How-to-increase-productivity

How to increase productivity with these 4 techniques

Ever wondered how to increase productivity so you can reach your business goals sooner, and possibly enjoy more breaks from the business? ActionCOACH has 4 techniques that have helped our clients increase their productivity straight away.

 

Technique 1. Plan your time.

This technique involves you sitting down at the end of each week and planning out what you will do in the coming week. It’s really easy, won’t take you long and is a great way to get clear on what you need to get done. It will make optimal use of your time throughout the week, because you won’t have those moments of “Hmm, what was I meant to do today?” Avoid using this weekly time plan to simply schedule meetings – instead, dedicate time to completing the most important activities for your business. This technique really only works properly if you already have a clear 90-day plan in place for your business, as this will guide you on what are the genuinely important things to achieve in the next week to ensure that you’re actually developing a great business and not just doing the urgent things or the things that someone else asks you to do!  If you don’t have a 90-day business plan, contact us here and we can help you create one.

 

Technique 2. Stick to the plan

So you’ve planned to do something at a particular time… this is for good reason! So it’s important to minimise distractions, stick to the plan and get it done. This is a crucial time management skill, and one that will become second nature after some practice. If you skip a part of your plan you are in fact sabotaging a small part of your bigger business plan. Another great reason to stick to the plan is because interruptions and distractions cause your brain to stop one thing and refocus on another, then refocus again on the first activity at the end of the interruption. Distractions cause a 50% reduction in your productivity, so wherever you can, don’t switch between tasks!

 

Technique 3. Have an accountability coach

Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to cost you a cent. Think of someone who cares about what you do and is willing to help you. Simply communicate your plan to this person, and schedule an accountability catch-up with them on an agreed day each week. Just like a child will work fastidiously towards a goal if they know you have a treat waiting for them at the end – you are more likely to be more productive when someone else knows about your plan and is holding you accountable for completing the steps in it.

 

Technique 4. Avoid Productivity Killers.

Looking to increase productivity? Increase your focus on health and fitness. Keeping fit might sound more like a distraction that a productivity technique, but in fact fatigue, stress, illness, poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle have a direct impact on your time management and productivity. How? Being fit and healthy not only gives you more energy but also improves your productivity and performance at work, which in turn makes you happier and a better spouse/parent/friend, which in turn motivates you to further build your health and fitness and so on. So it’s a great idea to look holistically at your business, personal life and health.

 

For more strategies on how to increase productivity and achieve your business goals faster download your free eBook on The Real Guide for Effective Time Management here or register for the 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Seminar here.

selling-a-business

When to use these 3 deal structures when selling a business

Did you know that not all business sales look the same? Or that there are in fact three distinct selling types you can use when selling a business? ActionCOACH breaks down what they are, how they work and the pros and cons of each, so you can make the best plan and get the best value for your business.

Type 1 – Financial Sale

This means selling to a financial investor who is buying your business solely based on the return it will bring them. This is the most common type of sale, but usually provides the least amount of value to you, the seller. This type of sale is undertaken often with little or no planning, which could be a pro if you absolutely needed to sell the business in a hurry. However, in this case, no plan usually means a low price. For more about how to plan to sell your business, read our previous blog about how to value a business

Type 2 – Emotional Sale

An emotional sale structure will often provide the highest value – which is ideal for you, the seller. This type of sale ignores logic, to some extent, because it is based on the buyer’s emotions and makes them ignore the data that undermines their feelings.

A great example of an emotional sale is someone buying their dream home. They walk into their dream home and fall in love before they’ve walked through every room, and they ignore that it is in a terrible area and has poor resale value! The person selling the house is lucky that this person walked in!

We can apply the same logic to selling a business. For example the buyer’s parents may have shopped there for years, they may have fond childhood memories of the brand, or simply love the feeling they get when using the products. The only problem with an emotional sale is that you have to be lucky for someone to stumble across your business with an established emotional bond. You cannot plan for it, and so it is extremely unpredictable.

Type 3 – Synergy Sale

Often the best kind of sale, a synergy sale typically produces higher value than a purely financial sale.   The reason that a Synergy Sale attracts a higher value is that it involves selling to another business who can make more out of your business than you can and, as a result, values your business at a higher value, with the future in mind. Best of all, a Synergy Sale can be planned for by you, the seller.

For example, a bike parts manufacturer buys a retailer in a similar line of business. The manufacturer then sells the bike parts through the retailer, removing duplicated costs like as admin and finance. So both businesses actually become more profitable as a result of coming together.

As part of your selling plan, brainstorm who your potential buyer could be, and how to best position your company to get the most value for them in their marketplace. What sort of business might be able to get synergy from your business? What can you do to make it optimally attractive to that specific prospective buyer?

Planning on selling a business? Click here for a free one-on-one initial consultation or book in for our 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Seminar here.

 

selling your business

Are you planning on selling your business this year?

Selling your business is often an exciting time. It’s a time when you can finally reap the rewards of all your hard work over the years, put your feet up and ease into retirement or a new venture.

But before you put your business on the market and wait for some incredible offers to roll in, ask yourself one question – do you have a business that someone else wants?

Is it actually an asset you can sell? Will you get the price you’re hoping for?

Whether or not you’ll sell your business for the amount you want or deserve mostly comes down to preparation. If you need to sell your business in a hurry, you probably won’t get the value you deserve. It typically takes a solid year of preparation before you should put your business on the market, and if you haven’t done this, chances are you won’t get the best result.

The good news is there are plenty of people out there ready and willing to invest in an established business. If you’ve taken the time to diligently prepare your business for sale, you’ll no doubt spark the interest of more than one investor. Your business will stand out and be more appealing because you’ve got the systems and process in place to make the purchase and handover progression smooth. Investors like to see financial records, projections for the future and detailed procedures, to name just a few. Without these valuable documents prepared in a professional manner, you’ll struggle to receive what the business is worth.

If you want to sell your business but haven’t yet started to prepare it for sale, and are wondering how to go about it, our free e-book summarizes everything you need to know to get ready, showcase your company and receive the highest possible price. For many business owners who have worked hard for many years, selling their business for an excellent price is the ultimate goal. Don’t waste all your efforts building up the business on poor preparation when it comes to selling.

To find out more, download the e-book now – Selling your business.  Or you can register for our 6 Steps to Building a Better Business here.

synergy-in-business

Synergy in Business – How to run your business like a well-oiled machine

Synergy, by definition, means two or more things interacting to produce an even greater effect. And by synergy in business, we mean the combined effect of the several parts of your business that you’ve been working on, that come together to create greater business success.

Let’s recap our 6 steps to building a better business:

  1. Mastery – moving from chaos to control
  2. Niche – reaching a predictable cash flow
  3. Leverage – creating systems for efficiency
  4. Team – structuring your business for growth
  5. Synergy – multiplying your business
  6. Results – exiting your business

We’ve shared our insights on the first four steps in our previous blogs. To get up to speed, click here.

Step five, synergy, is specifically for business owners who want to take their business to the next level, but still want to keep the business.

How do you know if you’re ready for business synergy?

If you are at a stage in your business where you don’t have to be involved in the day-to-day running of it, you are perfectly positioned to focus on synergy in business, and move yourself from being owner, to investor and ultimately entrepreneur.

What are some of the methods to achieve business synergy:

  • Mergers and acquisitions – buying or teaming up with a complementary business and joining forces to grow faster.
  • Adding substantial new products and/or service lines. These will usually complement the products and services you already have, but they can be a completely new range.
  • Geographical expansion – selling interstate or internationally and having offices located in these areas. Expansion allows you to reach a larger base of target customers and therefore increases your revenue.
  • Franchising – creating a business model that can be replicated and sold to franchisees. You retain control of the core business elements but do not need to be involved in the everyday running of the franchised stores.
  • Starting a new complementary or related business that fits in with what you currently do. You have an advantage of already knowing the market and what does and doesn’t work, and knowing the needs and wants of your customer base.

Your first challenge as you move from business manager to owner and investor, is to try to maintain your new role, rather than working in the business day to day. To help you achieve this, use your systems that keep the business running without you, and keep your long-term goals top of mind.

To achieve synergy in business, you’ll need skills such as a broad understanding of various business models, investment strategies, higher-level financial management and a wider range of businesses and industries. You will also need to focus on measures such as return on capital, enterprise value and portfolio mix. Most of your time will be spent working outside your existing business as you start to explore the many and varied options for multiplying it – i.e. creating synergy!

The two unavoidable constraints on all business owners and managers are capital and time. However once you become a true business owner and your existing business operates without you on a day-to-day basis, you’ll have more time available, and your income is no longer limited by your time. As you move toward becoming an investor (i.e. making money from your money), the former limitation can be virtually removed. As you become an entrepreneur (i.e. someone who makes money from other people’s money), you can largely escape the second limitation as well.

At this point of business synergy, your scope for success and what you can achieve is almost unlimited!

If you’re looking for some advice about how to multiply your business…

Click here for a free one-on-one initial consultation 

Or

Register here for our free 6 Steps to Building a Better Business Seminar.

5 Fast and Free Ways to Increase Profit

Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale via Compfight cc

For any business owner wanting to make more money, the first place to look for improvement should be Net Profit Margin.  The strategies that directly impact net profit margin provide some of the easiest and quickest profit improvement opportunities.

 

Of the 70-odd primary strategies for improving your Net Profit Margin, these are the five that I’ve seen used most often and for most businesses.  They all have the benefit of incurring no significant cost to implement and they work almost immediately:

 

  1. Sell higher margin products and services.  Do you know the profitability of every product or service that you sell?  Are you focussing your marketing and sales on those that make you the most money?
  2. Optimize your Cash flow.  Are you tracking your average days receivable?  Days payable?  Implement 3 strategies to accelerate how quickly you receive money and 3 strategies to extend how long you can (legitimately…don’t pay late if you want your suppliers to support you!) hold your money.
  3. Audit your costs.  Work through your P & L line-by-line and keep asking, “how will we reduce this cost by 10%”.  Then set a budget and do it!
  4. Increase Gross Margin.  There are many ways to do this…negotiate hard with suppliers, stop discounting, raise prices…and remember, once you pass your Breakeven Point, almost all additional Gross Profit drops straight through to Net Profit!
  5. Sack C’s and D’s.  Do you have a list of the clients who cause you most of your headaches?  They haggle, complain, buy your cheapest products, request changes, ask for refunds?  They’re your C’s and D’s; they generate very little profit but take up a lot of time and cost.  Sack them!  Use that time and effort to go out and get more A’s and B’s!

 

Map out a plan and these can all be implemented in a matter of days or weeks….then enjoy the results!

Five great strategies for improving your Net Profit Margin

For any business owner wanting to make more money, the first place to look for improvement should be Net Profit Margin. The strategies that directly impact net profit margin provide some of the easiest and quickest profit improvement opportunities.

 

Of the 70-odd primary strategies for improving your Net Profit Margin, these are the five that I’ve seen used most often and for most businesses. They all have the benefit of incurring no significant cost to implement and they work almost immediately:

 

1. Sell higher margin products and services. Do you know the profitability of every product or service that you sell? Are you focussing your marketing and sales on those that make you the most money?

 

Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Dave Dugdale via Compfight cc

2. Optimize your Cash flow. Are you tracking your average days receivable? Days payable? Implement 3 strategies to accelerate how quickly you receive money and 3 strategies to extend how long you can hold your money (legitimately…don’t pay late if you want your suppliers to support you!).

 

3. Audit your costs. Work through your P & L line-by-line and keep asking, “how will we reduce this cost by 10%”. Then set a budget and do it.

 

4. Increase Gross Margin. There are many ways to do this…negotiate hard with suppliers, stop discounting, raise prices…and remember, once you pass your Breakeven Point, almost all additional Gross Profit drops straight through to Net Profit!

 

5. Sack C’s and D’s. Do you have a list of the clients who cause you most of your headaches? They haggle, complain, buy your cheapest products, request changes, ask for refunds? They’re your C’s and D’s; they generate very little profit but take up a lot of time and cost. Sack them! Use that time and effort to go out and get more A’s and B’s.

 

Map out a plan and these can all be implemented in a matter of days or weeks….then enjoy the results!