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Five Strategies to Improve Company Profitability
August 2010

Interested in improving your organization's profitability? Let me share five strategies guaranteed to help.

Jersey Business Leaders (JBL) is a group of 15 business owners committed to promoting economic development by providing quality products and services to new or growing businesses. I joined JBL last year, and earlier this summer the members elected me President.

As president, I'll provide guidance on moving the organization forward. Some of those ideas and strategies apply to JBL as an organization, but also to the wide range of companies run by these business owners. So, these ideas might help you as well.

The first strategy: Focus on your purpose – define it, then live it. You, as the leader of the organization, must know the organization's purpose. Then ensure that everyone else understands it so that you, and others in the organization, use the purpose to guide important decisions. If you already have a purpose statement, you need to decide if it's up-to-date, and really reflects your organization today. If you don't have a purpose statement, develop one. It isn't about what you do, but why you exist, and how your organization makes the world a better place.

A second strategy is having the right processes in place. Processes include everything from workflow, to finding customers, to running meetings – all the "things"; you do to run your organization. Evaluate your current processes to determine which are working, and which aren't. For working processes, look for ways to improve them. For the others, decide if they require modifications, or if they're so antiquated that you should eliminate them altogether.

Getting the data that is the lifeblood or your company is the third strategy. What are your productivity measures? How, and in what proportion, do different parts of your organization contribute to your bottom line? You also need hard numbers about your customers. Where is your business coming from? How many customers do you have? Who are the most profitable for you? What do those customers have in common?

The fourth strategy is to focus on marketing, and rigorously apply strategies 2 (processes) and 3 (data) to those marketing efforts. Here you need to look at everything from how you find prospects to what your marketing copy says. What methods are you using to get the word out about what you do? How can you improve using the various forms of media, including social media? Tracking your marketing efforts is especially important. This will tell you what works, and what doesn't.

Finally, establish SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time frame oriented), and hold yourself, your direct reports, and your organizations accountable for achieving them.

I'm honored to be President of Jersey Business Leaders, and know that these strategies will work for JBL as an organization, for its 15 member companies, and for you. You have the strategies. Now, start implementing them.

Copyright (C) 2010 by Terry Wall