If your business is not producing like you drew things up on paper, it doesn’t mean all is lost. It could be that you just need to make a few minor adjustments. But you will never know if you don’t do an audit and find out what adjustments you need to make. Of course, it is imperative that you do the right audits because there are a lot of them from which to choose. If you are not retaining customers at an appropriate rate, you will need to analyze your retention curve.
Retention is one of those slippery stats that can reveal a major weakness. You are just spinning in place if you are bleeding customers as fast as you get them in the door. An audit could find that your customers are having buyers remorse after having a frustrating time with blister packaging. A small adjustment in packaging could make the difference between poor customer retention and rich customer growth. As with physical health, minor issues become big problems when they are not audited by a professional. Here are a few audits you should schedule right away if your business is not on track:
What kind of parcel and freight audit software are you using? A FedEx audit can make a big difference in your profitability. Without a strong logistics audit, you could be, and probably are missing out on eligible refunds and shipment credits that are rightfully yours.
Logistics is not all about refunds and credits. It is also about time of delivery. Right now, Amazon is the gold standard. Your customers know about Amazon and will be comparing your service. Amazon has made it difficult for everyone. You order something and it is at your door in two days or less. It is often easier to return a product you bought from Amazon than it is to return products locally. This is what you have to live up to.
What you can’t offer in price and speed of delivery, you can make up in service and satisfaction guarantees. You can use better shipping packages so that your products suffer less damage during shipment. Even if the product arrives safely, the customer will not feel good about the experience if the box is badly damaged. That is not all down to the delivery company. That is often a matter of poor packaging. When you audit every part of your logistics, you might find the boost you’ve been lacking.
Audit Your Website
There are a lot of things about your website you will need to audit. It is not just about checking to make sure everything is spelled correctly. That said, you would be surprised at how many websites have spelling errors, even in the large print. Even so, that is not your biggest problem.
Driving the funnel with link building is the kind of thing you can only do well when you do a full link audit. If you make the right kind of back linking error, you can find yourself delisted by Google. If your Google placement is not what you hoped it would be, it is probably because of something to do with your site. How is your mobile responsiveness? You could have a worse ranking because of a website unoptimized for mobile. A full website audit by a professional auditor can make all the difference.
Apple CEO, Tim Cook’s superpower is inventory and supply chain management. Apple used to have a major problem with inventory control until Cook came on board. He moved the company to a just in time model and the rest is stock market history. Of course, this method is not without risks and up front costs. Apple often has to buy out a company’s entire manufacturing capabilities for years in advance. That is both risky and expensive.
You might not be sitting on top of a two trillion dollar company. But you can eke out a bit more profit by doing a proper inventory audit. How many weeks of inventory do you carry? Do you even know? Too much inventory can represent loss in the form of opportunity cost. When you are tied to weeks or even months of slow-moving inventory, you either have to write it off or let your business stall while you sell through it.
Your company will suffer its biggest challenges when you become complacent. On the one hand, there is nothing wrong with being satisfied with how your business is going. Sales are steady, customers are happy. And profits are acceptable. On the other hand, when things are acceptable, you tend to lower your guard. That is when you fail to notice the little things that can be problematic. Even when you start to notice them, you don’t react the way you should because everything is fine.
When things are fine, you should ask yourself why things aren’t excellent. In business, “fine” is a euphemism for stagnant. Stagnation is the first of a few short steps to ruin. You need to do a productivity audit to discover why things are only fine. Is your salesforce content? Are they easily hitting their goals? If everyone on your team is hitting their quotas, your quotas aren’t high enough. If workers can get all their work done and still waste half a day at the water cooler discussing the latest episode of Ted Lasso, they don’t have enough to do. If everyone’s desk is spotless and all the paperwork is in order, Your workers had too much time for mundane tasks. Things don’t need to be frantic to be productive. But there are always signs that you are not getting all of what you are paying for. If you really don’t have more for your workers to do, you should cut hours. Stop bleeding money with the paper cuts of inefficiency. Audit every part of your business and start realizing that “fine” is not good enough.
In business, auditing is not just for taxes. If you want to get your business out of a slump, be sure to audit your logistics, your website, your inventory and your business processes.
Open Business Council offers resources, Trade Finance, business advice, SME Finance and a forum and directory for businesses! Improve your business and use the best digital, financial and funding tools to grow ROI – return on investment and ROA – return on attention!