As businesses approach the end of each quarter, questions will always arise about what different teams can do throughout the organization to maximize performance and ensure they’re on track to hit ambitious targets.
This can be a stressful time for many firms who worry they have not seen enough of an improvement in business performance to hit certain goals and targets laid out at the turn of the year. If you can relate to this, then we’ll be able to help you with our six-point plan on how you can improve business performance with measurable targets and KPIs.
Detailed in this guide are the six key steps that will help professional services organizations improve business performance. Take a look below and even jump to an area you find the most intriguing.
1. ANALYZE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION
Before putting any measures in place for the future, it is always important to first assess what is going on in the present. It helps to evaluate the current situation and make this the foundation of any strategies before pushing on to improve, therefore setting a benchmark for performance in the long-term.
If you’re looking to improve performance, then there’s various tools out there that can help you understand your business’ current performance and future potential. One such tool is a SWOT analysis. Employing this analysis will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business, and the opportunities and threats of the external environment, such as the market the business operates in and the economic situation.
2. SET AND TRACK KPI'S & BUSINESS GOALS
More often than not, any business with over five major goals will be unable to dedicate enough resources to any one of these five to accomplish it to the highest possible standards. If you’re looking for ways to improve your business efficiency, it’s best to pick between three and five goals. These goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. It sounds like a lot to remember, but with these five measures in place, you’re almost guaranteeing that every goal is thoroughly vetted and comes out at the other end polished and easily slotted into day-to-day business activities.
Finally, placing your goals in order of priority is worth doing as it may be efficient to focus on certain goals before others, and it means you won’t be attempting to do them all at once. Some will likely be more urgent, and others may only be achievable with a more methodical, long-term plan, the benefits of which won’t be instantly realized.
There’s a near infinite number of KPIs and metrics you can use to track business performance, so it may seem overwhelming when deciding which ones to use. Luckily we’ve created an article on the best ones to track here.
3. MITIGATE POTENTIAL RISKS
Risk management is a crucial part of any business, and handling this well can result in improved performance. The real work in this part is identifying potential risks and developing and inputting strategies to eliminate them. Firms should utilize contingency plans for any expected disruptions, such as operational failures, economic downturn, or natural disasters, to minimize their impact on operations and ensure that the business can continue as normal, pursuing the same goals.
Unfortunately, unpredictability and risk often come as a pair, and it’s often difficult to predict and mitigate each and every negative event. However, risk management planning can give you the foresight needed to weather the storm of a risk event to give you the best possible chance at a positive outcome. Having this sort of plan in place makes it the go-to documentation of identified risks and shortlisted controls for any project your business is working on at any time.
4. INVEST IN YOUR EMPLOYEES
Your success is dependent on having the absolute best people to hand for each task. Employees are one of the most vital assets of any organization, and putting significant investment into their development can ensure vastly improved performance. Every employee should have access to training and development opportunities to help them learn new skills and develop their knowledge further. It not only improves employee satisfaction through the feeling that they are valued, but increased productivity can bring massive benefits to the organization as a whole.
When we speak of employee productivity, one conversation that likely follows is the utilization rate. See our guide here for more information on this.
Another important factor is looking at the kind of culture you encourage. Building a culture that supports the calibre of people that your goals need to succeed is a great first step, and an environment which encourages collaboration does wonders for how you innovate as a business. Besides knowing your staff well enough to match them to their most suited tasks, a lot of work should be done in your HR department so you can hire people who are a great fit for your culture from the very start.
5. FOCUS ON CUSTOMER CARE
Developing good customer relationships is vital to any business succeeding as it can lead to improved performance and increased sales. This can be achieved, but only by nailing your customer service offering, as well as employing regular communication and understanding your customers’ needs, expectations and preferences. The most successful organizations gather feedback from their customers and put this insight to good use by using it to improve their services.
Keeping customers happy not only leads to an increase in prospects due to word of mouth marketing, but it can help to keep current customers by reducing churn rate. Simply put, the churn rate measures the number of customers who stop using an organization’s goods or services over a given period of time. It is vital to keep your customer churn down for a number of reasons, all of which can be explored in our guide here.
6. ANALYZE AND MEASURE YOUR RESULTS
The final step is to monitor the progress and results of your tasks and goals using the measurement criteria you specified at the beginning. For some of the simple tasks, they can be measured by just “completed” or “not completed”. For your key goals, it’s helpful to measure these with numbers and other quantitative data, such as percentage profit increase. A great way to increase productivity is to set milestones on the path to each goal as it will enable employees to better track how well the plan is progressing, as well as allowing them to work for and celebrate personal success which can be a strong motivator.
What next steps should I take?
Professional services organizations are experiencing major improvements in business performance by using purpose-built software to give decision-makers the clarity and control to do so. SaaS solutions like Precursive help businesses accelerate time-to-value to generate revenue and ensure smooth services delivery to drive customer retention and expansion sales. Precursive also makes it easy for companies to track time and optimize billable utilization for accurate billing to your customers. To learn more about these benefits, and see what else Precursive has to offer, book a demo today.