Saturday, June 2, 2012

Taking on More Than You can Handel

When you take on too much, your business can’t keep up and therefore you can easily lose control of everything and find yourself barely functioning. You want your business to be successful, no doubt, but you need to have a plan for how you will handle the growth. Your clients expect great customer service and highly quality products/services, they don’t know or care about your behind the scenes operations to get those things done.

·       Look for these signs that you are taking on more than you can handle:

·       Clients’ needs aren’t being met.

·       Employee morale is low, clients are upset and you’re in a panic.

·       You have to react in emergency mode to save accounts.

·       Your current clients are suffering from trying to keep up with new business.

·       Profits are going down.

·       You are just trying to pick up the pieces of your business.

·       Your clients/customers leave.

·       Resources are being reallocated.

There a trick called the Mock Fish Plan. This plan can help you react positively when you are facing some or all of these things and help you get your business back on track. This plan will:

·       Help increase sales in a short period of time.

·       Alter your products/services for the better.

·       Fulfill promises you made to your clients.

There are six steps to this plan:

  1. Bring in your best team and have them all help to meet the fish needs.
  2. Review your operational system.
  3. Anticipate future problems better.
  4. Communicate better.
  5. Include costs in your quotes.
  6. Always have a back-up plan.

All Your Eggs in One Basket

You can allow your company to become dependent on any one fish. Eventually or for certain periods there is going to be a slowing down period with your fish. In order to stay in the game you need to diversify.

If you’ve ever mishandled a fish, you could drive away potential fish as well. In order to keep balance and prepare for a strong future, there are a few things you can do.

·       These things include:

·       Stay in the loop and try to know what’s going on inside your fish company.

·       Constantly reinvent yourself and stay at the top of your industry.

·       Stay exclusive.

·       Try to secure multi-year commitments and contracts.

·       Spread your contracts out.

·       Price your products/services correctly.

You also need to work to reduce your dependency on your fish. This can generally be measures in sales or profits. Take a look back at the process we’ve used thus far to snag more fish to keep this all in balance.
These are the ways you can help avoid the killer mistakes that can make you lose it all.

Up Cash Creek Without a Paddle.

Even when business is good there’s still a change of running out of cash flow. You have to always be prepared for a slow in sales or a surge in expenses. One of the keys to balancing your cash flow is to get your clients to pay on time. This can seem like a nightmare, but is absolutely essential to a successful business.

Here are some tips to speed up the payment process:

·       Always send invoices on time and adjust your records for potential audits.

·       Learn how the client processes payments on their side and find out precisely where to send invoices.

·       Find out who’s in charge of processing orders and payment, so you know who to contact if needed.

·       Have a follow-up procedure in place, just in case.

·       As a last resort, call your contact to ask questions.

·       Always make sure your invoices are correct before sending them out.

You also need to make sure your cash flow is protected. You can do this by:

·       Always know which accounts need paid and when.

·       Negotiate with your suppliers for the lowest cost possible.

·       Have a bank contingency plan in place.

·       Build your own inventor network.

These are all great ways to protect the cash flow of your business and prepare for fish transitions and slow sales. These last few lessons are all about finding and catching your big fish clients. These clients are essential to your success and your need to take the time to work through each of these steps carefully and correctly for the best success.  If you need more help in these areas, just contact me and we will help you with business and the transformation of your business.