Metrics: Regular maintenance of your company’s condition

Hallelujah! This month, I paid off my Mercedes ML350. And I couldn’t be happier. However, something I must continue doing if I want to keep driving my baby is maintain it. This applies to business as well. If you want to maintain your company’s health, you need to do the work to keep it healthy. Here is an easy maintenance checklist you can use to make sure your business is tuned up and streamlined for long-term health.

  1. Lead funnel
  2. Sales process
  3. Cash flow
  4. Budget check
  5. Customer relationship management
  6. Team structure
  7. Team culture
  8. Technology
  9. Infrastructure
  10. Legal structure

Let’s break this down.

Lead funnel and sales process: How do customers get introduced to your company? What path do you walk your customers down to guide them to a sale? This is your lead funnel. You service your lead funnel with a well put together sales process. This may include a combination of tactics such as social media, article marketing, newsletters, personal calls, gifts and value added incentives, and bundling, among others. A review of your process on your business maintenance checklist, whether it be annual or multiple times a year, will keep your sales machine humming.

Cash flow and budget check: Cash is king in business and cash flow, along with budget control, is important. Cash flow is created by a good lead funnel and sales process. To monitor your cash flow in relation to sales, you will want to keep an eye on overhead, conversion rates, and cost of team, partners, or employees. Marketing costs should have a conversion rate associated with it so you can tell what is working and what isn’t. Cash flow and budget management is the oil on a business maintenance checklist that keeps a business moving along smoothly.

Customer relationship management: Once you have a customer, you will need a system to manage that relationship. This covers the way customers are communicated to, inside or outside of a sales process. It also relates to how they are invoiced, how issues are resolved, and if you have a mechanism in place for referral. Customer relationship management is the steering wheel that keeps everything on track. Be sure its on your business maintenance checklist.

Team structure and team culture: Your team carries the vibe of your organization. They can either take you higher or shoot you in the foot. Do you have the right players on your team? Do you have the right roles in place? Do those roles actively add to the bottom line of your company? Additionally, you need to do a pulse check on how everyone works together. Does your team buy in to the company culture? Is your work place one of harmony? These are some questions to consider for your business maintenance checklist. Good team structure and team culture will propel your business forward.

Technology, infrastructure, and legal structure: This is the frame of your organization and something you should never leave off your business maintenance checklist. Review your technology. Are you using the best software for your needs? How about hardware? An equipment failure at the last minute could put you behind. How are you doing with plant and equipment? Does your infrastructure support what you need? Is it too much? Is it too little? How are you doing legally? If you are a sole proprietor, have you grown to the point where you need to consider becoming an LLC? What legal structure suits your needs?

If you need help with your business maintenance checklist, you can also hire a coach once a year to check out all the moving parts. A coach will give you outside perspective which is necessary to avoid driving with dim lights or a tail light out. A different point of view could make all the difference in the ongoing maintenance of your business.

Contact What Works Coaching if you need help. 

Low budget? Here’s how to save $$$$!

Recently, we’ve had the opportunity to work with several wonderful companies across the nation. All of them faced a similar issue. “We need help but agencies want to charge us an arm and a leg to do it for us.” My response to that is, “well, how much are you able to do on your side?” Inevitably, the client will come up with a list of marketing activities they could use current staff to do. At that point, they start to see that human resources are usable to get things done. Need a business to business database? How about setting your admin loose on the Internet and having them pick up the phone to get names, numbers and addresses? LinkedIn is a fabulous resource that can get you in front of the right people. Need to revitalize your social media? How about educating that excited young intern on how to execute your social campaigns? Two private hours invested in development can lead to hundreds of hours of execution, a project you didn’t have to pay an agency for.

Every marketing tactic has a hard cost and a sweat equity cost. When executing your campaigns, weigh the cost of each. Could you develop your team through education to get it done at a lower cost?

These days, there’s an agency for everything: advertising, marketing, social media, direct marketing, pay-per-click, copywriting, graphic design, web design – and yes, we have these experts at our disposal too. However, if you have a low budget, nothing delivers results per dollar like education.

Today’s Exercise: Take some notes! What do you need done? Write the project name at the top of a piece of paper. Then, make two columns. Column One: Resources I Have, Column Two: Resources I Need.  Now, next to those two columns, add two more columns with a $. This represents what those resources will cost you to complete the project.  (Feel free to budget if you don’t know the actual cost of what you need.)  Now, look at what you need. Is there any way you can leverage what you have to fill any of those needs? Change the columns until the budget fits your target amount.

This simple exercise will help you resource plan your project. Need to talk it out? Do so in the comments below. Need help resource planning your next project? Can’t make it fit within your budget?  Contact us.