Coachfirm May June 2019

HOW CRITICAL ARE CRITICAL NUMBERS?

Finding the Root of Your Issues Could Be Your Saving Grace

Success may look a little different for every business. Depending on your industry

end up losing yourself in your business reports and leaving the situation confused as to where your money is going. It is the idea of having a performance indicator on your balance sheets where you can gauge where your expenses, profits, or other various statistics are going to, and how they size up to previous time frames. Being able to find your critical number — and find out what that means for your particular business or industry — can be the most important choice in your whole business planning process. In order to make it easier, you should be looking at the categories that most relate to factors surrounding your company, such as weaknesses in operations or business model, customer loss, and issues with your cost structure and how that relates to competitors in your field. For most people, this could simply be revenue, but that’s not always the case. Many times, the only way you will find your perfect critical number is by identifying the root cause of your issues and using that to determine what your most important indicator is.

and the scale of your company, you may be

more concerned with one set of data than another. For example, one company may be concerned with new customers, while another

may be looking closer at their statistics involving their gross revenue. In these data points lies the idea of the critical number. This number can show you what you need to change in your

business, from sales all the way to net profit, and be successful. It all starts by having a serious talk with your accountant and making sure that you fully understand what your balance sheet is really telling you.

As long as you can find that, you’ll be well on your way to turning your ship around.

Accountants are sometimes known to fluff the numbers for various reasons, and by using fancy words and beating around the bush, you

The Good Kind of Gossip How to Cultivate Valuable Customer Reviews

3. Ask the Right Questions Think of the review process as a conversation rather than a request to be met, and use open-ended questions to start. Before you even request a review, you can ask customers questions like “Howwas your recent experience with us?” or “How are you liking your product?” That way, you can gauge their satisfaction before they leave any feedback. 4. Respond, Respond, Respond The last thing you want to see is a scathing one-star review. But no matter how hard you work, they are still bound to happen. When you receive one, take the time to respond thoughtfully —without being defensive — and try to come up with a possible solution to the complaint. And be sure to respond to your positive reviews as well. When you show that you engage with all of your customers, prospective ones will be more likely to give you a shot.

When you’re thinking about buying a new product or service, what’s the first step you take? If you turn to the world wide web in search of reviews, then you’re in good company. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 85 percent of consumers regard the customer review to be the single most credible and trustworthy source of advertising. That same survey found that 68 percent of customers surveyed were willing to provide feedback for a company. So, how do you get your customers to write the glowing reviews that help close deals? 1. Diversify Your Platforms Don’t rely on customers to go to your website to leave reviews. There are numerous websites you can utilize that make leaving feedback more convenient for your clients. What’s more is that these other platforms are highly trafficked. BrightLocal found that Facebook and Yelp were consumers’ most trusted source of user reviews in the U.S., but you can also use Google My Business or the Better Business Bureau. Most importantly, be sure you are active on all the platforms you use. 2. Offer Incentives Give your clients a reason to write reviews. Consider offering incentives like a discount or coupon code, coffee gift card, or an entry to win a contest for an even bigger prize.

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