Business owner, do these complaints sound familiar to you?
- Why is productivity down?
- Why are margins falling when revenue is soaring?
- My back office just can’t keep up or give me good data
- It seems like my technology team is always fighting fires
If so, it’s likely that you are going through one of the transitional phases of the Business Storm Cycle. Whether that’s the rapid growth phase of the Tornado, where sales are suddenly outstripping your back office’s ability to cope, or the Tornado’s opposite, the Avalanche, where slowed productivity and falling margins threaten your bottom line.
Where are you on this continuum?
Tornado Growth Transition Point:
- High Sales – Low Cash Flow: in this stage, though sales are pouring in, payments are slow because your back office is mired in production problems resulting from overwhelming demand.
- Back Office can’t keep up: Used to a slower pace, and without the IT or personnel to keep up, everything seems to stall.
- Production can’t keep up: Your sales team is writing orders faster than production can turn out your product. Thus customers are waiting longer than they should, and you can’t collect.
- High Staff Growth – Low Culture Stabilization: You’re staffing up faster than you can reasonably on-board new employees. Your culture and your processes are suffering accordingly.
Post Growth Transition Point:
- High Revenue – Lower Margins: Yes, you’ve made a lot of sales – but your margins are sagging thanks to all those new employees you’re paying.
- Back Office is late on most items: Still overwhelmed, the back office is struggling with no-longer-functioning processes and an IT system that wasn’t built to handle this.
- Production is stable – but orders are falling.
- High Staff Turnover – Culture of Urgent: Morale has taken a heavy blow, thanks to the chaos and tumult of the Tornado phase and the loss of your office culture. People are worn out, burned out, and are quitting.
What will it take to get your business back into shape? Transforming the company to its new position on the Curve requires that all three sides of the business triangle move together: your people, process, and technology.
- People: A highly experienced and capable team, in the right place at the right time
- Process: A well-planned, robust and adaptable process
- Technology: An advanced, innovative, and highly secure tool set
As a leader, you’ll need to explain to your tired and demoralized staff that what they’ve been through was nobody’s fault – and that while the phases of the Business Storm Cycle are punishing to go through, with better preparation and the wisdom you’ve gained in hindsight, together you will be poised to ride out the next Tornado when it hits, with less damage and more profits. An upgraded IT system that’s scalable and easily adapted to wherever you find yourself is key to keeping that promise.
Safeguard long-term business success with my storm cycle model. Download a free chapter of my book, Surviving the Business Storm Cycle: How to Weather Your Business’s Ups and Downs. Take my complimentary Business Storm Cycle Assessment to empower your people to work better, faster, and smarter.