progressing. With this concrete feedback, you can search for ways to increase the business’s efficiency at turning resources into outputs.
To find out how we can help you manage and grow your business, contact us today.