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IT'S NOT WHAT YOU MAKE, IT'S WHAT YOU KEEP

With a new year upon us it's common to consider Sales targets.

  • How can we grow international sales opportunities?
  • What new customer segments should we tackle in order to maximize sales opportunities?
  • How can we convert and close more leads?

The key to any successful business is not how much you make, it's how much you keep. What you should be considering in conjunction with the questions above is how can you maximize profitability? For instance if sales remain constant with those achieved in 2013, however you can increase profits by 10 or even 5%, what would this mean to the bottom line? What would it mean to your budget or business?

To increase the amount you keep, explore the following questions:

1. Which processes contain the greatest amount of waste (i.e time, delay, complexity). How can you minimize this waste?
2. What is your average employee absenteeism? Which employees exceed this average? Why?
3. Where have the predominance of your supplier or contractor price increases come from in 2013? How can you mitigate them?
4. Which leaders (i.e. supervisors, managers) are the most challenging to manage? How will you correct this in 2014?
5. How will you create opportunities to extract value from your employees? How can you empower employees to take action on opportunities without your prompting?
6. Which machinery or technology are creating bottlenecks? What opportunities exist to overcome these bottlenecks?
7. What ideas do your employees have for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your business?

So as you begin setting sales targets for 2014, consider how you can "keep more" than you did in 2013. After all it matters less what you sell if your profitability is shrinking.

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