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Slice your working hours and maximise your productivity

Written by Paula Devine | 21 Aug 2018

Ian Luckett of Innovate to Success shares with us the secrets to creating a profitable, successful and sustainable business just by deliberately planning out what you do each day.

“We’re all working too many hours, doing things we don’t need to do. We all spend too much time working in our businesses and not on them. We spend time on low value and transactional activities rather than focusing on strategy and growth activity.”

The secrets to business growth are simpler than you might think. But they require one to step outside of the everyday business ‘bubble’.

Ian’s corporate experience has equipped him with the knowledge and credibility to now consult experts in a variety of industries helping them bolster their business growth. He has recently devised a 5-step strategic plan to help supercharge your growth strategy and take things to the next level.

Ultimately, we’re all experts in what we do. That includes anyone from an architect, to a roofer, you just need to be confident in your services/products and ability to deliver outstanding customer service. Ian identifies three types of business people as a part of his strategy:

  1. Happy where they are, ticking over and making enough to get by. No real desire to grow or take on more customers.
  2. Know they could do something better but aren’t quite sure what. See peers and others in their space doing better and want to get there, but don’t quite know what they should be doing to get there.
  3. Highly successful, have a plan, understand the difference between working in their business and working on their business

Here is a brief look at part of Ian’s 5-step straightforward strategic plan to help take you from a 2 to a 3:

1. Know your route

Know where you’re headed, and where you want your business to go. How do you want things to look in a year, five years, or even ten?

Devise a plan of how you intend to get there. Set goals, and think strategically - this is all down to you. Running on a hamster wheel and doing the same things day in day out will likely end you up in the same place or worse in years to come.

If you think about where you’d like to be, you can start planning which route you’d like to take to get there. Planning should ideally happen monthly, quarterly, and yearly and the key element here is that you have a big vision!

2. Define your USP (Unique Selling Point)

What really makes your business different? What are you doing that is different from your competitors? Are you working in a niche? Do you offer a level of accessibility that others don’t? Whatever makes you different is your USP.

Once you’ve established your USP, it should be refined and finessed across all of your marketing communications in order to target and connect with your ideal customer.

Ultimately, why do your clients choose you?

3. Talk to your customers

How are we doing? What can we do to get you to the next level? What’s good and what isn’t?

These are the kind of questions you should be asking daily.

By checking in and communicating with your clients regularly, you'll gain insight and feedback into what’s going well, how you can improve, and what else do your clients expect from you.

Keeping a handle on your clients’ expectation is the key to sustainability. Successful businesses need to be adaptable and have the ability to diversify their offering to suit the needs of their customers. What other problems do your customers have? All of the best business leaders keep on learning.

Plus, the more you learn and take on board from your clients, the more value you can pass onto others.

4.Talent acquisition and retention

The importance of getting and keeping great people can’t be stressed enough, and finding good people is difficult. But, keeping and managing them effectively is even harder. You’ve likely witnessed or even experienced the pain of hiring someone only to find out 3-4 months down the line that they’re not actually the right fit for the job or your company.

The trick is to focus on people who are aligned with your strategy, your values and your culture. Once you find the right people, train them adequately and have them focus their time on revenue-generating tasks. In doing so, you transform that cost into an asset.

Equally, as the famous saying goes, ‘“When you look after your employees, they’ll look after your clients." Building a workforce that goes above and beyond for your clients will in time, transform your clients into brand advocates who develop your business without you needing to lift a finger.

5. Measure

This might not be the most exciting step, but it’s crucial for business growth. How else can you track your success if you’re not measuring? Resolve to always have a handle on those numbers. When you implement the other steps, you will surely have some metrics to get you started.

What are your KPIs? What are your costs? How many more clients do you need to acquire to get where you want to be in five years? What does a good month look like? What do your next 6 months look like? Ask yourself these questions and set the measurements so that your planning and success rates become tangible. This also allows you to spot trends and patterns, identify and mitigate risks, and plan ahead with confidence.

Once you’re doing everything right, it doesn't stop there - you can then diversify your offering. What other problems do your customers have? Can you diversify your offering to solve these problems too? How can you start providing more value to your target market?

If you find yourself working relentlessly on your business but never quite getting the results you desire; if you find yourself over-stressed, struggling to take the time to realign your strategy, and if you’re not sure how to take things to the next level, Innovate to Success are offering an exclusive workshop to Chamber of Commerce members on 19 September in Luton,Beds. This is an excellent opportunity for those in need of some ‘time-out’ to gain fresh insight and tackle their business growth strategy with a new approach, with measurable outcomes.

Book your place on the workshop today. 

Alternatively, Ian is extending an offer to all Beds Chamber members of a FREE 20 Minute No obligation business review call to talk about your business and its potential - just click here to book your space in his diary.

Topics: Uncategorized

Paula Devine

Written by Paula Devine

Paula is Head of Membership and Global Services at Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce.

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