5 Steps to Building a Strong Business

Whatever road the economy travels this year, there are certain steps you can take to insulate your business against the extremes of any storm.

Strength in business comes from consistency and understanding how everything works as a process so that you are able to quickly and intuitively tweak things to cater for bumps in the road.

Here are some things to consider to achieve this level of rigour:

1.    Do you have a framework?

A framework can mean many things but I always think of building a business with strong foundations. For me, one of the critical foundations is having a process, or framework, in which you operate your business.

Any inconsistencies will show up within a framework and it provides the opportunity for maximum automation. You can make changes without creating confusion and everything within your business is trackable and traceable.

For me, CapsuleCRM is the solution to this requirement. With clear mechanisms to keep track of people, organisations, pipeline opportunities, existing projects and follow-ups it shows you exactly where you are in your business and where you need to focus.

2.    Be forward thinking

As business owners, we need to be able to look ahead and anticipate so it’s important that we aren’t stuck in the admin weeds of our own business. Being future focused will help us in many ways, the main ones being we can plan our time and resources and ensure we are equipped to deliver on our promises and, critically, we can see our cashflow and ensure we have plans for additional work by focusing on opportunities and not letting them slip between the cracks.

Cash, of course, is king. Without it none of us could survive and so your framework needs to include whatever digital accounting package you use. For me, Xero is an excellent option, it’s able to cope with the growth of your business, offers excellent quality reporting and integrates seamlessly with CapsuleCRM so you have everything you need at a glance.

If you view a client on Capsule, you can see instantly whether they have outstanding payments and this can help you manage the risks you are taking with credit.

3.    Nurture your existing clients

It’s well documented that it costs more in both time and money to find new clients, so when there’s a downturn, it can be a good strategy to focus on retention. Spending time on the finer points of delivery will ensure your clients have no reason to look elsewhere and will also remind them of the value you add to their own business.

Capsule enables you to set up tracks which are a series of timed actions. These can be used from anything from delivery of a project to customer experience journeys and so they add visibility and value right where you need it.

If you aren’t the only point of contact for your clients, Capsule’s Teams version means you can have everyone working from and following the same tracks so you achieve perfect consistency in what you do and how you do it.

4.    Evolve and adapt

The adaptations made by businesses during Covid19 were incredible. Practically overnight, many of us switched to online delivery and rode out the storm with the help of our business and supply communities.

To be able to adapt, you first need a line in the sand, which takes me back to point 1 and your business framework. Adapting Capsule is simple and I work with clients often to tweak their workflow or the data that they choose to record. It’s very sensible to revisit your processes prior to a potential downturn, to ensure they are up to date and fit for purpose. Then, any tweaks needed should be minor and will add instant value. For example, a couple of extra steps in your customer experience journey is easy to implement if you have a clear view of where the strengths and weaknesses lie.

5.    Don’t try to go it alone

Finally, back to your community. Whether you network or not, you’ll have a community of other businesspeople, perhaps suppliers, people you outsource things to, or even associates you sometimes partner up with and it’s really important to use this community when times are hard.

Sometimes just knowing you’re not alone is enough, but communities like Stronger Together, which I have been running since lockdown began, are incredible useful for sharing ideas and inspiration. This, of course, is important if you need to evolve your business to cope with bumpy ground.

Stronger Together is a group on LinkedIn and we meet online, monthly, and it’s free to be a part of. You can sign up for the next meeting here.

If you’d like to find out more about how we help our clients to grow their businesses, get in touch with Julia on 01635 592020, email Julia.blake@blakeconsultants.co.uk or book a Discovery call to have a chat.