Whatever the level of performance of your organisation, it is always possible to make improvements. Our Top 12 actions to improve every business are:
Prepare a strategy and business plan. There is nothing more powerful in business than to decide where you are heading and plan how you are going to get there.
Set up first class administration systems. Any business runs more efficiently if you know where everything is and have a system to run every business process.
Review and plan finances meticulously. It is imperative that your business has sound financial information and that you use it to monitor and improve cash flow and profitability.
Focus on the needs of your customers and provide a high level of service. Make sure that you understand what they want and need rather than what your business provides. (This is the essence of the marketing process).
Look intelligently at what your competitors are doing. Ensure that you match (or better) your competitors’ good points and avoid any mistakes that they make.
Put considerable, focused and consistent effort into sales. Ensure that you do not waste time and money chasing people who are not pre-qualified as potential customers.
Put business technology at the heart of your business. Ensure that your people have the right tools to do their job efficiently and cost effectively.
Recruit good people and give them ample responsibility. You should seek people who stretch themselves and take the initiative.
Create an atmosphere in which people can develop and flourish. People perform much better when they are relaxed, treated fairly and respectfully and feel supported.
Communicate frequently with your customers, your people, suppliers and the public. Be quick to thank people for what they do.
Introduce policies that ensure that you retain a high level of service and act in a responsible way. This means preparing policies on quality and corporate social responsibility and monitoring it fully.
Measure everything and take action to improve things. The majority of businesses would benefit from making small incremental changes rather than radical alterations to what they do.