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In my last post, I looked at how to avoid burning out by implementing a systems approach to your business, you can read that here. In this post, I am digging deeper into how to fine tune your systems so that you can maximise your profits.
So, let’s assume you have your systems and procedures in place. Now you’re ready to start to test and measure what effect fine tuning these will have on the business. What I’m talking about is the small 1-5% improvements. If you get enough of these right you’ll see incredible changes in the business and hopefully, more profit too.
To illustrate my point, have a look at this video from GCN on team Sky’s marginal gains philosophy.
One of the most obvious areas to seek these 1-3% gains is in changing your display. Ensure you are maximising spend during breakfast, morning, lunch and during the afternoon. Just remember to measure how these tweaks are working. You’ll never know how successful the changes are if you’re inconsistent in your approach. Do it for at least two weeks and see how it impacts turnover.
Look at these changes as a science experiment which you need to measure… If I do X, what effect will it have on the business? Once you have measured the results you can make the gains that work, part of your procedures (and the ones that don’t are put down to a learning experience).
Let’s assume you do try changing the display three times per day. Ask yourself questions such as;
- How does it effect the turnover?
- By how much, what percentage?
- What impact does getting the till operator offering every customer our special have on sales?
Consider the big picture as well with questions such as;
- How much, as a percentage do I want to increase or decrease X by?
- How can I measure it’s effectiveness?
- How would it affect both the staff and the customers experience?
- How can we do it consistently so that it is a part of the culture of the business?
- How long do I need to test before deciding it either work’s or doesn’t?
It’s all about creating the systems first and then working on the incremental improvements. In your first 3-6 months of operating you need to get the procedures in place. Only then can you start to work on the marginal gains to optimise turnover.
Processes will also allow you to do several additional things as an owner. They will;
- Allow you to show your team how to run your business and delegate to them
- Show you that the business can run just as smoothly when you’re not there
- Help you to get to work on growing the business by working like a CEO
- Allow you to measure from a big picture perspective.
Working in this way requires you to be intentional. Whether you’re just launching or you are a grizzled cafe veteran, it does not matter, you need to create the processes and systems that run the business.
Rather than being overwhelmed by the business you will be in control. You’ll be able to balance the time you spend between working in the business with working on it each day. Not to mention having a life outside of work to see friends and family, ironically this is better for you and the business as well.
I challenge you to set a goal to increase turnover by a minimum of 10% and make savings on outgoings of 5%. Think of three operations (do not work on more than 2-3 things at any one time) you can do to increase turnover and 1-2 areas to reduce outgoings without compromising on quality. I’d love to hear how you go in the comments.
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