So, as things progress we are currently running strong in Q2 of 2017 and we have cemented ourselves with good content, business intelligence and strategic cash flow planning. Through the process of deliberating on these strategies, we’ve developed some core questions that are crafting the culture of Kaomi. We believe sharing these would be helpful to you and we hope that with your valued contribution, we can get some feedback, as we know to create a healthy business it requires a community of guru’s (Harnish, 2014)
Some of these questions we will continue to dive into, in time to come, as the idea of healthy business intelligence is key to Kaomi’s success. The following is a brief overview of our main business intelligence questions and our viewpoints:
1. Are your business assumptions based on intelligence?
When considering the customer/client conversion rate in discussion with clients on their previous marketing results, we’ve noticed a pattern of marketing plans which are built from a handful of moments, often shaped by negative feedback gathered from a micro moment. What is lacking, is the focus on the overall conversion rate from a non-biased data-driven viewpoint. The process of measuring conversion rates is actually quite simple and this basic formula can be used: Amount of people who encountered your brand, divided by the amount of people who become clients/customers. The amazing thing about learning to measure a conversion rate, is that it allows you to understand the areas that your marketing/sales strategy is giving you Return on Investment (ROI). Simply put, if your marketing is not giving you a favorable ROI, then truth be told you’re doing it wrong.
2. Do you have Data (BI) to analyze?
Many people have Google Analytics on their website, like a bank balance to check regularly or like a list of contacts saved on their cellphone. The process of analyzing and investigating is limited to a face-value opinion. In order to make assumptions that are based on facts, businesses would need accurate data to prove the integrity of the assumptions they are making daily about their sales and marketing effectiveness. Could it be that many businesses run on intuition, and only consider top-level facts? Intuition can help one know which times to push more marketing spend and when to pull back, but if you really want ROI, you need to trade assumptions for facts. Competitive ROI measuring ensures you are consistently beating your best and actively engaging in the entire process. The challenge is that intuition is largely based on emotions that are subject to the environment around us and we believe that ‘it feels right’. So, the question to leave you with is, ‘are you risking running your business based your feelings or based on actual fact?’
3. What questions are your clients asking?
Leaders often have all the answers to their own questions, as being in a position of decision-making, requires the active process of making decisions all day. However, when thinking about your marketing and online sales, could it be that the best questions are the ones we’ve never thought of? Is it even possible to think ‘outside of the box’ and generate questions that create critical and reflexive thinking? The journey of Kaomi’s story has led us to believe that when conversing with your clients, one realizes that business is actually often based on unspoken assumptions that aren’t clearly stated and that have not been regularly questioned.
Here are some basic unspoken assumptions that should be questioned:
- Are phone calls answered or returned every time?
- Are emails answered and understood?
- Are payments being made on time?
To challenge you, as a reader, what expectations are your clients asking for, that aren’t being communicated to you and your marketing team? Often the most important message is shared in undertones or left until things go pear shaped and it is too late.
4. What parts of your business can you outsource or automate and leverage expertise?
In a day when taking on employees can be an administrative nightmare as well as a legal risk, do you really want to employ staff for the sake of having staff? Our country (South Africa) definitely needs job creation, but not mindless job creation for a ‘quick-fix’ to our economy. We need a sustainable and effective process of job creation that has a healthy projection for the individual, not just a capped role that is single minded in increasing the bottom line.
When thinking about the process of outsourcing and automating your business, a question to ask yourself, regarding your leadership style is, ‘are you a control freak or perfectionist?’ Control can have a devastating effect on hindering the effective progression of your marketing strategies. Control is based on fear, while perfection is just a point of view. When considering outsourcing or automation, the value of the approaches are based on the fact that if someone or a tool (a piece of code) can do the job 80% as well as you, then you should look to outsource/automate it.
Trust is often the withholding factor when it comes to outsourcing and automation. You may have been burnt once, but that doesn’t mean you should never turn on the stove again. Motivated strategic outsourcing and automation works harder on your business than you do. It saves time and helps leverage cash-flow to grow the business without adding further liabilities.
5. Is your product/service focused and positioned correctly?
How do your clients describe your product or service?
- “It is really cheap.”
- “It is good quality.”
- “Downright it’s amazing… I would never look anywhere else!”
As a principle of human behaviour, for someone to truly value something, it needs to cost them something therefore, if your product doesn’t cost something of their value (time, money, effort) then it will not have value for the client. Product pricing attracts the clientele you are looking for, together with your position to insure your service/product promises to deliver its value.
When considering your pricing strategies, another question to ask yourself is, ‘is your business continuity based on price?’ If so, then it’s a race to the bottom as there is only so much you can decrease or position your prices within the competitive markets without self-sabotaging your business. When thinking about your pricing strategies, an insightful question to ask is ‘what makes your offering valuable?’ Is it the way you care for the success of your client/customer, or the way you always leave something on the table to challenge and grow those around you? Maybe it is your high attention to detail and high quality services? Whatever it is, identify it and communicate it effectively!
As part of concluding the thought-journey of this article, the value of asking questions cannot be underestimated.
For the service-driven offerings:
- Have you productized your service?
- What are the services that you do over and over again which have the possibilities of being automated or outsourced?
For the product-driven offerings:
- Do you offer great service alongside your products?
- What makes your product valuable to your clients and makes them want to come back for more?