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Business improvement is a mindset, an overlay on all our activities and many of us need to schedule time, typically the start of new calendar or financial year to ensure the process gets due attention. A great trigger for business improvement ideas though is simply: whenever the business owner has a shot of motivation or inspiration. So it’s worth having visibility of business improvement process steps so that when you find yourself in that patch, you can make a head start and capture the ideas that can feed into future planning.

Here is a 5 step process to lead to better business outcomes:

  1. Evaluate your current situation
    Before deciding to change anything in your business, it is important to understand what is driving its success currently – starting with an analysis of its strengths and weaknesses, and determining opportunities and threats. Identify trends in the industry and within your business, and determine where changes could be made to suit changing market demands.
  2. Start at the end, determine your goals
    Business goals can be as broad or as specific as you want them to be. However, it is important that all goals you set are specific, measurable, relevant and achievable. It is important to recognise that some goals will need to be addressed with a long-term strategy, as you won't be able to meet them immediately, because of resources, finances or time.
  3. Implement realistic strategies
    Once you’ve set your goals, you know what your final outcome needs to be. Knowing the target you want to hit with your profit, you will lay down strategies to be able to achieve them. This in turn will help you forecast what your sales revenue needs to be, taking into account all the expenses along the way. If there is a gap between your target for the next year and the revenue for the year that was, you will be able to implement strategies to bridge this gap.
  4. Leverage partnerships to offer your customers more
    We live in a world that is constantly offering more. While it may not be financially viable for your business to increase the range of products or services you offer, there is a way to offer your customers more – leverage your networks. By partnering with other businesses, you can offer clients a seamless end-to-end service, while securing sales that may have otherwise walked away.
  5. Implement new tactics and measure results
    While putting new strategies in place is a difficult task, all the effort that goes into determining what will work for your business goes to waste if not implemented correctly, and tracked regularly. Measuring the results of using new strategies allows you to track the progress of change, and if something needs to be altered to ensure success.

Evaluating your business performance, determining and documenting strategies for future success can be a challenging task so be sure to seek support and participation from your business adviser. A critical element of getting the most of this business improvement process is keeping your business on track by measuring and progressing through the prioritised actions, keeping you and the team accountable. Please contact your usual Hanrick Curran advisor or alternatively our Business Improvement specialists Matthew Beasley, Angela Winton or Robert Pitt on 07 3218 3900 for assistance in implementing your plan for business improvement.

Please note that this publication is intended to provide a general summary and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal advice.