With over twenty years experience in a corporate environment Scott Bennett knows everything there is to know about logistics management. He’d learnt his trade from the ground up starting in the air force before moving on to the commercial industry. After many years in a corporate environment Scott was lured by the love of woodwork and the idea of being his own boss and made the life changing decision to purchase a joinery business in 2014. The logistics industry was not ready to let Scott’s skills go and not long after purchasing his joinery business Scott found himself driving his own logistics company too. Having achieved great success in everything he did, Scott found the diverse nature of running a business, and then two businesses a challenge.
Scott attended the Business Development Group (BDG) hoping to learn some new skills and find some answers to problems he was encountering. BDG was a relief. Scott found like-minded people who had encountered similar problems in business and was able to discuss solutions openly and honestly. Looking at his business processes from a different perspective was an affirming experience. Scott was able to identify which things he was doing well and which he needed to improve. The obligation to present a board report each month held Scott accountable for his actions and this was very motivating. Scott’s strengths in management were valuable to BDG members who were able to gain from his long experience in people management. The most enjoyable part of the group was the opportunity to connect with other business people in an authentic way. Scott found himself energised and de-stressed after every session and made some solid relationships with group members.
Session 9 – Profit Strategies
As usual the Business Development Group shared their board reports to open their meeting. As the group has come to know each other and gain insight into each others’ businesses, it has become an interesting time to touch base and hear about progress being made as a result of the development course.
This month the BDG explored profit strategies. It was interesting to find that most of the group didn’t have an excellent grasp on this important part of their businesses. This section promised to be very valuable for the group as they used their new skills and strategies to make sure that their business is producing the profits they both want and need. Maintaining good profit levels is crucial to the health of business, as well as stakeholders and must be achieved with the goals of the business owner’s values in mind.
The group learned the ONLY 5 WAYS to increase profit and the strategies associated with achieving them. Guest speaker Mike Clark from Think Right delivered a useful session on how to make sure sales and profit strategies were getting the results a business needs. Comparing different levels of pricing and profit margins allowed group members to see the significant difference that well analysed pricing choices can make to profit, especially when combined with good sales strategies.
The BDG group explored the ways that costs can be reduced as another way of increasing profits. Keeping an eye on expenses and the ways that they could be reduced are an important part of running a profitable business.
There was plenty for the group to take away from this meeting and huge potential for implementing strategies to ensure the strength and longevity of their businesses into the future.
Session Eight – Financial Health Strategies
While for many people financial material might be the most boring part of running a business, it is often the most neglected and yet the most crucial element to success. Maintaining good financial health strategies is a massive cog in the well-oiled running of a business machine.
The BDG went through a series of strategies to ensure their businesses were on the right track to being financially healthy and meeting the needs of their stakeholders. Group members revealed their strategies for taking care of financial wellbeing, and were able to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Focusing on weak areas allowed group members to target financial strategies which would have the most impact for their business. All BDG members found they had areas to work on and were eager to put new strategies to work.
With new strategies to manage Cashflow, Assets, Finance and Growth all the BDG members assessed their businesses through a new lens and went away with a sharper focus.
Session Seven – Systemisation Strategies
This month the BDG explored systemisation, why to have systems, how to tackle the task of creating them and which systemisation strategies work best.
The entire group agreed that putting good systems in place was the key to improving the running, the efficiency, and the overall value of their businesses. Everyone agreed that a lack of systemisation meant their businesses did not run effectively and tied them down to tasks that could be managed better if well systemised.
First the group took a good look at what systems are; operating systems – systems to work IN your business, and fitness systems – systems to work ON your business. The group learned that at the core of systemising their businesses they needed to place their businesses vision and values, keeping the customers perception of their product or service at an ideal level.
Reasons why systemisation might not be carried out such as time were discussed and the poor impacts upon the customer, staff members and shareholders that this would lead to.
With a clearly laid out system to systemise with, each group member had the ability to systematically work through systemising their businesses so that they could create the ideal, smooth running business they had envisioned.
Session Six – What have we learnt so far?
This month the BDG took the opportunity to recap and consolidate all that they’d learned so far. It was a great opportunity to see how much they’d all learned and reflect on what changes they’d made in response to new information, and what still needed to be actioned to make their businesses the best they can be. Shared information about transformation within group member’s businesses is received with great enthusiasm and support.
The group revisited each businesses purpose and sought the essential answer to the question ‘why’ they are doing what they do in their businesses. Core values as an essential part of business culture were discussed, and was one of the more chewed over questions – ‘what are your core values?’
Organisational structure was revisited and was more relevant after the group members had taken the opportunity to try to plot out their business organisational structure over the last month. The ten hat structure lent itself to allowing group members to recognising the amount of roles they filled themselves, which roles they enjoyed and which they didn’t, and understanding which roles needed to be filled in order to grow their business effectively, was a very rewarding process.
Guest speaker Wayne Dellow from Good Communications presented his profiling service to the group and gave great insight into selecting the right personality type to fit into the role that a business may need to fill. Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and those of your staff is of great benefit when it is time to recruit a new member.
Discussions about leadership and the qualities needed to be a good leader gave great guidance to BDG members to enhance their natural leadership skills. Learning about different types of leadership styles and the strengths and weaknesses involved with each style helped the group to identify the best type of leadership to achieve the results