If someone asked me what is the most important thing I’ve learned in my career so far I would have to say knowing when to do the right thing at the right time. Good business is all about good timing, there’s no two ways about it.
At objectsource, we’ve seen many businesses suffer and sadly sometimes even go out of business because money was spent in the wrong areas of the business at the wrong time.
Below are examples taken from businesses we’ve worked with that have been hurt by not doing the right thing at the right time.
Why have visitors if you can’t convert them?
Spending too much on marketing campaigns to drive traffic to your site when you should have spent money on improving your site’s user experience or even building a new website. There is no point spending money on acquiring lots of visitors to your site if your site has a poor user experience because your conversion rate will not provide you with the revenue required to move the business forward in the time you need.
We’re not talking about your site just needing a freshen up of the design we’re talking about the fundamentals such as the checkout not being easy to use or the site being extremely slow to load pages or maybe the site isn’t responsive. All of these issues will have a massive impact on your site’s conversion rate. Obviously, you need the traffic to get the sales you have so investment is needed but do not keep throwing money at buying more traffic because you want to increase revenue when you really should be looking at resolving the site’s issues and ensuring your site’s user experience is on point to get the conversions you need.
So yes your site needs more traffic but not before the user experience does what it needs to for your customers.
Strong processes are the foundations of a successful business
Internal processes like managing products and stock levels are so key to a business and quite often business owners put off investing in a stock management system for as long as possible as they prefer to just focus on attracting new customers. Attracting customers is one thing but keeping them happy is the hardest part and having strong processes within your business will contribute to providing your customers with great value when purchasing your product or service.
You need to think about introducing a SMS system into your business if you’re having the issues below:
- Running out of stock frequently
- Discrepancies between stock you’ve purchased and sold
- You don’t know how much stock you have
- You do too much manual counting
- You overstock because you can’t forecast
- Missing out on sales because an item is out of stock online but you actually have it in-store
Integrating a stock management system can increase sales and provide you with more control of your products and their stock levels as well as save you money by not having your staff spend so much time manually managing stock.
All businesses are built on strong processes. However, so many businesses focus too much of their resources on marketing because it has a direct impact on sales but this isn’t always what’s best for the business at a certain time.
I like to look at a business the same as building a house so if you look at the business plan and the processes as the foundations of the house and the marketing as the interior such as spotlights, parquet flooring, plastered walls etc. what is every house built on?….strong foundations. So what happens if you haven’t invested enough resources into getting the foundations right and now the house has been built? I can tell you….you’ll have to start again as the house is not stable and this will cost a fortune. When building a house each part needs to be worked on at a certain time with careful consideration and this is the same for your business. Stop thinking about the spotlights when you haven’t even done the foundations properly.
So many people have great ideas of what they want to do to grow a business whether that is spending money on new marketing activities, building a new website, employing another member of staff or maybe even integrate a stock management system but you need to remember to take a 360° degree view of your business and review what the business objectives are to ensure the investment you’re going to make is the right one.
Think about the following before making a decision to ensure you do the right thing at the right time instead of squandering money and pulling your business further away from it’s vision:
- Does it help you fulfill your business objectives?
- How will it help the business? (Increase sales, increase ROI, attract new customers, increase productivity, increase brand equity, increase profit margin)
- Compare it against other outstanding investment decisions that need to be made?
- Does it have any other dependencies?
- Review all planned activities within your business to see if it makes sense for one to be done before the other.
Think long and hard about what you plan to do and by when.