For all businesses, delivering on your promises is paramount to success. Whether it’s meeting customer expectations or fulfilling internal commitments, effective business delivery can make or break a company’s reputation and profitability.
However, are you focusing on promises to your customer and neglecting your business promises by spending 12 hours on a 10-hour project?
Mastering the management of your business delivery requires tracking and measuring delivery performance, pricing services appropriately, improving delivery efficiency, prioritising customer satisfaction, and cultivating a culture of delivery excellence. Doing this will enhance your business operations and boost your bottom line.
Here are five ways to manage and improve your business delivery.
One: Track and measure delivery performance
One of the best ways to improve your business delivery and profitability is to track and measure your performance against your quotes. This applies to both product and business-based services.
The best and simplest way to track project performance is through a WIP (Work in Progress) board. Creating a WIP board needn’t be complicated. You can use a project management tool like Monday.com, Wrike, or Trello, or you can create a simple Google Sheet. Typically a WIP would include the following:
- Project name
- Client lead (customer)
- Project lead (who is internally responsible)
- Time allocation
- Actual time taken
- Key milestones (such as the client expected deadline)
- Status of the project (such as New, In Progress, In Review and Complete)
The purpose of a WIP board is to track the progress of projects against what you agreed. It allows business owners to monitor the time and resources spent on each project and compare it with their initial estimates. For example, suppose you quoted 10 hours for a particular service, but it takes 12 hours, or in a product-based business, you spend longer on administration or customer support than expected. Either way, you’re losing money and eating into your profit margins.
By monitoring your delivery, you can identify gaps and take corrective actions, such as optimising your processes, allocating more resources or increasing your prices to improve your profitability. A WIP board also gives you visibility of key milestones, such as the client’s expected deadline.
Top tip: When allocating hours to your delivery team (the people working on the project), don’t forget to account for the time needed to conduct quality control and any administration/project management. For example, if you quoted 10 hours for a project, you may need to allocate your team 7 hours, leaving yourself a few hours for quality control, amends/corrections and administration.
Two: Price appropriately
Pricing is a critical aspect of business delivery. If your prices are too low, you may attract customers but struggle to generate enough profit. On the other hand, if your prices are too high, you may risk pricing yourself out of the market and losing potential customers.
It’s essential to strike a balance. It’s important for business owners to closely monitor and analyse the WIP board to help understand if your pricing aligns with your delivery. If there is a miss alignment, you may need to look at your price or the efficiency of your delivery.
In your pricing review, you should consider the following factors:
- Market demand
- Customer value
For more pricing information, read our Quote based on value, not price article to learn more about pricing appropriately to cover costs and boost your profits.
Three: Improve delivery efficiency
Maximising efficiency will help reduce business costs, minimise waste and maximise profits.
Business owners should continually look for ways to improve to streamline processes, eliminate unnecessary steps, and optimise resource allocation. For example, automation tools or software can help speed up administrative tasks, while training and upskilling your team can enhance their productivity.
Top tip: Business owners do not always need to find and recommend improvements themselves. You may encounter less internal resistance to new initiatives if you get the buy-in from staff. Consider encouraging or incentivising your team to find efficiencies themselves.
Four: Focus on customer satisfaction
It takes much less effort to upsell to an existing customer than acquire a new one. In addition, satisfied customers are more likely to become repeat customers and refer others to your business.
To build customer loyalty, business owners should invest in excellent customer service and processes to effectively communicate new products and services (unknown/unused by them). Doing so will improve the overall efficiency of your business as you’ll be spending much less energy per sale.
For more information on the benefits of customer retention, read our Building customer loyalty article.
Five: Create a culture of delivery excellence
Managing your delivery is about delivering what you promised to the customer and what you agreed to achieve as a business – your goals.
Delivering these promises requires a focused mindset (attitude) and collaborative effort from your entire team.
To achieve this, you should foster a culture of delivery excellence by providing ongoing training and empowering your team to take ownership of their responsibilities. In addition, motivating and rewarding employees for their problem-solving skills will create a culture of continuous improvement and significantly impact your profitability.
How ETC can help
If you need help streamlining your business operations and improving your return on investment, please get in touch.
If you are new to ETC, why not contact us for a free new business review? We’ll spend two hours with you, giving you professional coaching and will leave you with actions for immediate implementation.