From Howard Shore’s new book Your Business is a Leaky Bucket, there are many ways that businesses lose revenue and profit such as the following:
- Mediocre hiring practices:
- Hiring and Keeping B and C players in critical positions
- Leaving critical positions vacant
- Lacking a standard interview process
- Excessive turnover/Regrettable turnover
- Lack of alignment
- The leadership team lacks trust and accountability
- Goals and expectations are ineffectively communicated
- Actions without purpose
- Meetings have devolved to activity speeches versus productivity discussions (sample meeting agendas; Bus. Resources section nos.13 &14)
- Chasing revenue anywhere and everywhere
- Lack of targeted, differentiating strategy
- No or ineffective Sales playbook and process
- Inability to say “No” to the wrong customers/deals
- Lack of financial transparency
- Create a system to find and evaluate all the leaks. I recommend the CFO be in charge of this effort and part of his/her job description. You can start with the aforementioned list. Your P&L and B/S are also excellent places to look for leaks.
- Institute an action plan to plug the leaks you find. President/COO is the best likely candidate to lead this process. Every leak should have an owner that comes up with a plan and date for completion.
- Create a weekly meeting to hold everyone accountable and offer assistance to anyone who needs it. I recommend that the CFO run this meeting. Spend time celebrating progress but spend most of the time completing the action plan on time. This is a team effort with everyone pitching in when others ask for help.
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