Let’s review your business progress over the last period. That can be 12 months or one month or whatever you want it to be.
Don’t allow yourself to think you know these answers instinctively as you’ll be wrong! Spend a few minutes to actually work it out.
My personal view is that there are six key areas to a successful business…
Easy one to start with…how many enquires have you had. Don’t trim any out, include all of them as the ones you might want to ignore may actually tell you more than you realise.
Where did they come from? Networking, social media, referral? It’s important to categorise that as it’ll be invaluable data to help you build your marketing plan for the next period.
Where did your best enquiries come from?
How many of your enquiries turned into clients during the period?
This will show you how effective your sales process is. If your conversion rate is lower than you expected then think about why that is.
Are you attracting the wrong kind of enquiry? Then you need to change your marketing.
Are you struggling to close? Examine your sales process and understand why that could be. You might be failing to demonstrate the value or not giving your prospect enough confidence that you can deliver.
Are you following up effectively? The optimum time to close the deal is when you are in front of them, not by email later.
3. Client lifetime value
How much has each of your clients been worth? Knowing this number will allow you to understand how much you can invest in your marketing to generate a new client.
The value is also a reflection of your level of client retention and repeat business. If you have poor retention or low levels of repeat business you need to unpick why that is as your best source of future work is your past clients.
4. On time delivery
This category encompasses several elements including:
- Percentage of on-time delivery (it should be 100%!)
- Managing scope creep
- Under-charging and over delivering
- Employee/supplier retention
How well have you delivered against those?
This is at the core of your business. You need to be acing this to have a successful business. It should be easy to ace as it’s all in your hands.
5. Client satisfaction
This is actually an easy one to gauge as you can tell how happy your clients are by the number of testimonials and referrals you have received.
I had to include cashflow in this as it’s the lifeblood of your business.
How quickly do your clients pay their invoices?
How many clients do you have to chase for payment?
What’s your level of expenditure?
Is your pricing correct ie are you profitable? This also relates to over-delivering and under-charging.
What’s your most profitable product/service?
So, what do you want to achieve in the next period?
How many new clients do you want to recruit? Use your conversion rate to work out how many enquiries you need to generate to achieve that number.
Now look at your marketing channel data and work out your marketing plan to achieve your desired level of enquiries.
What changes can you make to your:
- Sales process to improve your conversion rate?
- Level of client retention and lifetime value?
- On time delivery?
- Client satisfaction?
[Word of warning…]
Don’t try and implement too many changes at once.
Write out all the things you could change and then score them in turns of the benefit they will bring.
Implement them, one at a time, with the most beneficial one 1st (my assumption here is that they will all be relatively easy to implement as they should be mostly down to the way you do things).