Thursday, 28 October 2010

Buff Up Your Business

Strategy 3 of the Buff Up Your Business Series is:

Spend 10% of your time with your Top 10 Customers

To my Customer.
I may not have the answer, but I’ll find it.
I may not have the time, but I’ll make it.


Why is it so important to spend 10% of your time with your Top 10 customers?

  • Because 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers;
  • they make your company possible;
  • they have all the answers;
  • they will help you grow and run your business.

You need to find out from them why they like doing business with you, as well as finding out what more you could do for them - go the extra mile.

Also find out where they see their business in the next year or so and adapt what you currently provide them with, to ensure you would be their preferred supplier when their business gets to the next level.

How can you do all this?

Well, what about putting together your own survey? You can do this very easily and at no cost - how amazing is that? Just go to and get started. I am not linked to this site in any way, I have just used it to great effect in the past.

Then, once you have the information you need to decide which direction you need to take your business don't struggle on your own, why not get in touch with me at Nicholl Consultancy and we can work on your strategy together.

Until next time, have an amazing week.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Buff Up Your Business

Strategy 2 of the "Buff Up Your Business Series" is:

Substantially Increase your Net Profit

Business is not financial science,
it's about trading.. buying and selling.
It's about creating a product or service so good
that people will pay for it.
Anita Roddick

1. Make profitability your focus - don't sell your skills or products too cheaply, many of us are guilty of that, remember it is not what we think it is worth, it is more about the benefits or profits the client will achieve as a result of it.

2. Develop timely and accurate financial statements - set yourself financial milestones along the way, by doing this you will quickly know when you have fallen behind on your forecasts and when it is time to put in more effort to make up the shortfall, much easier to do this as it arises rather than trying to make up for lost ground towards the end of your financial year.

3. Have a plan for what you are going to do with your profits - how exciting! Knowing know how you are going to reward yourself once you have achieved your financial forecast, really helps you to realise that all the hard work will be worth it and will keep you on track. What about putting a picture of that wonderful holiday destination or the new car you will buy, in a place where you will see it regularly, that will spur you on!

4. Watch Expenses like a Hawk - Each time you commit yourself to a financial outlay, reassure yourself that it is the 'best value for money' you can get, notice I say 'best value for money' and not 'cheapest' remember cheapest is not always best. Always try to negotiate for the best price or persuade the company to 'add something extra' if you buy from them rather than their competitors.

5. Increase employee retention and productivity - it costs about 7 times more to recruit and train a new member of staff than to keep your current staff happy and on side. Speak to your staff regularly and find out from them, what you can do to make their working life more satisfying, they may surprise you, by asking for more responsibility - great - that way you can free up more of your time by delegating more effectively, or it could be something as simple as you providing cakes on a Friday!

6. Systematise Everything - Anything you can do to make things run without your intervention is well worth the initial effort in setting it up. Things like autoresponders to enquiries on your website, website that automatically create a database of people donwloading things from your site, to a messaging company that takes all your call for (say) one afternoon a week which would allow you some quality uninterrupted time to focus on your business strategy, telemarketers who can contact your current clients/customers on a regular basis to find out what you are doing well and what can be improved to ensure they stay with you. Anything that frees up your time, is well worth systematising.

7. Be a Leader in your Field - Be proactive - keep asking your clients/customers what is it that you could provide them with that would help their business most in the future, keep an eye on the news and newspapers to see what is currently causing people problems and see if you can provide something that would help them. Keep observing trends and think about how you could 'ease the pain'.

If you would like to have somebody work alongside you as you are putting these strategies into place, then please just contact me at Nicholl Consultancy, I would love to be part of your success!

Until next time, when we will be looking at Strategy 3 of "Buffing up your Business"

Take care and have a great week.

Monday, 11 October 2010

7 Strategies to "Buff Up Your Business"

To be successful,
you have to have your heart in your business
and your business in your heart.

Thomas Watson Sr.

Over the next few weeks, we will take a look at seven different strategies that will make a difference to your business, provided you put them into practice. Because that is the key to everything - actually taking action.

Strategy 1 - Know why your company is in business

It is imperative to know:

  • Your company vision and mission
  • What kind of business you own and run
  • How you want your customers and staff to perceive you?
  • What makes it all worthwhile?
  • What the company's values and goals are.

Your vision takes into account the current status of your business and serves to point the direction in which you want to go.

For example: you may acknowledge that your business already meets industry standards in customer support but your vision might be that you will exceed industry standards and move customer care to a higher level within a given time period.

Your mission is more concerned with the overall aim of the business - a reason for being. For example: to deliver a product or service which surpasses your competitors offerings.

Your values are things like integrity, professionalism, delivering results, respect etc. and of course your goals are the targets you set for yourself and the business in order to make your vision become a reality.

If you find it difficult to find answers to the five bullet points above, then you probably need to explore them with a business coach, somebody who is not closely involved with your business, so they are unbiased and can assist you to look at things in a different way.

Why not take advantage of my offer of a free 45 minute coaching session to explore your business in more depth. Just contact me at Nicholl Consultancy and we can make a start.

Until next time when we will look at Strategy 2 - "How to substantially increase your net profit"

I wish you a productive and exciting week

Regards Sharon