Will it be different this year?

How often have you began a New Year with all the right intentions only to find that you are doing the exact same things that you have always done, making the same errors and at best standing still …

We all want a successful and profitable 2018, but will it just be more of the same?

copyright: 4p business development

When I am working with clients, so often they say it will be different this year, however, unless you made some fundamental changes and most significant time out to plan, and ensure the right processes are in place, the likelihood is nothing will change.

Now is the time to take a look at my 4 step approach to ensure profitability for the coming year:

  1. Reflect

    Reflect on the biggest mistakes you made last year and where the most significant lessons are to be found then ask yourself and your team some soul-searching questions.

    • What was the root cause of the biggest issues you faced?

    • What processes could you put in place to prevent these happening again in the future?

    • What were your greatest successes?

    • How can you build on those successes?

  2. Analyse

    Analyse where you can make the greatest difference and increase profitability. Consider this very carefully and decide if the successes generally came from your ‘A Grade’ clients with the headaches, and misery came from the ‘D Grade’ clients.

    • Apply the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule

    • Could you business actually be more successful by letting some of your ‘D Grade’ clients go?

  3. Define

    Define the strategic objectives and critical drivers for success and profitability ensuring you cover all operations, sales, and financial KPIs.

    • Consider strategic objectives

    • Re-visit your PR and marketing activity

    • Chose your clients ruthlessly by grading the target market

    • Look at up-selling to your best clients

    • Maintain customer delight

  4. Set Targets

    Set SMART targets: financial and new business acquisition. Use all the tools you have available to you to ensure focused performance from the whole team

    • Revisit the sales process and training

    • Set target based on profitability and not just on number

    • Increase prices wherever possible

    • Hold the whole organisation accountable

    • Know your numbers and keep on top of the profitability of every product and service on at least a monthly basis

Is your business stuck in the paradigm, comfortable with ‘the way we do things around here’? Perhaps it’s now time to question the status quo and the paradigm, or cultural web, within your organisation?

The Cultural Web identifies six interrelated elements that help to make up what Johnson and Scholes call the paradigm – the pattern or model – of the work environment. By analysing the factors in each, you can begin to see the bigger picture of your culture: what is working, what isn’t working, and what needs to be changed.

The six elements are:

  • Stories – The past events and people talked about inside and outside the company. Who and what the company chooses to immortalize says a great deal about what it values, and perceives as great behaviour.

  • Rituals and Routines – The daily behaviour and actions of people that signal acceptable behaviour. This determines what is expected to happen in given situations, and what is valued by management.

  • Symbols – The visual representations of the company including logos, how plush the offices are, and the formal or informal dress codes.

  • Organisational Structure – This includes both the structure defined by the organisation chart and the unwritten lines of power and influence that indicate whose contributions are most valued.

  • Control Systems – The ways that the organisation is controlled. These include financial systems, quality systems, and rewards (including the way they are measured and distributed within the organisation).

  • Power Structures – The pockets of real power in the company. This may involve one or two key senior executives, a whole group of executives, or even a department. The key is that these people have the greatest amount of influence on decisions, operations, and strategic direction.

If you’d like to find out more about anything I’ve mentioned here and help your company achieve a successful and profitable 2018, call me on

01280 700405 or click here to ping me an email and let’s see how I can help you.

Until next time …




If you’re looking for a partner to help grow your business, visit www.4pbusinessdevelopment.co.uk to discover how 4P Business Development can help you!