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Case Studies – Lucrature – Business Consultants

What our customers are achieving.

Working together we can achieve amazing results. Our Financial Peak Performance Framework has helped countless businesses increase profit, reduce stress, and create freedom for the owners. 

Here is an example of  just some of the work we have done with clients:

1) Commercial Cleaning business increased revenue by 100% and profit by 50% and freed up time so the owner could take off 2 days per week to focus on other things.

 

2) Construction business went from a $-6000 loss to a $100,000 profit in the first 2 months (that’s 16 times more profit). This journey is not over, we plan to double that again.

 

3) Emergency Trades business doubled profit and grew sales by 40%. More importantly, they had more money in the bank and felt more secure and less stressed.

 

4) Customer Call Centre business increased customer service from 49% to 99% and unlock 15% more capacity to better serve customers.

 

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Best Business Consultant in Sydney

Grow Faster with the Best Business Consultant in Sydney.

Book a Consultation 

We can help you right now if you:

  • Feel you are working tirelessly with nothing left in the tank or the bank to show for it.
  • Believe you do much more but just need some direction to take the next step.
  • Need support and accountability to focus on the right things at the right time.
  • Feel trapped in the daily grind “on the tools” and can’t focus on growing your profit.
  • Lost the love for your business and want to get it back.

Get a competitive advantage with our proven framework. By customizing our Profit Growth Framework to your situation we accelerate your results.

We find opportunities faster, take action faster, and get results faster. Using a proven framework reduces your risk and makes our services more affordable (no need to build solutions from scratch).

We understand the challenges you face with cash flow, profit, finance, and staffing.

As a business consultant for 20+ years, we have worked with many businesses across all industries. We use the expertise gained to help solve the challenges you face every day.

Our proven Operating Model helps solve them faster.

When you partner with us and we will work together to identify growth opportunities to get you more money, more time, and more freedom.

Don’t wait jump on a no-obligation clarity call with us today.

I bet by simply getting clarity around your challenges, it will make this the best call you have today!

Problems We Solve

  1. Time Management – you can’t be in 2 places at once when you’re focused on sales operations slip when on the tools sales drop off. It’s an impossible situation. We have the tools to help get you focused on the key things you need most.
  2. Make More Money – Sales, money, and profit are bumpy – it’s feast or famine. You’re always chasing your tail and just can’t seem to get ahead. A clear and profit-driven pricing strategy is key here.  But don’t forget about the Customer – it’s all about customer value.
  3. Human Resource Management – Staff shortages, communication challenges, and lack of accountability, all drag down your profit performance, not to mention the mood and morale of your people. Don’t worry you don’t have to be an HR guru. We set up the structure to make managing your people easy.
  4. Lost the love – once we take away the stress and you start achieving your goals you will get the love back again.

Running a business is like running a sports team. you need everyone working together to get the best performance.

You are the team manager.

Let us be the coach!

Get our Operating Model

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Case Study: HOW A COMMERCIAL CLEANING BUSINESS DOUBLED PROFIT AND HAPPINESS

Case Study: HOW A COMMERCIAL CLEANING BUSINESS DOUBLED PROFIT AND HAPPINESS

The Catalyst

Igor came to me frustrated. He had lost focus in his business, the fun was gone, he was tired and felt suffocated. Don’t get me wrong it was profitable but the workload was growing much faster than the profits.

He was the only decision-maker in his business, was working a lot more hours than he wanted to, and felt it was destroying his family life. Igor had been thinking about throwing it all in.

In a last-ditch attempt to rekindle his passion he reached out to me.

The Discovery

Igor was perhaps the nicest, most frustrated Business Owner I had ever met. Like many entrepreneurs, he had his fingers in many pies and was chasing a number of new shiny objects (that were not his core business).

Igor wanted to reduce costs because he’d identified he was over-paying staff for jobs, as each job was fixed and the staff was getting them done in record time.

However, during our Roadmap session, it became clear that neither his sales nor his delivery processes were aligned to the one thing he was known for in the industry Quality.

I had to find a way to explain that over-payment of staff was not his biggest concern, I didn’t think he should focus on reducing costs…. Let me explain…

The Prognosis

Igor is a process guy, he loves processes and he had them very well put together. However, After our review and some “back of the envelope” calculations I discovered that whilst staff were being overpaid for jobs the real gold was not in reducing costs but reallocating the lost time to create more revenue.

The job pricing contained a significant level of subjectivity. There is nothing wrong with adjusting pricing to win jobs, but they should start from an objective point.

The sales process was set as a low-cost, high-volume model. This is not suitable for a high-quality service provider. We had to change to attract and convert customers looking for the highest quality service, not the cheapest.

The Solution

Using our Financial Peak Performance™ framework, we restructured the sales processes to focus on quality and highlighted the already great processes in place.

We also created an extremely objective pricing model based on existing “perfect client” jobs. These changes are scary because they reduce the number of jobs in the pipeline you’re actually going to bid on.

The pricing model provided objective specific time allocation to jobs, this allowed us to reset the existing staff expectations on each job to a realistic workload estimate. Overall time was reduced on most jobs with staff being offered more jobs to compensate.

The Result

Igor wrote me an email right after our Roadmap session, I was touched by his message:

“Thank you for everything! I feel like we have done or at least touched on many things that can be improved. I feel like you have increased my lungs capacity and now I can breath better …”

Wow and we’ve just begun. That was the beginning of a great professional and personal relationship.

We revamped the sales process, Igor already had so many great processes; a quality audit process, job review regular before and after pics, staff job proof sheets, and very personal service touches. These were fantastic but not covered in his sales material.

The current pricing model was not focused on the quality that was offered, we changed the offering to a 3 tiered pricing model based on the level of quality. Igor was skeptical “In this business everyone is focused on price rather than the value”. But he was willing to give it a try.

Under the new approach, he disqualified more customers over the phone, however, the conversion rate for customers visited more than doubled, and 70% of new customers chose a higher level of service than increasing both the sales value and the margin.

With the new pricing model and the approach Net Profit on new customers increased by 100%.

Through the new pricing model, we also discovered that a segment of the existing customer base was highly profitable whilst others were actually losing money. This meant that some customers were propping up the business whilst others were dragging it down. We went through a repricing exercise to ensure the business no longer had loss-making customers – whilst this can be a risky undertaking we had a very clear strategic plan and approach making it hugely successful.

What about the staff over-payments you ask…?

Using the same pricing model we could accurately assess job times, Igor set about improving training and mentor-ship across the staff.

Over time the staff job payments started to come back into alignment, this was done slowly and deliberately as Igor valued his staff and did not want to lose anyone over this process. Once the staff understood what he was trying to achieve and why they were onboard with minimal disruption, in fact, some staff even came to the party by offering ideas to speed up the jobs without compromising quality.

Whilst he had increased profit on the pricing side, he also reduced job costs by 10% in a fair way (by improving effectiveness) – wow that’s a double whammy.

Net Profit, cash flow, and staff morale were up. Igor had the confidence and freedom to step away from his business (a key goal) reducing 5 days to 3.

When we caught up just before I was heading off to Europe of business, he said to me “I have gained energy and a spark back in my business. I have financial stability and time for my family. Thank you, I am enjoying my business and my life again!”

Want some help?

Do you want some help to grow profit, get off the tools, and enjoy the life your business can provide?

Discover a proven framework that can be customized for your business. You too can get the fantastic results Igor got – or maybe even better results…

Book an Appointment today 

 

Other great articles:

Efficiency of Business! Business performance management.

Efficiency of Business! Business performance management.

Efficiency of Business! Business performance management.

Now more than ever efficiency of business is key to success. If you are looking for ways to improve the efficiency of your business you are in the right place!

In this article we will show you:

  • The 1 catastrophic efficiency mistake too many Business Owners make that costs them thousands of dollars! Beware!
  • How to get started with Business Performance management in your business.
  • Simple, typical efficiency analysis and the Massive opportunities it presents.

Why is Business Efficiency Important?

The current challenges:

  • Staff shortages
  • Increased wages bills
  • Supply chain issues
  • Inflation
  • Interest rate increases
  • Increased cost of materials
  • Increased cost of living

And more.. Have led us to where we are now.

Some might say businesses simply increase their prices to cover costs. If you provide a unique product or service that may be possible (electric, gas, staple food items), but for many businesses, there is only so much they can pass on.

Demand for products and services will reduce and the business suffers (your costs don’t necessarily go down just because you sell less stuff).

The efficiency of business starting right now will play a vital part in the future success of your business. Business Performance Management is the key!

Before we get deep into this let’s review the definition of business efficiency:

Business Efficiency Definition

Efficiency is a ratio of cost. It measures how well you manage the cost to achieve a predetermined outcome (e.g. produce at a certain level of quality). The cost may be money, time, energy or any other resource that you dedicate to run your business.

Pretty broad huh?

What about Business Productivity Definition?

There are some technical differences between these terms in economics, but essentially for our discussion, they mean the same thing.

I like to measure the Efficiency of Business with a simple formula:

Output/Input = Efficiency (per input)

E.g. If I install TV antennas and I can yesterday I installed 10 antennae over a 5 hrs shift I would have installed 2 antennae per hr.

(for more information on how to set up KPi check out the KPI Masterclass article )

That was my efficiency of business score – but was it efficient?

Well to understand that we must engage in Business Performance Management.

Business Performance Management

To perform effective business performance management we must understand where we want to be, where we have been, and where we are now.

Is our current efficiency of business score good? How long is a piece of string?

The goal of any business owner should be to the business efficiency by making lots of small and perhaps some big improvements over time.

Therefore we want to track efficiency overtime on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

Ideally, you will also have a target.

Often Business Owners get hung up on how to set targets. There is no need to get it perfect it’s just the starting point.

Here is an easy way to get started – you can start by simply choosing the best score you had in history or if you feel that was just a lucky shot then the best score that happened more than once.  The goal will be to beat that score.

Cost vs Opportunity

When looking at efficiency there is one massive mistake that most Business Owners make, and it costs them thousands of dollars every single year!

DO NOT assume Efficiency gain should be taken as a cost saving.

All too often I see businesses only focus on efficiency when they want to cut costs.  This is a massive mistake. Instead:

  • Embed efficiency into everyday life (we use our Active Management™ System.
  • View each efficiency gain as an opportunity. Can you use that time, money, and energy gained to refocus on sales, or invest in uncovering more efficiency opportunities. This will further increase your gains.
  • Assess the long-term strategic benefit for efficiency gains to choose how best to use them.

Businesses that don’t just survive, but thrive in any economic environment understand the long-term strategic value of efficiency gains and they use them wisely.

You should too!

Massive Opportunity Available

Can you see the massive opportunity these two graphs represent?

These are 2 simple graphs based on a real client that provides logistics to the construction industry. We simply plotted the deliveries and pick-ups over time.

What do you see?

(Figure 1)

In Figure 1 above S2 has good and smooth capacity use of around 80%. S1 on the other hand is more volatile and consistently below S2.

Closing the gap by bringing S1 closer to S2 will increase revenue by up to 30% with almost no additional cost.

(Figure 2)

Efficiency of Business! Business performance management.In this (Figure 2) Scenario we see even more opportunity with a gap of 61%. Filling that capacity would provide almost 100% more revenue with no additional cost.

Important – don’t make this mistake:

Whilst we have been focused on efficiency here it is extremely dangerous to focus on efficiency of business in isolation.  It can have catastrophic long-term consequences (more info on that here). Please don’t do it!

Other things to consider:

Want some Help?

Book your free 15 Min clarity call. We’ll see if we’re a good fit to help you. If not we will try to recommend someone who can.

Other topics you may be interested in:

About the Author:

Hi I’m Brad Horan, I’M THE BUSINESS PROFIT GROWTH EXPERT.

I’m not your typical Accountant. I’m creative, I’ve more than 10 friends, and people (sometimes) laugh at my jokes.

Over the last 2 decades, I earned a reputation for solving complex business problems by applying both analytics and creativity to identify simple, successful solutions.

I’ve always been focused on helping businesses succeed but about 13 years ago something remarkable happened…

Before this remarkable event, I helped businesses around the globe and got great results, but it always seemed so hard. Something was missing…

I was working on a profit growth solution to free up staff time and improve efficiency. We set the solution in motion but it just wasn’t working.
I was lost. Why wasn’t it working?

We tried everything but just couldn’t figure it out…

Then I reached out to a friend who was an expert in the use data to drive manufacturing decisions. I called him and we put our heads together.

Ahh huh, we realized the solution was sound, the data was good.

What we needed was a framework to manage the decision-making process.

It hit me this is the “missing link”!

So simple! I can’t believe I’d overlooked this.

We knew we were onto something and we started working together consulting to major businesses across the world with phenomenal success…

Today I use the framework to help Business Owners like you get more profit, more time, and more flexibility from your business.

If you want to learn about how the framework might help you and your business Book an appointment.

We’ll see if we’re a good fit to help you. If not we will try to recommend someone who can.

Small Business Owner Burnout

4 Tips to eliminate Small Business Owner Burnout, and Get Your Life Back

Burnout happens to everyone at some point or another. It’s widespread among Small Business Owners because of the many expectations put on us.

You are the boss. You are the problem-solver, you should have all the answers.

No matter how difficult the questions might be.

Small Business Owner Burnout is not one specific thing. It’s an accumulation of stresses that deplete our energy, increase negative thoughts, and reduce productivity.

Burnout causes us to lose our passion for our business. This, in turn, increases stress and fatigue. Leading to more burnout! – it’s a vicious cycle.

Luckily there are some proven ways to reduce and recover from Small Business Owner burnout.

1. Build a team you love and trust

Building a team is not as simple as hiring the right people. It’s much more than that. What makes a strong team is teamwork.

Every person has strengths and weaknesses (you included). Working on those strengths and weaknesses together gives your team confidence to get the job done.

Even when you’re not there.

This starts to create some freedom to reduce Small Business Owner burnout and get your life back.

2. Delegate the “on the tools work”

Your biggest value is no longer “working on the tools”. Making sure your teams have everything they need adds more value than doing the job yourself.
As a Small Business Owner, your job is to make sure your team is successful for you. You won’t see that value until you can get off the tools.

3. Connect with the things you love.

You started your business because you were passionate about what you were good at. You wanted freedom, to connect with family and friends.

But the reality of business is very different. You find yourself working ultra-long hours, sometimes for less money, and more stress.

Take the time to connect with your passions, with your friends and family.

Remember why you got into business.

4. Share the burden

All too often I see Small Business Owners taking on the burden of solving every problem on your own. If two heads are better than one why not ten heads? Or more?

If you have a problem or opportunity, present it to the staff, ask them for ideas and solutions. Let them take responsibility to put the solution into action.

This reduces your burden, whilst energizing your staff, creating a sense of purpose, and building a better team.

In principle these things are simple. But in practice, it can be really hard.

You may feel you are “airing your dirty laundry” to your staff, it feels like you are giving up control, or giving away your secrets, and uncovering all your vulnerabilities.

It is scary at first, every one of my clients is hesitant to start, but we do it together in a professional, and highly effective manner.

Once you do these 4 things I guarantee:

  • Significant weight will lift from your overburdened shoulders.
  • Your energy levels will increase.
  • Your business will make more money.
  • You will have more time to focus on what you love, and
  • You will get the passion back for your business.

Often the first step is the hardest, but once you make it, everyone around you will love you for it (including you).

Small Business Owner Burnout can lead to serious mental health issues:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Lost relationships
  • Family tension
  • Money worries
  • High staff turnover
  • Low self-esteem
  • Serious stress-related health conditions
  • Suicide

If you know someone that may be suffering from burnout, reach out and connect with them. If there are health concerns get them the help they need.

Want help?

Lucrature® – is a Business Advisory Service in Sydney. We have a proven framework for profit optimization and continuous improvement. Check out our Framework for Profitable Growth

Other resources you might be interested in:

About the Author:

Brad Horan is an accomplished Business Advisor and Chartered Accountant.

He loves business and particularly the human psychology of business decision-making and its role in achieving success.

Brad has over 20 years of experience in providing Business Advisory services across finance and operations. Early in his career, he recognized that there was a disconnect between operational and financial goals within businesses. This disconnect often resulted in businesses taking different conflicting actions despite trying to achieve the same result.

They unknowingly sabotaged their own business, and in extreme cases, they led to the demise of businesses.

Brad worked with hundreds of businesses over the years big and small, eventually coming up with a framework to drive ownership through all levels of the business. This improves employee relationships, customer experiences, and ultimately reduces work and stress for those managing the business.

Businesses big and small have benefited from Brad’s unique services; Midas, Diamond Pasta, Universal Pictures, HSBC, MetLife, Otis, Transport NSW, Hannover Re, Exxon Mobil, Care Fusion, Cleaning Star, Lonergan Research, Jim’s antennas to name a few.

KPI MASTERCLASS – KPI Meaning, KPI Examples, KPI Dashboard, How to Implement

KPI MASTERCLASS – KPI Meaning, KPI Examples, KPI Dashboard, How to Implement and Manage KPI

In this KPI masterclass, I will answer all of your KPI questions. I give you the KPI Meaning in Business, and all the tools, KPI examples, and KPI dashboards you need to create the very best KPI for your business.

Putting the right KPI in your business combined with clear actions WILL increase profit (customers usually achieve 50-75%), reduce stress, reduce staff turnover, and take your business to the next level.

The point of KPI metrics in your business is not to measure but to understand, and ultimately take action to improve.

In this Masterclass I will show you:

  1. The KPI meaning in business – Key Performance Indicator
  2. How to measure KPI Metrics – different types of KPI metrics
  3. KPI Examples – using the power of Customer Value KPIs
  4. KPI Dashboard – the same one we use to increase profit by 50-75%
  5. How to implement KPI in your business

1. KPI Meaning in Business

KPI Meaning in BusinessTypically we think of KPI in a business sense but that is not the only place they are used. We use them in sports e.g. batting/bowling averages for example.

We even have KPI in our technology – battery performance, and energy consumption (cars/appliances) are all areas in our everyday life where we use KPI without even thinking about them.

There are also other “newer” versions of KPI – OKR, KRA, GMH.

  • OKR: Objective and Key Results
  • KPI: Key Performance Indicators

To be honest these are all trying to do the exact same thing – set a goal, measure outcomes, and drive action towards achieving the goal.

Which approach you use (KPI, OKR, KRA, GMH) is far less important than how you use it. I suggest to clients use whichever concept resonates well with you and your team but make sure you develop an actionable framework around it (clients use our Profit Growth Framework to do this).

As you will see later in this article developing a Goal or Objective and taking habit-forming actions are just as important with KPI as they are with OKR, KRA, and GMH.

KPI Meaning breakdown

KPI is short for “Key” “Performance” “Indicator”. Let’s break this down before we look at it in total.

K is for Key – in the case of KPI key means “of crucial importance”. These are only the things that are critical to success in your business. This is an extreme focus on a specific outcome! (This is the same Key for OKR, KRA)

P – is for Performance. The typical definition for performance is the execution of an action to accomplish something, to achieve the goal. (This is the same as Objectve for OKR, Result for KRA, Goal for GMH)

Gas GaugeWhilst “Key” is designed to focus on a specific outcome, “Performance” is focused on the execution of the action to accomplish that outcome. This means a single KPI must be measuring both the execution and the outcome.

I is for Indicator. Think of an indicator as a gauge or meter. It gives you status but does not provide the full picture. E.g. think of your petrol/gas gauge in your car. You want to know how much gas you have, if you run out you won’t reach your destination.  It indicates roughly how much gas you have in your car – it doesn’t tell you how much you need to reach your destination…

The Indicator will point to something, it doesn’t give an exact result and does not solve the issue. You must take ACTION – We’ll get to that later. (This is the same as Result for OKR and KRA, and similar to Habit for GMH)

KPI examplesNote: A few (4-6 only) very targeted KPI metrics in your business are far better than a scattergun approach trying to cover all scenarios.

I see some businesses that create a tremendous number of ”KPI” in the hope that the result will tell me exactly what’s wrong and give me a solution.

Sorry, that is not going to happen! Having more KPI will simply confuse the issues.

More KPI will not give you the solution it simply dilutes the “Key” in KPI making it confusing for staff to understand what is most important.

It is important to remember that the point of KPI metrics in your business is not to measure but to understand, and ultimately take action to improve.

2. How to Measure KPI Metrics

KPI Meaning in BusinessThere are literally thousands of KPI out there but about 99% of them are not effective. Either because the people trying to impact the KPI doesn’t understand it or they simply don’t address the crucial aspects of the business.

Remember from our definition we want to measure both the execution and the outcome.

For example, a good way to look at performance is by using the formula output divided by input (p=o/i). Output is the outcome and input is the execution.

I see many businesses using sales $ as the KPI. But this only measures the outcome, not the execution.

Let’s consider this in this real KPI example to explain:

Bob and Joan are both salespeople at ABC company. Bob is old school, and although almost retired he has not let up at all. He achieves the highest amount of sales every month. He has a lot of connections within the industry and makes sales primarily through face-to-face meetings, coffees, lunches, and the like.

Joan is new age she loves digital, her sales are primarily through zoom meetings, phone calls, and online chat. She has a young family and works part-time.

Joan has good sales but not like Bob.

Last month Bob’s sales were $80,000,  Joan’s were $60,000

If our KPI is Sales $ – Bob is the clear winner.

But let’s look deeper… Using the formula p=o (output)/i (input) where o = Sales $ and i = hours worked. This KPI Example is Sales $ per Hour Worked.

Bob worked 200 hours last month. Joan was part-time and worked 120 hours.

Bob’s sales $80,000 divided by 200 hours = $400 of Sales per Hour.

Joan’s sales $60,000 divided by 120 hours = $500 of Sales per hour.

Joan is actually 25% more efficient and effective than Bob.

If Bob could do $500 per hour he would make $100,000 of sales ($20,000 more) each month.

You can see from the graphs that when we use just sales Bob is the star, but when we use Sales per hour Joan is the star.

If I had a choice I would want to employ more Joans and ess Bobs in my business.

But even better what if Bob and Joan can learn from each other and perhaps we can increase the performance of both…

3. KPI Examples

There are so many KPI examples out there you can easily find thousands of examples. What I will share here are the key “Crucial” KPI Metrics that work extremely well in Service Industry businesses.

These KPI Metrics work extremely well with our Ultimate Customer Value KPI ™ model.

People don’t buy on price, they buy on value. Value is different for everyone but we still buy on value.

A tradesman is likely to expect higher levels of quality and reliability from his tools than your average DIY enthusiast because any job downtime costs money, time, and energy that would be better spent on the job.

When we meet Customer Value expectations we make sales, more sales means is usually good for business. Therefore it makes sense that our KPI Metrics would also track Customer Value.

The psychology of a purchase is made up of both emotional and analytical triggers.

KPI ExamplesIn our KPI examples (this list is the exact KPI our clients use within our profit growth Framework), we focus on the analytical, non-emotional triggers because we can measure them.

There are 4 things humans weigh up with each purchase; Cost, Quality, Speed, Customer Service. We analyze these things incredibly quickly often without even realizing it.

It happens so fast and it is so ingrained in our subconscious that we automatically put certain brands into that category. There will be a brand that you associate with as the lowest-cost provider, another the highest quality, another the best service etc.

You will likely assume that position for everything they sell (despite it not always being true)

Bringing in KPI metrics to measure this subconscious customer buying pattern is incredibly powerful! It will change your business!

By measuring these 4 KPI metrics not only can we hold ourselves accountable to the customer value we provide but we can also use these as a tool when we make changes to our business.

e.g. Cleaning business invests in a new super-fast floor scrubber to speed up jobs and provide a better quality finish.  You can see the results quickly in your KPI dashboard. Perhaps initially speed goes down – you can investigate what is going wrong.

  • Maybe there is a problem with training, or
  • Perhaps the new machine is heavy and awkward and takes more time to get to client sites, or
  • What if this machine uses more detergent and staff run out because they forgot to bring extra.

Using these KPI metrics will quickly highlight where things are not meeting the Customer

Value expectations you have set for your business.  You can quickly take corrective action.

Note these KPI Examples work extremely well for most Service Businesses, however, KPI should be tailored to your business. Please do not blindly follow these examples and expect the best result.

If you want help to understand which of these KPI examples should be used for your business please book an appointment.

4. KPI Dashboard – the same one we use to increase profit by 50-75%

The point of KPI metrics in your business is not to measure but to understand, and ultimately take action to improve.

You can choose the best KPI metrics in the universe but they won’t make a shred of difference if nobody sees them and/or takes action on them.

KPI DashboardKPI dashboards are a great visual tool to help everyone in your business see exactly where things are at. You can see the progression over time and a good dashboard will clearly show the target you are trying to achieve.

The key to an effective KPI dashboard is simplicity and understanding. It should be:

  • Easy to read
  • Clear in its message – performance and target
  • Designed to be understood in 3 seconds
  • Easy to update and manage
  • Scientific – i.e. based on real, accurate data
  • SIMPLE

Frequency Matters!

How often you calculate and review your scorecard will have a direct impact on how well you achieve your goals.

Your dashboard should help drive decisions. By reviewing the dashboard you and your team can identify anomalies and opportunities and take ACTION to improve.

Decisions happen every day.

If you have a monthly scorecard you have given yourself 1 chance in a month to take action. That means you have potentially missed the other 30 days of opportunity.

Unfortunately, human memory is not very accurate. Can you remember everything you did last weekend? I can’t.

The less time has passed the better chance you have to get an accurate view of what happened, therefore you’ll have better decision making.

In most cases, we recommend daily “stand up” sessions for 10-15 min to review the scorecard and come up with actions. This gives you a great result!

Visual Cues Enhance Problem-solving Outcomes

Many businesses simply use reports but the problem is that they are not quick and easy to understand – whilst they may be a good tool for the management team, they are a terrible tool for managing the team.

Humans are incredibly visual beings. The human brain can process images up to 60,000 times faster than words. Pictures are not only more effortless to recognize and process than words, but also easier to recall.

Report vs KPI dashboard(See how difficult it is to read the report compared to the KPI dashboard.)

By creating a simple and clear visual depiction of the results people can focus all of their time and energy on understanding the issues and coming up with innovative solutions – rather than using that brainpower to focus on understanding the word and numbers on the report.

Once you have the KPI dashboards in place and your teams are reviewing it regularly, investigating issues, and taking action, you can start to routinely increase targets when you are consistently achieving them.

When done right the staff love increasing targets! We have a whole process around team problem-solving and innovation – we call it Active Management™ (this will be covered in another masterclass).

5. 6 Tips – How to implement KPI in your business

Remember the point of KPI metrics in your business is not to measure but to understand, and ultimately take action to improve.

It’s not about the KPI score it’s about the discussion and resolution it’s about moving the KPI in the direction that you want the business to go in.

Just like there are thousands of KPI it is likely there are also thousands of ways to implement them in your business.

These tips and this approach are my way of implementing with my clients.  I don’t know if it’s “the best way”, it’s the way I know, and it works really well, and really fast.

#1 Keep it simple

I see some businesses that create a tremendous number of ”KPI” in the hope that the result will tell me exactly what’s wrong and give me a solution. It won’t. Just stick to the 4 Ultimate Customer KPI we showed you here – no more, no less.

#2 involve your people

These KPI metrics are from your staff to achieve, get them involved from the beginning, the more they are involved the better they w understand them and more they will feel responsible for achieving them.

There have been a ton of studies into happiness within the workplace and one of the key things is that employees want to know their work is valued and are even happier when they’re rewarded for achieving highly valued work.

Involving your staff will strengthen their sense of purpose and happiness in your business.

#3 Set realistic targets

I like to use the best repeatable score that was achieved as a starting point.  Look at historical data if you achieved something more than once why not again?

Don’t be greedy! It’s better to overachieve on a goal staff believe in (then increase it) rather than set a goal staff does not believe they can achieve. This will lead to low morale and poor results.

#4 Expect change

Don’t expect to get it right 1st time. It’s ok to change KPI metrics if they are not working. Remember this is about managing behaviors to achieve a target. If it’s not working revisit it with the team.

#5 Take action

All the KPI metrics in the world will not help you if you don’t take action to make improvements in your business.

Set up a clear action log. Ask staff for ideas (2 heads are better than 1). But remember YOU make the final decision on which ideas you will run with and the order of priority.

Every action must have 1 owner and a due date. It should be followed up on regularly.

Don’t be tempted to take ownership of all actions yourself, start to allocate to staff members, this is the start of you being able to step away from the daily activities as your staff takes more ownership.

Spread the love assess how well each person manages their task. Set clear expectations, follow up, and support, but do not take over!

#6 Align to your strategy

This is super important! Once you set the KPI dashboard in action, in my experience results shift very quickly – within hours and days not weeks.

If your KPI is not aligned with your strategy your business can shift very quickly in the wrong direction. If people are achieving the KPI targets but are not aligned with your strategy things can go wrong very very fast and be very hard to pull back.

If you want some help to ensure your KPI is aligned with your strategy book a quick call with me.

Want some Help?

Book your free 15 Min clarity call. We’ll see if we’re a good fit to help you. If not we will try to recommend someone who can.

Other topics you may be interested in:

About the Author:

Hi I’m Brad Horan, I’M THE BUSINESS PROFIT GROWTH EXPERT.

I’m not your typical Accountant. I’m creative, I’ve more than 10 friends, and people (sometimes) laugh at my jokes.

Over the last 2 decades, I earned a reputation for solving complex business problems by applying both analytics and creativity to identify simple, successful solutions.

I’ve always been focused on helping businesses succeed but about 13 years ago something remarkable happened…

Before this remarkable event, I helped businesses around the globe and got great results, but something was missing…

I was working on a solution to free up branch staff time, improve purchasing power and productivity. We set the solution in motion but it just wasn’t working.
I was lost. Why wasn’t it working? Was it the culture, was it language issues?

No, it wasn’t any of that…

Then I remembered a discussion I’d just had with a friend about how local manufacturers use data to drive decisions. I called him and we put our heads together.
Ahh huh, we needed different data to help people make the right decisions, and we needed a framework to manage the decision-making process.

It hit me this is the “missing link”!

So simple! I can’t believe I’d overlooked this.

We knew we were onto something and we started working together consulting to major businesses across the world with phenomenal success…

Today I use the framework to help business owners like you get more profit, more time, and more flexibility from your business.

If you want to learn about how the framework might help you and your business Book an appointment.

We’ll see if we’re a good fit to help you. If not we will try to recommend someone who can.

The Perfect Pricing Strategy for Service Businesses

A Profitable Pricing Strategy is critical to success.

All too often businesses are afraid to raise prices, particularly service businesses with long-standing customers. Business owners are nervous that customers will leave and that is a real risk.

The real issue is that over time costs typically go up and profit goes down. This is not a sustainable strategy!

The Sales & Pricing Strategy Challenge

All too often I see service business owners trapped in an endless cycle of running to jobs making endless quotes and chasing business. Only to find they have been undercut, or are simply missing out on jobs.

There are several issues that are tied up in this approach.

  1. Chasing customers that have a low probability of actually becoming clients
  2. Spending time and energy on quotes outside the customer’s budget (because you don’t know their budget)
  3. Assuming the level of service the customer desires
  4. The whole sales process becomes heavily focused on the cost to the customer rather than the value you provide

Having a cost-driven sales process is flawed…

The reality is that people’s buying decisions are based on value not cost.

A value decision considers 4 key areas: Cost, Speed, Quality, Service

Let’s look at them more closely from the customer’s perspective:

  • Cost – How much do I have to spend? How does this compare to others?
  • Speed – how quickly do I need it?
  • Quality – how much will I use it? How will I look (status)?
  • Service – what if something goes wrong? How much will I enjoy the owning experience?

Are you spinning your wheels with an endless cycle of quotes, and missing out on jobs from others undercutting you?

Do you feel like you are leaving money on the table?

Watch the Video to design your own Profitable Pricing Strategy:

In this video you will learn:

✅ How changing your sales process equals more sales with less effort

✅ How a simple quoting tool will qualify leads and focus on the best sales

How adding buying psychology to your pricing strategy will make you more money

✅ Everything you need to know to design your own Profitable Pricing Strategy.

More of our most popular resources:

  1. How to Get More Money Fast in Your Business
  2. The best way to Measure Business Success
  3. Are you Ready for Growth? – Take the Growth Factor Quiz 
  4. KPI MASTERCLASS – KPI Meaning, KPI Examples, KPI Dashboard, Manage KPI
  5. Roadmap to Recovery – Recession Proof and be a Corona Virus Winner
  6. Business Health Check – Recession Proof your Business

Here to help

If you’d like to learn more about cash flow and how to manage it in your business during these COVID times.

I’m offering a free cash flow strategy session.

It’s 45 minutes.

There’s no obligation.

Feel free to jump on and book a clarity call with me.

Business Advisory – Book An Appointment

Business Advisor in Sydney

Grow your Business Faster with a Business Advisor in Sydney.

Grow faster with a proven framework. By customizing our Profit Growth Framework to your business we accelerate your results.

Using tried and tested tools we get to the opportunities faster, you can take actions faster, and therefore you get results faster.

This consistency and repeatability reduces risk in your business, and ours, it also makes our services more affordable (no need to build solutions from scratch).

We understand that your role changes with your business. We understand the cash flow, profit, finance, and staffing challenges that come up along the way.

Most importantly over the last 20+ years we have worked with many businesses across many industries and we use the experience and expertise gained to help solve these challenges in your business. We use our framework to solve them fast.

When you partner with us as your Business Advisor in Sydney we will work together to identify growth opportunities to get more money, more time, and more freedom from your business.

We can help you right now if you:

  • Experienced rapid growth and find it hard to keep up
  • Feel trapped in the daily grind and can’t find time to focus on the big things
  • Feel you are working long hours but not getting the rewards you expect
  • Lost the love for your business and want to get it back.

If you are unhappy with where your business is at or you just want to improve it – don’t wait jump on a no-obligation clarity call with us today.

I bet by simply getting clarity around your challenges, it will make this the best call you have today!

Schedule a call with a business advisor right now.

Regards

Brad “Business Advisor” Horan

Articles you May like:

  1. KPI MASTERCLASS – KPI Meaning, KPI Examples, KPI Dashboard, Manage KPI

Business Advisory Services Sydney

Business Advisory Services Sydney – Everything you need to make the best choice for your business.

I have found over the last 20+ years working in Business Advisory that we (Business Advisors) are clear about who we are and what we do.

My goal in this article is to clear up some of the myths and misinformation about Business Advisory Services and help guide you to make the right decision for you.

The unfortunate reality is that anyone can call themselves a Business Advisor as there is no regulation around the use of this phrase. This has led to dodgy spruikers, charlatans, ultimately leading to lack of trust.

You are in the risky position of having to research and make a decision for yourself around who to trust to get help in your business.

Rest assured most of us are honest and can add significant value to your business. Hopefully, this article will go some way to help you make the right choice.

In this article we will try to answer these questions:

  1. What are Business Advisory services?
  2. How long do Business Advisory Services take?
  3. When might you want/need to engage a Business Advisor?
  4. What to look for when choosing trusted Business Advisory Services?
  5. How to structure your contract for Business Advisory Services?
  6. When should you NOT engage a Business Advisor?

 

1. What are Business Advisory Services?

Business Advisory is a massive category of services which makes this question difficult to answer.

I googled for hours trying to find an unbiased independent definition but I failed.

The problem I encountered was that most definitions ended in “provide advice”. But as a Business Owner, I don’t need advice I need solutions that work. Solutions that add real value to my business.

So here is my definition…

Business advisors analyze problems and potential risks businesses are facing and help by providing practical solutions that add value to the business.

To me, the role of a Business Advisor should go much further than just providing advice.

I have seen too many shiny reports with impractical generic advice that just doesn’t help the business owner.

Beware of shiny reports… 

There are many areas of business advisory services the key ones are:

  • Business Operations – focused on growth/scalability, profit, people management, culture, and innovation.
  • Business Strategy – focused on future planning and branding. This is often separated from Business Operations. In my experience, this creates confusion and poorer results.
  • Sales and Marketing – focused on getting more leads and sales (let’s face Busines Owners usually just need more sales)
  • Technology – focused on security and leveraging technology. This must support rather than drive the Business Operations and Strategy.
  • Compliance – HR, Tax, Legal, and anything else that keeps you out of jail.

There are many more subcategories but these 5 cover the vast majority of Business Advisory Services.

2. How long do Business Advisory Services take?

How long is a piece of string?

I have seen Business Advisory Services being offered from just a few days to several years.

Let’s refer back to my definition of “providing practical solutions that add value”.

According to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 18-254 days for a person to form a new habit. It also concluded that, on average, it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.

With perhaps the exception of compliance, most other forms of Business Advisory Services will require a change of people’s behaviors in your business.

When you consider time to analyze, come up with a solution, implement, test, and refine the solution to ensure it’s truly embedded in your business…

I would suggest you are looking at 3-9 months for most Business Advisory Services to be effective.

So if you come across a Spuiker offering big changes in a few days – you might be buying the “shiny report” or a story of how it worked for someone else.

Beware of big results that take no time or effort to achieve…

3. When might you want/need to engage a Business Advisor?

These questions are getting harder…

When you engage may be different for each of the 5 key categories of Business Advisory Service but I would say that for all of them – before it’s too late.

Being proactive will give you the best results.

If you’re experiencing any of these:

  • I can’t take a vacation without checking emails and taking calls.
  • I’ve grown rapidly and now I struggle to keep up.
  • I’m in constant “fire fighting” mode going from one issue to the next – I have to solve every issue myself.
  • I’m trapped in the day-to-day business, I don’t have time to focus on growth.
  • I feel like an employee in my own business rather than a true Business Owner.
  • I stay up at night worrying about…
  • I want to take the business to the next level, but not sure how to get there.
  • Everyone in my business is working hard but the returns just aren’t there.
  • I am moving into a new business/product/service area that I’ve been in before.
  • I think my business is doing well but I can’t be certain.
  • I know my business has more potential…
  • I wish things were moving faster in my business

You might want to consider engaging a Business Advisor to help.

They will likely have a framework or process that will provide clarity, and experience that will get you results faster than if you were to go it alone.

Many Business Advisors offer a free consultation. Don’t be afraid to use them.

They can be very valuable to assess the Advisor but also just to get your thoughts in order.

(Tip don’t feel like you are wasting the Business Advisor’s time. These consultations are valuable to the Business Advisors as they help them understand current issues businesses are facing).

Be proactive, don’t leave things until they become overwhelming… 

4. What to look for when choosing trusted Business Advisory Services?

Trust is super important when you are looking for Business Advisory Services.  So how can you trust?

There are some professional bodies that give you comfort. Whilst these bodies cannot guarantee you are working with a trustworthy business, it is in their best interests to have members that follow the rules.

It is important to note that these bodies usually have quality standards that must be adhered to. They often require members to perform continuing professional development (CPD) in their fields.

Some like the Accounting and Law bodies often have a type of insurance to pay damages to businesses that are affected by members who do not adhere to the rule.

Business Advisors that are part of a professional body usually have more to lose than those that are not. This tends to result in ethical business practices.

Being a member of a professional body, unfortunately, does not guarantee ethical behavior but at the very least it gives a 3rd party that you can lodge a complaint with should things go wrong.

You can ask for client references, however, in some Business Advisory categories discretion and privacy are of utmost importance and it may be difficult to canvas existing clients.

It is also important to recognize that no two businesses are the same what worked for one may not work for the next.

You might look at online reviews and other sources (although these are significantly biased and not always real).

My personal favorite is to speak with the Business Advisor directly, ask a bunch of questions. Ask them to demonstrate what they have done and what they can do for you.

99% of the time after a good discussion your gut will tell you whether you can trust them.

Other things to look for:

  • Do they have a framework/process that they have taken clients through? Usually, a proven framework customized to your business will reduce time, effort, risks, and costs.
  • Do their values align with your values? If you do not share the same values it may be very difficult for you to take on their solutions. (I don’t have a “win at any cost” mentality, I have learned from experience that I don’t work well with people that have that mentality).
  • Are they truly working for you or someone else? Some Business Advisory Services get commissions from other sources, e.g. the IT SAS system, or the insurance provider, in these cases, are they really working for you or the best commission?

Check the Business Advisor has your interests at heart, could there be a hidden agenda…

5. How to structure your engagement for Business Advisory Services?

Once again let’s revisit my definition of Business Advisors: – Business advisors analyze problems and potential risks businesses are facing and help by providing practical solutions that add value to the business.

There are a few keywords that jump out here:

  1. Problems and Risks
  2. Practical Solution
  3. Add value

To me these keywords highlight that this will not the same as buying an existing off-the-shelf product – we are looking for specific solutions to specific problems and risks that work for a specific business.

The practical solution may in fact end up being something off the shelf but the questions asked, analysis done, and options faced will be different for each business.

This highlights a lot of places where the Business Owner and Business Advisor must be aligned to get the most successful outcome.

Value-added results should also increase over time.

Because of this, I believe that Business Owners and Business Advisors alike benefit much more greatly from working as partners. Sharing the successes and failures together.

Therefore I am not in favor of engagements that only focus on deliverables and not on results.

I do believe that both parties should be clear that they both need to take action and hold each other accountable.

I am also in favor of flexible profit/equity share type arrangements that serve both parties a much greater benefit over time.

As we saw in the previous question that results do take time, I think it is really important that either the Business Owner or the Business Advisor can exit the relationship in a fair and equitable way should they feel they are no longer share values or can get the desired results.

Ensure any engagement is results-focused, beware of engagements/contracts that only focus on deliverables with no accountability for results.

6. When should you NOT engage a Business Advisor?

I’ve added this for clarity. You should not engage in Business Advisory Services if you will not take action.

If you have nothing to learn and/or you are not willing and open to change you will likely not take any action on the solutions provided.

It can be hard engaging with independent Business Advisors to look at your business. They may find inadequacies that you want to keep hidden or things that could reflect poorly on you and the management team.

However, failure is the price of wisdom, we must get things wrong to put them right. We must go on an open-minded journey of discovery to truly uncover the golden opportunities in our businesses.

Now, of course, you will find Business Advisors that are happy to take your money whether you implement the solutions or not.

But if you are not going to take action it can have terrible consequences.

Once you engage in Business Advisory Services the people in your business will expect change. Many of the people in your business may be experiencing pain from those problems and potential risks.

The cost of not taking action is far greater than just wasting the money you invested in your Business Advisors, it will often lead to losing staff and even customers as they get fed up with inaction.

Don’t engage if you will not take action. 

Hi I’m Brad Horan the author of this article. I am the Owner of Lucrature® – Business Advisory. I really hope this article has been helpful in providing you with some ideas on how you can determine when you may need a Business Advisory Service, how to select a provider, and how to engage with them.

I’d love to get your feedback on this article so feel free to send me an email or message.

If you are looking to partner with a Business Advisor to help your business to grow, to get more freedom from your business with more time and money, please book an appointment or take a look at our Business Advisory Services.

We offer further education on a number of services