How healthy is your business?

Smart practice

Are you keen to make it stronger?

We know you're busy with the daily demands of your business. But why not step off the hamster wheel, just for a little while, and test the health of your business?

We've made it easy for you with this handy infographic full of tips and recommendations to help you build a stronger business.

Click on a body part to reveal solutions and strategies that could set you up for a stronger, more financially stable and successful business. No nasty pricks or jabs…just useful insights and strategies.

Check your prognosis now!

 

Staff: the brains behind what you do

How healthy is your greatest asset?

Your people are your greatest asset. Studies show that the cost of replacing a full-time employee is six to nine months of their salary. So not only do you need to attract the best people, you need to nurture them.

A potential employee needs a clear picture of your business – not just salary and benefits, but experiences, opportunities, values and culture. Taking the time to write an Employee Value Proposition will help you articulate what it's like to work for you. When people know what they're signing up for, you end up retaining talented staff for longer.

Want to know how to keep ahead of the pack, when it comes to staff performance? Then consider diversity.

When people with different skills and levels of ability work together on a problem, they are more likely to outperform a homogenous work group. Research shows that Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of female board directors perform better than their peers.1 Similarly, companies with cultural and linguistic diversity have "more customers, increased sales revenue, greater relative profits and greater market share."2

Read more about the case for diversity.

 

 

Clients: the heart of your business

What makes your clients tick?

A happy client is a profitable client – more likely to stay with your business, recommend friends to you and invest more money with you. But how can you be sure you're covering off all everything you need to, to keep those important clients happy?

Based on an in-depth study of more than 1200 clients3, we have identified the secret to satisfied clients and developed some simple but effective strategies, including what data you need to measure client satisfaction properly. You'll also find out where to target your efforts to better engage with your clients.

One simple tactic is to make each face to face meeting more meaningful. In this busy digital age, it's easy to think you don't have time to meet your clients in person. But sometimes, this time investment can have an excellent return on investment. Discover the business case for building face-to-face relationships – including five ways to make every meeting count.

 

 

Operations: the backbone of your organisation

Are you spending and saving in the right places?

Want to protect your margins? Then your operations need to be as lean as possible. But how do you cut costs without compromising service?

This guide to asset finance options will help you decide what sort of funding your business needs and if different options could give you tax breaks. Your current financing could be hampering your borrowing power. Take the time to review whether your vehicle and equipment financing should be on or off your balance sheet.

Here's another idea. Thanks to cloud computing, your business can now use outsourcing to cut down on fixed costs and improve efficiencies. But outsourcing isn't just about saving money – it's also a speedy means of giving your business new capabilities.

Of course, you need to weigh up the risks and benefits carefully – and manage your provider in a smart way. We take you through the secrets of outsourcing success here.

 

 

Marketing: what's your elevator pitch?

Are you an effective networker?

Most people would rather go to the dentist than a networking event. But it doesn't have to be a painful experience. If you get it right, it can be a fantastic way to extend your business contacts, build relationships with influential people and generate sales leads.

These top tips to get the most out of networking will show you how to introduce yourself, how to make the most of your time and how to influence people – without being pushy. Introverts will find survival techniques. Extroverts will discover how to target their social energy effectively.

Want your marketing budget to go further?

The secret is to focus on your clients. In the three golden rules of marketing, discover how to put your clients at the centre of your marketing plan. As well as top tips to grow your business, you'll find out what the cornerstone of your strategy should be, the power of direct engagement and how to use your reputation to your advantage.

 

 

Referrals: extend your reach

Are you encouraging and rewarding your advocates for referring your services?

What's the lowest cost and most effective organic growth strategy? Referrals. People are far more likely to trust a recommendation from someone they know – than to respond to advertising or direct marketing. Even better, referred clients are up to six times more likely to convert than sales leads gathered by other means.

But there's a big difference between getting clients through word of mouth and putting in place a strategic referral program. So how do you build a successful referral marketing program for your business? Find out in 5 steps to successful referral marketing.

Have you ever wondered why some clients give more effective referrals than others? It comes down to your relationship. In the video building a successful referral network, Macquarie clients share their experiences of proactively seeking referrals. You'll hear about what they look for in a referral partner and tips and tricks for building these critical relationships.

 

 

Knowledge: putting your best foot forward

Are your systems and knowledge sources outdated?

If you still have legacy systems, the chances are your processes and systems are cumbersome, labour intensive and inefficient. The problem is that legacy systems don't 'talk' to each other. So your team still has to enter data manually – when they could be spending time on more value-adding activities.

You know you should upgrade to more advanced technologies, but you're worried about the expense, effort and potential risk of business interruption. What happens if data gets lost? Will your business be disrupted?

In this case study, about using technology for growth, find out how real estate and strata business easily updated their inefficient software and banking platforms to improve customer service, reduce costs and win new business.

Are you using Macquarie's expertise to your advantage?

Tap into articles on all the latest news and legislation. Get summaries of new regulations – including tax changes – and their implications for your business.

 

 

Finance: the bottom line

Do you know how to manage your cash flow?

Your survival depends on cash flow management. Even strong sales aren't worth the spreadsheet they're recorded in – until the cash appears. Find out how to avoid cash flow problems, including the discipline you need around debtor and creditor payments.

Do you have the right people, practices and technology in place? What cash flow tips will boost your performance? Get tips on how to manage your payment terms – in your business and with your clients. Which strategy has the greatest impact on your profitability? Your pricing strategy.

In 6 steps for pricing success, you'll find a checklist for reviewing your pricing model. Should you be using cost-plus or fixed-fee pricing? What impact will a pricing change have on your clients? Learn what you need to consider and how to make smart decisions about this critical strategy.

 

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