WHAT IS LEVERAGE?
The concept of leveraging has something to do with taking advantage of all resources that are available to achieve new or additional objectives.
That is, how do you use existing capacities within an organization to achieve new output and eventually outcomes.
Why is Building Leverage Important in Enabling Resilience
This is so that you (owner, founder, CEO, directors) are able to grow your business, beyond the 24 hours that you have.
Lever #1 – Marketing & Branding Engine
The pandemic has made one thing very clear about one MAJOR weakness most SMEs and businesses have.
A sheer lack of a Digital and Online Marketing strategy!
Businesses were shoved into a lock-down, and most of them had the biggest slap in the forehead.
Here are a few key insights to be aware of…
Consumer Patterns are Changing
Your customers are changing from Traditional Sales to being Self Educated Buyers.
This is apparent when telemarketing, door-to-door sales, and cold calling were still popular. But these days, this form of sales & marketing is highly unfavorable.
As consumer patterns change toward being Self-Educated, businesses have to realize that consumers are doing a lot of their own research, comparisons, and learning, which means that customers only engage in the sales process when they are ready to make a decision.
What this means to businesses is that they have invested more information & education available online and the digital web, not just through social media pages, but also on their websites.
One Way Communication and Awareness…
The pandemic also spotlighted a deep weakness in how businesses manage their communication with customers.
Many businesses and SMEs were not able to keep communicating with their customers (ie. lack of contact details, email marketing engine, or even a proper Facebook or LinkedIn account), where they could stay connected with their customers.
Communication, Education, and Awareness seemed to be a one-way street, and once the sale was done (transaction completed), the education and awareness stopped, leaving out a massive opportunity for businesses to keep educating their consumers and adding more value to them!
Businesses are never profitable just by doing transacting one time with new customers. The profits are in the subsequent REPEAT business, and that it costs 7 times more money to get a new customer than it is doing business with a current one.
Lever #2 – Systems & Technology
An important lever, not an urgent one, that most businesses ONLY start building when they are desperate.
That is usually when:
- Employees are making repeat and similar mistakes
- Much of revenue generation is still dependent on the key people in the company, or the owner herself
- Redundant resources and repeat of work, and above needed manpower for every dollar of revenue generated*
So, what are systems?
First, the HARDWARE of your business.
Your hardware can be your computers, microphones, video cameras, office space, information servers, etc.
The second type of system is a common one that most people assume when I talk about systems, SOFTWARE.
This includes applications, cloud systems, project management, accounting, CRMs, etc.
Migrating to software will help you avoid mistakes, redundancy, and saves time as you generate data for decision making.
As you grow into a more established & mature business, your needs will go beyond off-the-shelf systems, and you will need more integrated systems like SAP.
The third type of system is least thought of, and these are the paperwork needed before you arrive at “moving to a software”, these are called PROCESS FLOWS.
These are a set of documentation of flowcharts, tables, checklists, forms, and templates. If you are a system or procedure-oriented person, you will appreciate a set of Process Flows in running your business.
Lever #3 – People & Education
Businesses can usually get the logical parts of it done, get the systems down to paper, and perhaps even develop the system.
However, most companies’ greatest bane will always be IMPLEMENTATION.
People & education in putting systems in place requires leaders to ensure a few key activities are in place…
#1 – Alignment:
This is a brainstorm and planning session, where future plans are laid out, common goals are discussed, and reviews of past outcomes are done with the team.
#2 – Review:
This is a process of getting the team’s input after a certain experience. Some people call this a post-mortem or debrief, and it means the same thing.
#3 – Feedback:
This is an intentional session of giving your employees feedback. Feedback is simply put, an intentional conversation of improving an employee’s set of behaviors in regard to an outcome.
#4 – Training:
This can happen in different ways. Most people think training is a one-day, one-way-street conversation. Wrong! For SMEs, training employees can happen through OTJ (on-the-job training), buddy systems, or even mentoring. *
Lever #4 – Resilient and Calm Mindset
Resilience begins with not grabbing at all straws, losing your marbles over what is happening.
There are 2 types of leaders & entrepreneurs: Ones that are INTENTIONAL, and ones that are ATTENTIONAL.
Attentional Leaders are just reacting to the environment, and the pandemic is the biggest part of that environment!
Versus, being an Intentional Entrepreneur. This requires you to see the big picture, see the forest for the trees, set aside ego, see beyond the pandemic, and see further than a year or so.
Intentional requires us to be purposeful. We cannot control the situation; we only have to manage our reaction to the situation.
Many of us try to lead our employees before we learn to lead ourselves. The damage to that, is we end up repeating similar mistakes with different people in our lives and businesses.
We are the Common Factor and Denominator; in everything we do. Until we realize that, we will take very little responsibility for the poor outcomes around us, and begin to be flexible in our approach with others.
Hence, understanding and being aware of your Leadership Intelligence and the behaviors that come with your style of leadership is pivotal for many business owners who want to grow.
Growth will start with you when you realize who you are.
Pandemic or not, it can be increasingly frustrating when we miss seeing the forest for the trees.
As you step back, remember to value everything else that your life also has, and not focus on what you don’t have.
Join my Webinar, “The Resilient Entrepreneur: Resilient Proof your Business“.
You will have a clearer picture of 4 LEVERS (and more).
More importantly, you get to ask me questions LIVE.