Change is such a difficult thing. Our inertia of what we know and are comfortable with has a strength to hold us back, in place, often to our detriment.
There’s always a need to change, develop, and be with the trend at the very least – if not (hopefully), setting the trend. Most business owners have built their enterprise around their experiences as they grow the business. They usually don’t have a reference point to compare or challenge what they believe is right, yet, there is a real need to change to achieve their ambitions. In short, this lack of perspective is what’s holding back the business from achieving its goals.
It’s not a problem to discuss rationally with a business owner the need to change. They talk through …. Adopt or introduce new ideas. All is fine.
You finish and all leave the meeting with full commitment. So, what happens to this change when the business owner has every intention of doing what he has agreed to? He or she gets an urgent phone call or an issue arises, then other matters of perceived or real urgency roll in and the day is gone. The events of the day reclaim the attention of the business owner who reverts back to comfort of their daily agenda. The matter for change is (happily and often conveniently) forgotten.
Today, technology is sweeping through every aspect of our business lives. If we don’t learn how to change, we will be left behind, and in most cases, unable to catch up.
The vast majority of people come to work each day and work very hard at their jobs. This is no longer good enough. It’s the job of the business owner and the management team to define the goals of the business and develop a strategy of change to achieve those objectives. As well, they need to change as often as necessary to ‘get there!’
Let’s talk about how we can help you get there.
A very interesting article, the point is relevant to us all and for business leaders and entrepreneurs it’s message is specific: the pace of technology is moving so very fast that if we don’t make ourselves aware and adapt we will be by-passed!
I was in London in April and watched a documentary on machines that will sort, pick and pack mixed salads which you will buy for lunch or dinner. The speed of the picking fingers was amazing and the machine can grade the products as it works. These machines and this technology will mean job losses, new investment requirements and could mean a change to pricing and profitability. This trend is only going to get quicker. Working hard and expecting rewards won’t change, we have to look to the future and where and what the trends are now as well!
We get to work and the rush of the day begins. We work hard and go home feeling satisfied, or are we? Few businesses can define their objective in the short or long term, this means that it is impossible to develop a strategy because we don’t know what we want to achieve, nor the time frame we are planning for I once asked the head of a large insurance group what his strategy for the next one to two years was, he said, “sell 9 % more!” I replied, “that’s a good objective but what is your strategy to achieve it?” “That’s easy.” he answered. “I called my sales managers together and told them to sell 9% more!”
He never made it nor will any company that doesn’t clearly define its objectives and a strategy to get there and then implement it. This is true whatever your size.
Sales are the single most important thing any company does, yet we employ our sales people for a range of reasons, many emotive, which is important, but we often don’t set the rules and expectations for what they must achieve and in what time limit this has to be done.
A long time ago when I was a production planner, I was asked if I was interested in sales? I said yes. The sales manager never gave me a target, either volume of sales or GM%, he simply patted me on the back each Friday as I left his office and said, “Sell more!” In many cases much has not changed and both sides get disillusioned because the business case hasn’t been calculated, declared and agreed to.
Get this right and you have a great potential to get your sales and a loyal employee.
It is hard to believe that many businesses don’t know how to cost. I know, you are saying, “Vic is dreaming!” However, that’s not the case. In nine years of consulting I’ve found that many, most companies in fact, take their FIS (Free into Store) manufactured or even their direct hourly price and add a percentage which either they believe is what the industry norm is, a percentage someone told them, or they match someone else’s pricing without out knowing what their own fully absorbed costs are or what the circumstances of the other party is.
To cost properly one should calculate the fully absorbed cost, that is direct and indirect costs. This is the only way you will know your true expected profitability. Then comes the pricing of the product; here we are in a different world. A sage once said; “Costing is a science, but pricing is an art!”
Sales and the strategic planning and expedition of sales is the single most important thing any business can do.
Companies must meet the aspirations of its employees or they will become disillusioned and leave. Unfortunately, it’s the best people who leave. But how do we pave the way between the individual and their ambition? We need to recognise what the potential of the individual is and see how that fits into the needs of the company in the immediate and long term. It is my experience that one can’t put qualities into someone, we can only develop what’s already in them. Trying to plant a seed that’s not already within will only let it lie fallow. We need to spend management time assessing what the real potential is in our staff, make them aware of our opinion, be open and pave the way for their growth.