Sales Masters Guild Mentor, Olivier Carion, asks Are You Calibrating Your Business for Success?
What does “calibrating your business” mean? Simply put, it means firstly assessing where your business is, compared to where it should be, and secondly making the necessary adjustments to achieve a better fit and alignment with your plans and objectives.
Calibrating a business plays an important role in maintaining the sustainability and strength of its competitive advantage. Not only does it help you define the strategies that the business needs to follow, but it also provides you with a structure to effectively assess the decisions made at a management level and their impact, either strengthening the competitive advantage of your business or weakening it.
The calibration of your business is also future focused, gauging its general health and capabilities. It includes linking strategy and risk – cyber security being one significant example of risk.
But stop! This is not about unloading a large bag of negatives. Reviewing the performance of your business is an opportunity to celebrate the positives and bring to light those areas that need improvement. This approach allows all of your stakeholders to have the information they need to grow within their role and position, which in turn will help the business grow.
So, let’s now roll up our sleeves. It is a good idea to stand back on a regular basis to re-examine the performance of your business. Diving into specifics, there are three key areas to analyse:
- The fundamentals of your business
- Your competitors
- Your customers and market
Let’s first look at your fundamentals:
- Your market map– how good your results are in term of sales, how you can boost performance and which market you should target next. More on this further down.
- Your products and services– how sustainable your existing services are in terms of customers’ needs and expectations, what your plans are to upgrade your products and services.
- Your operations– your systems and processes, your technologies and quality, the issues which are holding you back that need addressing.
- Your financials– your costs, your working capital, the income generated by your sales, your net profit, your cashflow balance and forecast, the financing of your operations and borrowing.
- Your people and their skills– your work planning issues, your people talent, training and skills development.
The second area to look at is your competitors. The following questions might be helpful to understand where your business fits on the map, bearing in mind that your competitors are looking at your market. And guess what? They are probably looking at your existing customers too…
- Who are your three biggest competitors?
- What do they do well?
- What do they do poorly?
- What can they do that you can’t?
- What are the four main reasons your customers turn to you rather than your competitors?
- In what ways are you genuinely different from your competitors?
- What do your competitors say about themselves?
- What do other people say about them?
It may be useful to do a SWAT analysis to show you how you are doing in your specific market as well as in relation to your competitors.
Thirdly, let’s look at the market in which you are selling or intend to sell, including the types of customers you are aiming for. Simply stand back and take a very close look at your market:
- What changes are currently happening in your market?
- What new services are emerging?
- In what specific ways are customer expectations changing?
- How is the economic environment affecting your market?
- How is new technology impacting your market?
- How are the activities of your competitors affecting the market?
- What specifically can you do to be at the forefront of understanding emerging market trends?
There you have them, three key areas of your business to analyse. Going through this exercise will provide the information needed to recalibrate your business from where it is to where it should be. Like all very successful entrepreneurs, you know how important it is to have clear answers to the following three basic questions:
- Where is the business now?
- Where is it going?
- How is it going to get there?
If you want to know more about calibrating your business as well as accelerating its growth, why not have a look at the upcoming workshops that I will be presenting. These workshops are interactive and filled with practical tips to build strong, sustainable businesses.
Olivier’s Entrepreneurs Training courses run regularly and are open to entrepreneurs and business owners looking to grow. If you’d like to find out more about the groups before booking, please contact Olivier directly though his Mentor profile page.
Oliver Carion is a Sales Masters Guild Personal Business Mentor.
With a real passion for the psychology of communication and the architecture that underpins accelerated growth, you’ll quickly realise why Olivier is the man who will help accelerate your business to a whole new level.