We talked to the DFK Everalls Business Advisory Team to discuss what priorities and especially the ‘big picture’, strategic ideas they will be focussing on in 2023.
Here’s the list they came up with. How does this compare with your focus areas in the coming 12 months?
Business owners tend to take on a huge volume of work themselves. It’s challenging to get it all done… and it wears them down.
Why don’t they delegate more? Some worry that work quality will suffer. Others say there is simply no one to delegate to. In both cases, they have failed to invest the time to build an organization that can absorb more work.
This is bad for the organization because it cannot scale AND for the owner who continues to work excessively. It is also bad for employees, who don’t get the opportunity to step up. Sure they may make errors… but we all started somewhere. And if they can’t successfully complete their work, you should find new people. Or outsource – more on that later.
Focus on Value Creation
Business owners should aim to create a valuable business, and that means one NOT dependent on any one person (or a few people). A valuable business relies on good products, sound processes, a competent team, excellent technology, and relevance in the market.
Very few business owners focus on value-creation and need to shift their mindset FROM “my job is to do x,y,z” TO “I am building a business that does x,y,z”.
In the latter case, the objective is to set up other people, processes, and technology to complete the work to the satisfaction of Clients. With that in place, the owner can focus on other activities and the business is WAY more valuable.
Business owners need to step up their attention to ESG issues. Environmentally, businesses need to become leaner, cleaner & greener. Socially, businesses need to improve their relationships with their team and their community with particular focus on diversity & inclusion. Governance creates an internal system of practices & procedures such that an organisation can make effective decisions, comply with the law and meet the needs of external stakeholders. Obviously these are all the ‘right thing to do’ but businesses should also not underestimate the increasing impact these issues are having on the purchase decisions of consumers.
Leverage Client Relationships
For most businesses, there is huge unlocked potential inside the EXISTING Client base.
This should be a major driver of growth and the good news is that you don’t have to sell a lot more to every Client. A well-run Client Classification exercise usually reveals a few Clients who are in need of more services. Then you can get really precise about understanding those needs and offering them a relevant, profitable solution.
In many firms, these opportunities go wasted as the business owners get too busy with day-to-day work and become reactive versus proactive.
High-growth firms increasingly understand how to present themselves in a digital world. This includes publishing content to stand out from the competition and ensuring they reach a clearly defined target Client. They measure success and constantly improve the approach to attract more quality leads.
Traditional marketing like networking in business groups and referral programs will continue to be valuable… but a digital strategy is increasingly important in high-growth firms.
Many business owners complain that it is difficult to hire and retain people, a situation which may not change anytime soon with changing attitudes to work.
Offshoring is not particularly new but its adoption is increasing rapidly. For one thing, many offshore providers have become better at understanding the processes, technology, communication, and technical skills required to succeed as they partner with Australian businesses.
It takes time to properly set up offshoring but the benefits include a (relatively) inexpensive, competent, and scalable workforce. If designed properly, offshoring reduces the need for business owners to manage a large team because much of the management is done by a senior member of the offshore team.
So there you have the key strategic objectives we suggest business owners should focus on over the 12 months to achieve a high-growth firm. What will you focus on in the coming 12 months? Of course, there’s a ton of detail that supports these ideas and each business will have a slightly different set of priorities. Please give our team a call to see how we can help you make your business more efficient & grow.