Businesses are run mostly on auto-pilot and any problem areas are only dealt with when they are already critical, but by then it may already be too late. Most business managers are too busy with the day-to-day work to sit back and look at the business critically in terms of its context and the direction it is going. Brian Tracey's Turbo Strategy provides a checklist of areas that should be regularly examined by all businesses to ensure that it remains on the right path towards success and profitability.
In the book, the author introduces practical techniques that will help you come up with strategies and more importantly turn up profit quickly:
1. The answers have changed - most businesses operate the way they do because they are "tried" strategies, not because it is efficient and profitable.
2. Flexibility is essential - from time to time, it is important to take a step back and reevaluate the situation, then do something about it.
3. The one true measure - two basic questions you need to ask everyday "What is working?" and "What is not working?"
Conduct a Basic Business Analysis
Whenever you go in for a complete medical exam, the doctors and nurses follow a set procedure. In the same way, there are basic business examination questions that you need to ask and answer continuously to determine the overall health of your organization. Remember the following:
a. The Customer as Centerpiece.
b. Determine What You Sell.
c. Define Your Competitor.
d. Set Clear Goals.
Design Your Ideal Future
Practice Idealization. To do this you must think of what your company would look like five years from now if everything were perfect. Then think in terms of possibilities. Are the goals you set achievable in five years?
Create a Mission Statement and Determine Your Values
A mission statement is essential to an organization because it gives meaning and purpose to the people in their daily activities and work. It inspires loyalty, commitment and become a key factor when making business decisions and when you are clear then you can easily revisit your mission statement and follow its guidelines.
Select the Right People
The two key qualities in finding the best people are that they can be counted on to get the job done well and to get it done on time. Another quality is that they should be good team players.
Market More Effectively
The four essential elements of marketing are: specialization, differentiation, segmentation, and concentration. All marketing elements are important but you should constantly evaluate what you are doing. Remember that the market is changing and changing fast! You may have to change one of your strategies or more than one at the same time.
Analyze Your Competition
You have to know your competition. You have to find out why the customers buy from them, what values and benefits do they get from buying from them. The biggest mistake you can make is to belittle your customers. You have to study them and learn from them.
Three Potential Areas of Superiority
1. Operational Excellence
2. Lead the Field
3. Be Close to the Customer
Change your Marketing Mix
1. Product - define your product or service in terms of what it "does" for your customers.
2. Price - be open to the possibility that you may have priced your products or services wrong.
3. Promotion - this encompasses everything you do in the process of marketing, advertising and sales.
4. Place - this is the location where the sale of your product takes place.
Position Your Company for Success
Social proof is a major influencing factor to determine whether or not people buy your products or services. Your reputation is the value that people will pay for. Building a brand trust requires personal experiences by people with your products or services. It is very much like a personal reputation that takes a long time to build but can be damaged or destroyed overnight with bad decisions.
Develop Strategic Business Units
The strategic business unit concept revolutionized multi-product or multi-service businesses; each of the products is grouped with similar products or services in different ways. The starting point of implementation is to have someone specifically responsible for the operations and results of the unit. To make this work, you begin by drawing up a complete business plan that would include sales revenue, costs and profitability.
Sell More Effectively The fact is that 80 percent of your markets have not yet been approached by your salespeople. No one has told them about you. Your business could be probably being selling twice as much if you could just find out how to sell it to them.
Eliminate the Bottlenecks
There are two important steps that you need to take. First, decide on your specific business goals; make them clear, measurable and time-bounded. The next step is asking the question: "why am not in that goal already?"
Reengineer Your Company
To simplify and streamline your operations so that it is more efficient, faster and more effective and therefore more profitable, you have to reduce the number of steps in each process. You have to simplify the processes and make faster and better decision.
Pump Up Your Profits Conduct a complete profit analysis on every product. You must also remember that labor has a real "opportunity" cost along with other use of other resources especially in a multi-product or multi-services business.
Focus on Results
All your customers care about is results. They do not care much about your problems with your people, products, processes or any other aspects of your business.
There are four questions that customers answer before buying the product or service. These are:
What does it cost?
What do I get for the money?
How fast do I get the benefits you promise?
How sure can I be that I will get those benefits?
Seven Steps to Personal Performance
Step 1: Set clear, specific, written goals for each important area of your business. Make them measurable and time-bound.
Step 2: Make a list of activities before you begin a day, put it on paper. The best time to do this is before you go to bed so the subconscious mind can work on your list as you sleep.
Step 3: Set priorities on the list you made. Apply the 80/20 rule and select the top 20 percent of your tasks to work on.
Step 4: Practice creative procrastination. Since there are only 24 hours in a day, decide in advance which of those tasks have little value or importance can you do away with.
Step 5: Select the one most important job and have the discipline to accomplish that first thing.
Step 6: Practice single-handling with the most important task you have identified. Resolve to work on it until it is resolved.
Step 7: Develop a sense of urgency. The faster you move, the more work you get done and the better you feel. This will create momentum.
By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla
Regine Azurin is the President of BusinessSummaries.com, a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.
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