You might not want to go to the moon, but you still need sound strategies.
Strategies can be divided between increasing revenue and cutting costs
Digital technology can help you with both these things. Help you to create a business that can work with a high degree of automation in delivering profitable growth and sustainability.
The important thing is to create the right strategies to achieve the right outcomes. Wrong strategies produce wrong outcomes, so it’s important to devote as much time as necessary to create the right strategies. Common sense? Yes, but rarely done.
Strategies to increase profitable revenue growth
- Improves your planning processes. If you don’t have a track record of successful planning it would be advisable to engage an advisor who has practical business planning experience.
- Customer service. Improve your customer service and the customer experience using digital technology.
- Education and training. Use digital technology and content marketing to develop an employee, volunteer training programs and a customer training program.
- Increase productivity of your staff. Recognise and reward employees and volunteers contributions to your digital strategies, and teach them skills they need in order to make improvements to their job roles.
- Develop new product and services. Survey your customers about new products and services digital technology can help them to solve their problems and frustrations and meet their wants and needs.
- Apply digital technology to the three ways to increase sales. Find new customers, increasing your pricing or increase customer’s frequency of purchasing.
- Find new markets. Use technology to support market research and to open up new market opportunities. Don’t overlook the possibilities of opening up export markets.
“The aim of a good strategy should be to understand the customer and the best technology to meet their wants and needs”. Peter Sergeant
Lead generation strategies can be enhanced with digital technology
- Do you collect information in a CRM and use it to inform marketing efforts?
- What information is a nice-to-have versus a must-have?
- Do you want to capture lead information from your website?
- What new fields do you currently or want to include on forms?
- Do you currently use market segmentation?
- How will you develop email marketing communications and automation?
- Do you currently include relevant call-to-actions on content posts or blogs?
- Have you established your lead scoring criteria?
- Have you performed A/B tests comparing two versions of a web page to see which one performs better and calls-to-action to increase click through rates?
- Do you want automated emails to be triggered by actions customers take on your website?
- Do you want the ability to create, edit, and publish landing pages and website pages?
- Will you be running ads, videos, podcasts to drive traffic to your website?
“Strategy formulation, then, is an ongoing requirement of good management, a process of perceiving new positions that woo customers from established positions or draw new customers into the market, a process you must permanently embed in your organisation”. Michael Porter
Strategies to decrease your costs
- Improve your value chain. Improve communications and transactions to maximise the potential of your value chain.
- Decrease inventory. Improving inventory management with digital technology. Automatic stock control, automatic ordering, managing critical parts and customer requirements.
- Decrease direct costs. Make sure you have the right suppliers for your business. and negotiate for better terms, prices or discounts.
- Buying in bulk. Use digital technology to aggregate orders.
- Decrease indirect costs. Minimise and errors in your business with better control using digital technology.
- Decrease overheads. Save on utilities and other costs with greater effectiveness, efficiency and accuracy.
- Benchmark key financial and non-financial aspects. Benchmarking your business using digital technology helps you compare and monitor your activities, and to compare with similar businesses in your industry or community.
- Use dashboards. Maintain good management control with real-time dashboards.
Prioritise your strategies
Once you have chosen strategies to make your business more profitable and sustainable, you should prioritise them in order of importance and impact on the organisation.
It’s a good idea document your objectives and the corresponding strategies to achieve them, and also how you plan to utilise digital technology or another process to implement your strategies.
Focus on your more profitable strategies. Focus on your products or services with the highest gross profit margin, they are the most important to your business, as they generate the most profit.
Once you have identified your most profitable activities you should concentrate on achieving better outcomes using digital technology. This may require you to rethink aspects of your business or to devise totally new strategies.
Consider using a practical digital technology business adviser to help you.
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While I believe artificial intelligence (AI) is overhyped in many ways, I’m extremely bullish about its potential, even when you factor in all the hype. There is a unique combination of factors that will make AI the most impactful technology in our lifetime.
Like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, it does take quality time to even start to understand what they are, never mind applying them to a small enterprise. But it will be worth the effort.
Studying the use of digital technology to create a recurring revenue model for your business will pay dividends. Finding ways to increase the number of times customers transact with you is a great way to build a more profitable and sustainable business.