What are the hidden gems and purple elephants in your business?

Every business has them. Undiscovered potential for growth and profit hidden under layers of outdated policies, manual procedures and complacency with the status quo.

Consider the issues that need to be addressed to move forward. Those agenda items are like a big elephant taking up space in the office, too brightly colored to be missed, but ignored all the same. It can be the policy everyone knows is outdated, costing revenue in lost opportunities - or the employee that is well liked, but no longer pulling their weight.  Few people like conflict, but sometimes it's the only way to get the elephant moving. Does any of this sound familiar?

    • ​Sales people that are uninspired to exceed last quarters' numbers. They need just one more "thing"...sales brochure, training, feature upgrade, widget, silver bullet...the list never ends.
    • When pushed, those same sales folks site tougher competition "out there"  as to why they can't make their numbers. Their only solution is to discount prices or give away part of the business for "free." (By the way, I consider "free" to be a dirty four letter word)
    • Do you a have broken hiring system that is not attracting top notch candidates, making you feel trapped by the ones you have? I often say the most dangerous words in sales management is "gotta love the ones you have." No, you don't!
    • Do you have a weak training system that relies too heavily on individuals and has few standards? This inevitably leads to more errors, less profit and loosing your best new hires.
    • How good is your focus on the customer experience? Do you have a clear picture of how they are treated and how they feel from beginning to end? Do you know your average customer value? When are they most likely to leave you? Losing clients due to poor service, unmet expectations or billing issues means losing their revenue and also risking your brand reputation when they tell their peers of their experience.
    • Does your accounting system allow you to know what your cash flow, payables and net margin is daily? weekly? Or have you fallen in to a trap with too many "exceptions" or by one person that "rules the roost."?
    • Do you have clients that like you, but are still leaving for better prices, service or features?

    That last bullet point can bring a business and its' management to their knees. It saps the mojo from sales and has your best people looking to exit to better opportunities.

Marjorie Schoelles CEO, MsXmedia.com
Mermaid Sand

The days are gone where you could do a good job, get some referrals and have a good business. You can still do all that, but if you also want to grow consistently, with higher profit margins, it takes internal innovation and a superior sales and marketing plan. If you are not making effort to be visible online AND offline, filling your pipeline with new prospects, you are going backwards. It may not feel like it today, but believe me, you have competitors that are catching on and figuring out that online visibility is the gamechanger for small to medium size businesses"

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