5 steps to kickstart your business transformation
To succeed in business, simply spouting a transformational mindset is no longer an option. Businesses that do not incorporate ongoing review, adjustment and business transformation as part of their operational DNA will stagnate and quickly go backwards.
To be successful long term, businesses have no choice but to be nimble, embrace a business review process and adapt how they do things.
What is a nimble business?
A business phrase of the moment is to be ‘nimble’. Like most buzz words, this means nothing on its own. However, the need for every business to be on their toes, open-minded and ready to respond, is a solid concept and critical for long-term success.
A truly nimble business is fluid and ready to move left, right or re-prioritise. It is agile and can change as often as needed, whilst keeping the end goal firmly in sight.
How do I know if my business needs transformation?
“Once a company runs up against a major stall in growth, it has a less than 10% chance of fully recovering. And this stalling usually results from failing to fix something that is clearly broken early enough”. Matthew S. Olson & Derek van Bever Stall Points
The need for a change mindset is an increasingly important characteristic for any business to be successful today. What we know is change is constant – sometimes it is large and sometimes all you need is a simple tweak. But without the right checks and measures in place, you’ll miss clear indicators and the ability to move quickly. Failure to act can be fatal. There is a very real risk your competitors will respond to the changing landscape faster than you.
Great teams monitor and review their businesses constantly, across many measures, and have processes, reports and meetings in place to pick up necessary changes – large or small – early.
10 signs your business is ready for transformation
In the old world, the need for change was sparked as a direct result of::
- Declining sales and/or profit
- Increasing expenses
- An unforeseen curve ball
- Significant market or economic changes
- The loss of a major customer
Today, the list of indicators is trend-focused and will vary by business. Business processes to track and monitor the right lag (usually financial/trading results) and lead (predictive/trend indicators are essential for a healthy, aligned and responsive business. The indicators will vary, but typically include:
Lag Indicators such as:
- Declining or flat sales
- Declining or flat profit
- Increasing expenses as a % of sales
- Declining margins
Lead Indicators such as:
- Declining website traffic
- Increasing customer complaints
- High staff turnover
- Low/decreasing employee engagement
- Decreasing customer traffic
- Decreasing sales pipelines
So what do you need to do first?
The first step you must take is to decide to THINK DIFFERENTLY and commit to a dynamic planning process focused on setting priorities, actioning strategies, measuring progress and adjusting regularly. Your business processes, systems and people must be aligned to successfully transform your business into a responsive, change-ready machine set up for long-term growth.
How do you know change is needed?
Have you heard these voices in your head?
‘I know change is needed, but I just don’t have time’
‘I am so busy fighting fires every day, I have no headspace for strategic stuff’
‘Right now we just need to focus on the here and now and keep trading’
If you want to get a sense of where your business is on some foundational questions, take the Business Health Check. It can be a confronting reality check and is a powerful way to break the rut and kickstart your much-needed business transformation process.
I would love to hear how you go. Feel free to send me a message or book a chat and I can answer any initial questions you may have.
5 Steps to kick-start your business transformation
Getting started is often the hardest part. The voices of self-doubt and hesitation are real, and managing the day-to-day TO DO lists are hard. But there are some simple steps you can take to kick start the change that you know is needed (sooner rather than later):
1. Get help
The clarity gained from an objective business transformation expert is invaluable in moving you and your business forward. The investment will pay for itself multiple times over.
You will gain the time and capacity to immerse yourself in the process. An expert will ensure the best process is undertaken for your business to set it up for the next chapter of success significantly faster than had you decided to ‘do a bit here and a bit there’.
2. Understand your Reality
As it is right now. No judgement, just what is. Consider it ground zero – the good, the bad and the ugly!
- What is the heart of your business? Its purpose, values, vision and your brand’s point of difference?
- What are the key financials, ie. the numbers that matter?
- Who is your customer and where is your brand positioned in your customer’s mind against your competitors?
- What is your culture ie ‘the way things are done around here?’
3. Allow the time and involve your team
The Karen Matthews business transformation process takes up to 2.5 days. It is a collaborative process that requires input from all parts of your business. Engaging an external facilitator to run this process for you will allow you to participate, ensure a smooth and professional process and deliver your desired outcomes faster.
To be effective, you need to be ready to:
- Understand the facts (Point 2)
- Write the plan
- Agree the implementation details – what, who and when, and design all the necessary reports and trackers to monitor results
- Build the business processes and communications that enable regular review and adjustment if and when needed. The idea behind my business transformation process is the notion of prioritise, plan, do, assess and adjust……and repeat. No more bi-annual laborious planning off-sites, just ongoing review and an innovative, change-ready mindset.
5. Be open and let go of expectations.
The most effective results will come when a leader leads by example. They are part of the group, committed to everyone having a voice, is open-minded and committed to creating an aligned, high performance and magnetic business that is here for the long haul.
Want to learn more, chat about your specific business needs and the best way to kickstart the next chapter of your business success?