When to Re-Think Your Business Strategy
The world of business can be an ever-changing tapestry of conditions and problems. No one strategy can carry a business from decade to decade. The general economy, taxes, product availability and the changing tastes of customers all create constant challenges. A number of signs can indicate that its time to review your business strategy to ensure that you have taken these changes into account. Monetary Losses One of the first ways a business owner realizes that something is wrong is through monetary losses. This problem may be felt as reduced sales, increased costs or a variety of other situations that hurt the bottom line. Unfortunately, this realization often occurs after the fact, at the end of a financial quarter or year. Analyzing financial data on a weekly or monthly basis is a more advantageous way to catch problems before they become deeply ingrained. You can begin to re-think your business, marketing or distribution strategy to counteract the current conditions. Voice of the Customer Your customer can often tell you exactly what is wrong with your business before you even know it. He will be the one to feel the full effect of your business strategy in an immediate way. Whether the problem is in the product, cost, shipping, customer service, technical support or other deficiency, he will be able to tell you how it affected him, and probably how it affects others, as well. Business owners should always explore new ways to listen to the voice of customer (VOC), whether through satisfaction surveys, customer service requests or direct face-to-face contact. Keeping the lines of communication open with your customers can ensure that your business is serving the public well. Analyzing Your Data Profit is not the only way to determine whether your business is succeeding. You must also manage costs for the future, determine marketing strategies and consider the changing economic conditions, not only in the nation, but also in your local community. Targeting your marketing efforts can save money and increase sales. Determining how people in your community are choosing to spend their money can help you to offer products they desire. Keeping a close eye on insurance costs, supplies, shipping costs and personnel costs can allow business owners to re-think current strategies and make rapid adjustments. Where to Make Changes The businesss sales staff, administrative staff, purchasing staff and management are often helpful in determining where changes are most needed. These people are often on the front lines of your strategy and sense when something goes out of kilter. Encourage input from these sources to ensure that your strategy is functioning as it was intended.