By Jevon Wooden
As seen on Forbes
In today’s fast-paced business environment, success depends on having a comprehensive growth strategy that simultaneously offers flexibility yet provides enough strictness to keep the business focused, effective and profitable. This article will explore the five focus areas you must consider with every business decision.
Yardstick – What results matter?
As a business leader, one of the most crucial questions is, “What results matter?” Here are some recommendations to optimize key metrics:
- Revenue: Consider expanding your product or service offerings, entering new markets or increasing your customer base. You can also optimize your pricing strategy, upsell or cross-sell to existing customers and improve sales and marketing efforts.
- Customer satisfaction: Focus on providing high-quality products or services that exceed customers’ expectations. Prioritizing customer service and responding to customer inquiries and concerns promptly and effectively will differentiate you in a market where speed and profits have become more important than service.
- Employee satisfaction: Create a positive company culture that values employee well-being and growth. You can provide opportunities for professional development, offer competitive compensation and benefits packages and foster open communication between management and employees.
- Market share: Differentiate your business from competitors through product or service innovation, pricing strategy or customer experience. Consider expanding into new markets or acquiring competitors if the time is right. Take the time to understand the competitive landscape and industry trends unique to your business.
- Profitability: Optimize your pricing strategy, improve operational efficiency and reduce waste or inefficiencies. Review your financial statements regularly to find clues on where you can save money and improve cash flow. Another stone to turn would be your technology stack. Many of my clients have more technology than they need and only use about 20% of the capabilities.
Yield – What can be done to achieve the goal?
Once you identify what matters, the next step is determining what levers your business can pull to produce the desired outcomes. Identifying the right levers involves examining the various factors contributing to success and identifying areas for improvement. Here are some areas to consider:
- People: Employees are the backbone of any successful organization, and investing in their development can yield considerable returns. Set aside at least 10% of your revenue to reinvest in professional development, especially if you are a solopreneur.
- Technology: Look at your existing technology and ask yourself, “Are we using this to its full capabilities?” “Do we need this?” “If we need this, why do we need it?” “Are there better options available?” Once you have those answers, spend time optimizing your technology stack to ensure it supports your business vision and goals.
- Processes: Look at how you can free up resources to perform revenue-generating tasks and make it easier to create standard operating procedures, streamline workflows and reduce expenses. Perform walkthroughs of your processes to identify bottlenecks, duplicative efforts and extra steps, and refine as you go.
Yare – How do we make it easier?
While improving productivity and efficiency is essential for success, it’s also crucial to consider how to make things yare, or easy to handle.
- Delegate: Delegating tasks involves assigning responsibilities to others with the skill set to perform the task, whether inside the organization or an external asset freeing up time and energy for leaders to focus on revenue-generating activities that only they can do.
- Delete: Delete tasks or projects that are no longer necessary or add little value.
- Delay: Prioritize the most critical tasks and projects in achieving your top three goals. Anything else should be placed in another quarter or year altogether. Take time to reevaluate why that task or project was on your list of things to do. You may find that it can be deleted or delegated.
- Automate: Implementing automation involves using technology to perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks, freeing everyone to focus on more valuable work. Automation can also reduce the risk of errors, improve efficiency and provide valuable data insights.
Yoga – How to make the business scalable?
When I think of yoga, I think of flexibility and strength. Your organization needs to exude these two traits, as well. You can achieve flexibility by empowering employees to make decisions, being open to new ideas and approaches, and creating a culture that values continuous improvement. Your organization must also implement scalable processes and systems that adapt to changing business needs.
Yearn – How do you create raving brand fans?
There must be more than just a great product or service to sustain success. You must also ensure your customers are filled with joy, desire and good feelings for your brand so they become evangelists.
- Create a strong emotional connection with customers and provide a positive customer experience: Stories help customers relate to the brand and create a sense of community and shared values. Use stories throughout your marketing campaigns, social media and other forms of content marketing to convey why your company can help them survive or thrive.
- Provide excellent customer service: Excellent customer service involves being responsive, friendly, helpful and going above and beyond to meet customers’ needs. You create loyal customers willing to recommend the brand to others by providing exceptional service.
- Have a feedback program: Listening to and using customer feedback to improve your products or services is a low-cost way to show them that their opinions are valued and helps your business stay top of mind.
- Build a positive reputation: Your messaging, colors, tagline and tone should all signal what is most important to your company or your key differentiator. For example, Wal-Mart is known for its “Everyday low price.” Its dominant colors are blue, which signifies trust and security, and yellow, which represents cheerfulness. You won’t find Wal-Mart getting into high-end products; their consumers trust them to provide exactly what their brand signals. Is your brand identity cohesive? Does it represent what you want your company to be known for?
Achieving The 5 Y’s Requires A Comprehensive Approach
Running a successful organization requires a comprehensive approach that considers all aspects of the business, from revenue and customer satisfaction to employee engagement and market share. You can position your business for long-term success in today’s competitive market by focusing on the 5 Y’s.