When you need to make changes in your business to improve performance where should you start?  That is a great question.  The problem is often business owners and managers don’t have the right information to make changes.  So, they arbitarily change things without understanding the cause and effect of their changes on the revenue engine.

Here is a case many companies may be familiar.  In the recent economic downturn many business cut marketing because that seems to be one place they were spending a lot of money.  But, what is the effect of cutting marketing?  A decrease in leads.  This in a time when the number of leads that it takes to create a new sale is going up.  The results: an even bigger drop in sales ultimately putting the business at even more risk financially.

Domino cause and effect isolated on white background

Monitor the right metrics to see cause and effect.

Identifying these metrics can be time consuming and difficult.  Here is a list of critical values you should be tracking for each stage of the revenue engine no matter what business you are in:

· Total Revenue for Period
· Close Percentage
· Leads per month
· Maximum Capacity for Your Business
· Number of Sales per Month
· Amount of time spent marketing
· Total Revenue Generated at Maximum Capacity
· Average Revenue Per Sale
· Current $$$ spent on marketing per month
· Cost to Add More Operational Resources
· Cost to Add More Sales Resources
· Cost to Add More Marketing Resources

If you don’t currently know these numbers for your business consider it a red flag. Your business is at risk and you may not even realize it!

Analyzing Your Revenue Engine

Once you have these numbers, analyze your revenue engine from the back to front of the cycle identifying choke points along the way. First, make sure you have set a revenue goal for the year.  Then determine if you can get there from your current position.

Review the cause and effect of your operations to verify the maximum revenue you can generate with your current resources. Compare this number to your revenue goal.  If you cannot meet the goal you may need to add capacity.  So, what will it cost you to add more capacity when you need it?

Next, review the cause and effect of your sales.  What level of sales do you require to meet your revenue target? Again, do you have the sales resources needed to support the sales goal?  If not, what will it cost you to add sales capacity to meet your goal?

Finally, look at how much marketing is needed to generate the leads to support the sales efforts.  If your current marketing cannot support the goal, what will it take to improve your marketing, or cost you to add enough marketing support to reach the goal?

fractional COO is like a swiss army knife for your operationUsing this approach helps you more effectively set and prioritize the right objectives for your business.  You will find  it helps you make the correct changes and strategically focus on the right activities that provide real revenue impact and profitable growth for your business.

Figure Out Your Business Cause and Effect

Getting all this figured out is the job of your chief operations officer (COO), but this kind of talent can be cost prohibitive for a small business.  To overcome this cost barrier use a fractional COO to help you on a part-time basis.

If you need help and don’t know where to start, we can help.  DE, Inc. offers a fractional COO service.  Click on the link to find out more and schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation.