Resetting seems to have become the buzzword of choice in the past two years. DAVID BROWN explains how to perform a successful internal review of a business.
Everything from COVID-19 to the economy is spoken about as the opportunity to flick the switch at the wall and boot things back up again.
Whether it’s in your personal life or business life, recent times may have caused you to rethink your priorities.
The purpose of this column is not to focus on your personal priorities but those of your business.
Are you focussing your business life in an area that will provide you with what you want – both in terms of satisfaction and financial rewards?
If not, then in which areas do you need to clean the hard drive and relaunch the applications?
As I often point out to jewellers, many business practices grow haphazardly and without planning and it pays to re-evaluate whether they are achieving what is intended or if they are even needed at all.
Here are few things for you to consider when undertaking a review.
Who are your preferred customers?
This question differs from ‘who are your customers’ as it doesn’t assume you are currently attracting the customers you want – with no disrespect to your existing customer base.
Who are you aiming to attract? What is the demographic and profile of your typical customer? The more clearly you can see your ideal customer the more likely you are to attract them.
The more carefully defined your target market the more likely they will hear what you have to say. Consumers are inundated with thousands of messages every day from hundreds of business entities.
If you’re not speaking specifically to your ideal customer and their current needs, you will be drowned out by those who do.
Where are your opportunities?
What are the best opportunities for your business in the future? Is it where you are currently concentrated? Are there new opportunities in your region or market in which you can take advantage? Who could you be working with to expand your business?
Many other businesses already have the customers you may want to appeal to. Before newlyweds buy their wedding rings, they have probably booked their photographer.
What can you do to build a relationship and a win/win with that photographer? In what similar situations can you develop your relationships?
Who is your competition?
Competitive threats don’t just come only from your jewellery competition locally, in fact increasingly they may be coming from other businesses who don’t even operate in your country. Increasingly jewellers face competition, not only from other jewellers and even other retailers but also from the online world and the ‘experiences’ industry.
Anyone else who is taking dollars from your clientele is a threat to you.
Social media has seen huge growth in people wanting to show what they have done, as much as what they have got.
The travel industry, restaurants and other activities have suffered greatly in recent times and many jewellers have benefitted from their loss.
However, this situation won’t continue indefinitely and you need to prepare for a resumption of normal activity if they haven’t happened already.
What processes need improving?
Are your systems current for what the business needs or did they come about by chance? When did you last review them?
What processes need to be improved or eliminated altogether?
What are the current threats to your livelihood?
I recently heard of a successful retail business on the edge of a town that had a busy road passing in front of their store.
The authorities decided to replace the road with a motorway that took two years to build, and the business was ruined practically overnight.
Not all problems can be foreseen but where we are aware of threats, we need to be proactive about how we will deal with them.
What staff do you need?
Much like your systems your staffing requirements can grow of their own accord too. Not only do you need to consider the number of staff but the skills they require.
The roles you require filled don’t always match your current staff and the skills
that they have.
It’s important to review staffing requirements and the performance of the keys players you have in each role.
If you want to increase diamond sales and you don’t have the staff with the skills to do this, you will be facing issues.