How to Grow Your Business Quickly
You can use your business FRUSTRATIONS to grow your business.
This sounds weird but it works. The quickest way I know how to grow a business is by asking the question “what is causing you the greatest frustration in your business right now?
Before we go deeper into this question lets take a look at the diagram in the image above as it is relevant and will make the explanation easier.
I can’t recall how many times I have drawn this diagram in front of a client. The response is always the same WOW you have made my business easier to understand.
The first box in the diagram is purpose. Why am I in business? This is a coaching session in itself and there are many reasons, but to keep this simple let’s use my example. We are going to grow and sell this business within five years for £5,000,000. As long as you have a product or service people want to buy and the business can be scaled up, this can be achieved.
The process of business is to generate a lead, convert the lead into a sale, carry out the sales promise and get paid for it. So in a more conventional process it’s marketing, sales, operations and finance. We will call these the functions of the business. So far it’s very simple.
Process and Systems
Below the functions we have the processes and systems. Each one has an input and an output.
The input to the first process of marketing/lead generation is the market place. We execute the process and the output is a lead.
The lead is the input to the sales process and the output is a sales order.
The sales order is the input to the operations process. The output is the generation of an invoice.
The invoice is the input of the finance process and the output is cash. Cash is banked and invested until the business purpose is met. Remember this is only an example, things get a little tougher in the real world.
The pipe at the bottom of the diagram represents throughput. The amount of business we can put through the business system. At full bore we can say the whole system is in harmony. In the real world this is never the case. You can see that the pipe is being squeezed. These blue pinch points represent constraints. The red boxes in the processes are things that are going wrong. They are causing the business flow to slow down. This means we are not getting the throughput we want.
The word frustration is a human emotion, a gut feeling and it is telling you that you are not happy with a result. In other words poor results = frustration.
The way this can help you grow your business is by asking the question above.
What is causing me the greatest frustration in my business right now?
Listen to your body for that real gut feeling of frustration. What is causing it. Some answers I get from clients include
- We have spare capacity and we need more leads to fill it
- We need more people in operations because we are too busy and we are upsetting customers
- We need more cash
- Dave can’t convert sales as well as I can
- Our conversion is 1 project out of 10. If it was 1 out 4 this would turn the business around
Now we have a method of identifying the constraints that are holding back the business, we now need a method to fix them.
The are only four causes to any business constraint. They are:
An external influence – as you cannot control an external influence you need to look at how you can change something within the business. For example if you lose a market find a new one.
A system failure, no system or a broken system – develop a system or fix the broken one.
Resource issue – this could be a lack of money, people, plant, machinery or materials.
People issue – the wrong person is doing the job or training is required.
If you can solve the greatest constraint first, then the next greatest and then the next, you will find that you will achieve greater flow through your business and it should grow very quickly.
This sounds simple but in practice it takes some real thinking.
Try it and let me know what you think.
The biggest constraint of all is normally the leader. How are you slowing down the throughput? Have you worked out your business purpose and objectives.? If you would like to have a chat over a coffee or on the phone get in touch.
About the post author: Bob grew a successful construction company from 1990 to 2005 and has been a successful business coach for the past 12 years. You can learn more about Bob and his story from this link Bob’s Story
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