Most businesses operate inefficiently in at least some ways, but how can you tell which areas need improvement, and how can you improve them? Identifying these problem areas and working to fix them is vital if you want your business to succeed.
In this guide, we’ll discuss how to improve the areas of your business that are struggling the most, and the areas that can most benefit from improvement.
How to Improve a Business
In the next section, we’ll discuss 10 of the operating areas most likely to need improvement. But how can you plan to improve something you didn’t even know was inefficient?
According to Chicago management consulting firm AArete, one of the most important concepts is quantification. You need to be able to quantify your goals, measure your current performance, apply changes, and measure how your performance changes; if you can objectively measure an improvement, you’ll know your strategies were successful. Quantification is easier in some contexts than others; for example, you may be able to increase sales from $2 million per year to $2.8 million per year, or you may be able to cut hours wasted from 100 per week to 40 per week. In any case, you’ll need to have some way to track your performance, before and after your strategic changes.
As for the specific tactics meant to “improve” a certain area of your business, those will vary depending on the area you’re working on and what you’re trying to achieve.
Key Areas to Improve
These are some of the most common areas of operation that businesses need to improve:
- Goals and strategic imperatives. First, you may need to address your high-level goals and strategic imperatives. Oftentimes, businesses struggle simply because they don’t have direction—or because their direction is poorly defined. For example, let’s say your business has been stagnant for a few years, seeing little to no growth; which goals are you trying to meet, and which strategies are you applying to achieve those goals? If you have a lack of specificity, or if your goals are somehow untenable, the stagnation is unsurprising.
- Expense management. Chances are, your business is spending more money than it needs to in at least one area. You may have hired too many people too quickly, you may be overpaying for your lease or your utilities, or your cost of raw materials may be exorbitant. Identifying and trimming down these expenses will help you operate in a lean (and profitable) way.
- Financial tracking and monitoring. Most businesses have an accounting department responsible for keeping track of their spending and revenue, but that’s not a guarantee that you’re tracking things correctly. If you’re not actively looking at the right trends, or if you’re not tracking every dollar precisely, it could come back to hurt you.
- Marketing and advertising. One of the most reliable ways to grow a business is through marketing and advertising, but there are a lot of ways your marketing strategy can go wrong. You can pursue the wrong target audience, invest in the wrong strategies, or simply overspend on your campaign, ruining your ROI. It’s important to take a critical look at your marketing and advertising strategies, analyzing them for effectiveness and bottom-line value to your business. Weed out the tactics that don’t work and keep experimenting with new ones.
- Data analytics. Data is becoming increasingly important for modern businesses, thanks to competitive pressure and more accessible technology. But to use data effectively, you have to gather the right data, use the right tools, and apply the right types of analyses. For inexperienced businesses, this can be overwhelming; inaccurate data, poor analytics, or incomplete tools can compromise an otherwise promising data analytics strategy.
- Competition analysis. Most businesses start out with a business plan that sketches out a competitive analysis, but your competition analysis shouldn’t end here. In fact, you should be analyzing your competition constantly. If you’re not actively watching what your competitors are doing and finding new ways to outcompete them, you’re quickly going to become outclassed by your rivals.
- Sales. Depending on the nature of your organization, you’ll also need to worry about sales. How are your salespeople spending the hours of their day? How many sales are they closing, compared to how many leads they’re getting? How can you help your team land more sales while simultaneously improving their time efficiency?
- Employee morale and motivation. Employee performance is important, but so is employee retention. Too many businesses neglect employee morale and motivation as critical factors for success. What are your employees thinking and feeling? Are they satisfied with their working conditions and with their potential for the future? How can you make them feel better about their positions?
- Communication efficiency. Few organizations are operating at peak communicative efficiency. In some cases, businesses are plagued by poor communication habits, from time-wasting meetings to emails without subject lines. In other cases, the root cause is a lack of access to the right tools and technologies to support good communication. No matter what, it’s your job to improve communicative efficiency, reduce miscommunications, and ensure nothing gets lost in the process.
- Inter-departmental collaboration. Too often, departments within large organizations turn into isolated silos; the people within those departments become self-contained, and each department develops its own micro-culture and communication styles. Accordingly, departments find it more difficult to collaborate and communicate with each other. Some departments, like sales and marketing, need each other to thrive, so it’s imperative to break these silo barriers down. You can do this with a mix of strategies, including cross-training, hybrid roles, and departmental blending.
Even after addressing these common areas, there will always be room for improving your business. There will be old inefficiencies to address, new techniques and technologies to experiment with, and inventive ways to transform your business. The most successful companies are the ones that remain perpetually adaptable, constantly evolving in response to new conditions and improving their overall functionality.
Branden Condy Is Here to Leave a Legacy
Branden Condy is a true innovator. He has made a fortune from scratch, and his influence keeps growing. Apart from amassing hundreds of thousands of loyal supporters who he is happy to mentor, the entrepreneur wants to leave a legacy that will serve as a powerful inspiration for those who choose to follow in his footsteps.
Condy’s story is a classic rags-to-riches saga. He grew up with almost nothing. He did several odd jobs, such as cleaning cars, bartending, and working as a boat boy. “I did what I had to do to make ends meet. I didn’t particularly enjoy doing those jobs, but I had to eat,” he says. Soon enough, Branden realized that he needed to completely reject the status quo and pave his own way to financial freedom.
He began studying the online space and eventually founded his online store on Amazon. “Amazon Automation was huge for me. It works on a drop-shipping principle, and it allows you to sell thousands of products to billions of people around the globe. Once you gain traction and your store takes off, the sky’s the limit. You are literally making money while you sleep, and I can’t think of anything better than that,” Condy says.
He went from a bartender to an Instagram influencer and a business owner in just 45 days. While his story is surreal, it is definitely something that can realistically be accomplished with the right mindset. This is why Branden wants to leave a legacy of motivation and knowledge to aspiring entrepreneurs who can dramatically transform their lives, much like he did.
“I want to be remembered as someone worthy of respect. And the best way to be respected is to provide value. Life is a two-way street, and if you want people to follow you, you have to give them a good reason to,” he shares.
For Condy, everything starts with confidence. He firmly believes that every new entrepreneur, or every person for that matter, needs to believe in themselves first. Then, they need to formulate a strategy that would take them where they need to go. Finally, they have to assemble a skilled team around themselves. “I can’t stress this enough: having a team around you is key. I could never grow my business as fast as I am if I didn’t have a team of dedicated and motivated people around me,” says Branden.
“I’m focused on helping people reach their full potential. I see countless Millennials on Instagram, for example, who complain about the economy. Yes, the economy is unpredictable, but you need to learn the basic principles that will help you withstand any and all changes. I want to motivate people in different areas. Working out and taking care of their health, building a business, developing their own personal style, and helping them feel more confident, this is what I’m trying to leave behind as my legacy,” he says.
His tips have been received exceptionally well. He has over 250,000 followers on Instagram alone, and that number keeps growing. People identify with Branden’s authenticity. He is someone who has been through the struggle and overcame it. Each piece of content that he shares is focused on spreading this message. If he had to choose one simple message to share with the world, the entrepreneur would go for “bet on yourself,” as he wants people to step into their power and realize their potential.
For more news, updates, tips, and motivation from Branden Condy, follow him on Instagram.
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