Monthly Archives: May 2015

How To Create SMART Goals To Grow Your Business

Goal_Setting_is_SMART_Business

Where are you and your business now? Where do you want it be in the future?

It really doesn’t matter what kind of business you have or what size your business is, you will achieve a lot more in less time if you have well defined specific goals.  One great way to do so is by developing SMART Goals.

SMART GOALSSMART Goals are:

Specific – Ensure you have a well-defined goal.  State what you want to achieve and when you want it accomplished by. Also look at how this goal will be achieved.

Measurable – Define how you will measure progress and the end result of the goal. Create a plan to achieve the goal with targets and milestones so you know you are moving in the right direction.

Attainable – Make sure your goal is attainable and not out of reach. Setting unattainable goals will only set you up for failure!

Realistic – You want goals that can be accomplished and that lead to steady improvement.

Timely– Putting a timetable on your goals will allow you to accomplish more while measuring the progress you are making towards your end result.

Because of these factors, anyone using SMART goals is forced to be accountable which ultimately makes  reaching your goals much more achievable. Accomplishing these goals will give you a boost of self-confidence and enthusiasm going forward that will push you and your business to far greater success.

When you have your well-defined goals set make sure to give them a prominent place on your desk in work, or hanging on the wall. Wherever you decide to place your goals make sure it’s somewhere you will see them often and that will keep you focused on achieving them.

Don’t forget to review your goals along the timeline set to see if you are on track. And if you’re not doing so well, identify why and what can be done to fix this.

The only way to grow and improve is though meeting your goals! You can use SMART Goals in everything you do, from living a healthier lifestyle to taking the vacation of your dreams and building the business you’ve always wanted.

So what do you want to accomplish, personally or professionally, over the next few months, the year, or in the next couple of years, and how will your goals and planning get you there?

If you would like to learn more about Goal Setting then come along to our next Business Planning Workshop taking place on the 18th June in Dublinand Cork.

Click Here for more information and to register your place.

Why 80% Of Small Businesses Fail & What To Do About It

Business-Success-Failure

According to Bank of Ireland 66% of all business start-ups will fail in their first five years. Ulster Bank have put this figure at 50%.

One of the fundamental reasons for this, is lack of planning!

Having worked with Business Owners across the length and breath of the country for the last 14 years, we have found that a staggering 80% of Small Businesses without a Business Plan will fail in their first 5 years.

Whichever way you look at it these are very worrying statistics and we need to reverse these trends as a matter of urgency.

There are many reasons why businesses fail in Ireland. See the list below for some of the main reasons:

1. Absence of planning, direction and accountability.

2. Poor cash-flow management.

3. Lack of skills and business knowledge within the organisation.

4. Reluctance on behalf of the business owners to seek outside help in a timely manner.

5. Stress from all of the above leading to burn-out and business breakdown.

When compiling a business plan – it is crucial that Business Owners include the following elements:

• Sales and Marketing: How you plan to grow and sustain your business –  be sure to set out specific & measurable targets.

• Cash-flow Management: Carry out a regular cash-flow analysis so you can plan for those cash-gaps and surpluses.

• Team Building: Ensure your have a system to hire, train, motivate and retain great team members.

• Systemise the Business: What systems could you introduce to make your business run more efficiently?  Set a timeline to implement these systems!

• Time Management:  Introduce a default diary to prioritise workload.

• Accountability: What KPIs have you set out for your staff, and what incentives are in place to encourage them to take ownership and be accountable for results.

In most instances any of the difficulties listed above can be overcome with some effective planning and by seeking professional advice on time. A Business Coach can provide the expertise to help Business Owners and Managers implement and execute a business plan that will guarantee survival and deliver sustainable growth.

Our vision for Irish SME’s is very simple – Teach business owners how to run their businesses better so that we can change the statistics. Imagine the impact this would have on our communities in Ireland if our SME sector thrived in the next 5 years as opposed to becoming one of the above statistics!

If you would like to learn more about Business Planning then come along to our next Business Planning Workshop taking place on the 18th June in Dublin and Cork.

Click Here for more information and to register your place.

Email planning Dublin 18th June

5 Ways To Drive Profitability

drive profitability

Every business is made up of 5 key profit generating areas which we like to call the Business Chassis. These are the five things that all businesses should have in common.

  1. Leads. This is the total number of leads – those people who have contacted or who have been contacted by the business – over the course of a year.
  2. Conversion rate. This is the percentage of people who actually bought. For example, if 10 people walk through a store and three people buy something, that store’s conversion rate of 3 out of 10, or 30%, for that day.
  3. Average euro sale. This is the average euro amount per sale – estimated over the course of a year. It’s just an average, and can range from €5 or €10 (say for a discount retailer) and up to tens of thousands of euros (say for a car dealership).
  4. Average number of transactions. This is the number of purchases the average customer will make over the course of a year. Again, this can be an estimate. In a retail setting, this will probably be larger than those companies that operate in a professional services industry.
  5. Profit margin. This is the profit percentage of each and every sale. Simply put, if a business sells something for €100, and profit was €25, the profit margin is 25%.

The sad thing is most business owners don’t know the numbers associated to any of these five areas even though they are a critical part to running any business.

Let’s first examine “why” these areas are so critical to your business. These five components are called the Business Chassis because your entire business “runs” on these components. No business operates without them and when you consider them as a maths equation, they represent the fundamental math that leads to business growth and success or business failure and death.

The “5 Ways” formula used these components to help drive profits. See the formula below:

Lead Generation x Conversion Rate = Average Number of Customers

Number of Customers x Average Euro Sale x Average Number of Transactions = Revenues

Revenues x Profit Margins = € Profits

In your company, let’s say you have either estimated or fully determined the following numbers:

4,000 x 25% = 1000 Customers

1000 x €100 x 2 = €200,000 Revenue

€200,000 x 25% = €50,000 Profit

What does all of this mean?

Simply put, you are running a business that converts 1 in 4 prospects into paying customers, and those customers average two purchases at €100 per purchase each year – and your company enjoys a 25% profit margin on revenues of €200,000.

It also means your total profit for the year is €50,000.

So what would happen if, over the course of the next year, you could increase results by just 10% in each of the 5 areas?

Let’s do it, and then let’s take a look at what happens to your bottom line:

4,400 x 27.5% = 1210 Customers

1210 x €110 x 2.2 = €292,820 Revenue

€292,820 x 27.5% = €80,525.50 Profit

Small improvements focused on each of these five areas will have a dramatic increase in your business. Sound too good to be true? It is real- trust me!

This is a POWERFUL concept that most business owners overlook. Simply understanding how the math equation works is game-changing. Then taking the time to develop the specific strategies to use to make the improvement happen can change the future course of your business.

 

10 Top Tips For Marketing

10 Top Tips for MarketingMarketing is critical to the success of any business and is an important effort in gaining prospect attention, building product or service demand and winning customers. Here are some top tips to help you improve marketing in your business:

1. Know Your Customer

You cant sell to them if you don’t know them!

2. Observe The Marketing Environment

Changes will happen in the environment and you must learn how to adapt to these changes and see the opportunities available.

3. Tailor Product/Service For Your Customers

Research what your customer needs and wants from your product or service, often we can presume we know best without having asked the customer.

4. Outstanding Customer Service

The process of conducting business is almost as important as the product or service you are offering. Word of mouth is a powerful selling tool and customer service is a great way to generate it.

5. Communication and Advertising Strategy

This is key to ensuring a sound marketing campaign, which will make the customers aware of a product they haven’t even heard of before.

6. Invest In Your Employees

Your employees are representing your business, look after them and give them the training they need to be the best they can be at there jobs.

7. Great Presentation

This is your customers first impression of you and can be influential in the decision making process and generating trust in your brand.

8. Have a Pricing Strategy

Don’t just price based on costs plus a margin. Look at what you are trying to achieve and what message you are giving out by setting your price at a certain level.

9. Respond Well To Complaints

This is your opportunity to turn the customer around, try to respond quickly and positively.

10. Have a Marketing Plan

Develop your strategy in the form of a written marketing plan, this will help ensure everyone in the business understands the direction the company is going.

If you would like to learn more about Marketing  come along to our half day Marketing For Real Results Workshop Thursday 14th May. Click here for more details and to register your place today.

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