1. Dive in and discover hidden value in your business

Sometimes, in the day-to-day grind of our businesses, we can’t see the wood for the trees. Profitability eludes us, despite the fact we are working hard and our business is growing. We know we probably need to adjust our approach or offering, but it can be hard to know where to start.

One of the tactics I often suggest to clients in this situation is to gain new insights by revisiting their client base with a strategic analysis. A client-centric health check is similar to a health check with your GP, where you fine tune your lifestyle for healthier outcomes.

While this is an excellent process at any time of year, it’s best put in place at the beginning of the financial year or the end of a quarter, when we are looking to refine, tweak or pivot our growth strategy.

We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule, whereby 80 per cent of our business typically comes from 20 percent of our clients. This is usually a reasonable measure to use when looking at what percentage of clients or product lines contribute the most to your business profits. In some businesses, it can actually be a 90/10 distribution, which creates an even bigger risk to your business’ sustainability. So how can we significantly shift these numbers to create a sustainable business?

 

client centric health check involves identifying and analysing four key factors:

  • Existing client list (Everyone you have transacted with over the past 3-5 years and their sales data)
  • Growth clients (Clients who have an expected 15% growth this year)
  • Well-managed clients (Clients who will remain within current sales volume)
  • At-risk clients (Clients who are dissatisfied with the offering or sales are in decline)

Successful business leaders make key business decisions based on critical, real-life components – i.e. the facts. While operating on gut feel or making decisions based on emotions can be important, these decisions are significantly enhanced when facts confirm what you felt or ‘just knew, deep down’.

While not the most glamorous of pastimes, data analysis is the most useful guide in your business journey. Facts remove erratic emotions, providing a clear path that shows where we came from and where we are now, enabling us to plot a path to where we need to be.

Financial reality enables you to open your eyes and mind to opportunities ahead – and create clear strategies to address issues and optimise strengths.

In the worksheet, you will learn the process of creating a client-centric health check for yourself. All you need is a new Excel or Numbers spreadsheet, your most up to date financial statement, a good dash of focus and your favourite cup of coffee or tea beside you.

Discover your Hidden Value – a step by step guide

  • Open an Excel or Numbers Spreadsheet
  • Create and name four columns – A, B, C and D
  • List all clients in column A
  • Assign a revenue level to each client in column B – choose either ‘high’ or ‘low’
  • Categorise clients based on quantity or mix of products they purchase – choose either ‘high’ or ‘low’ in column C
  • Identify clients as growth clients, well-managed clients, or at-risk clients in column D
  • Your next step is to undertake an intuitive segmentation of your clients. Confirm your segmentation and/or identify any gaps between your current perception and actual client sales patterns – look closely at your sales data.
  • Finally, cluster your clients in a matrix. For example ‘A’ scored high in Revenue and Product columns and is identified as a growth client. ‘B’ also scored high in both columns but is classified as well-managed. Complete the remainder of the matrix following this rationale.

Some tips to remember as you analyse your data.

  • A growth client should deliver 15 per cent or more revenue in the coming year
  • A well-managed client delivers between zero and 14 per cent annual sales growth
  • At-risk clients are known to be dissatisfied with a product or service, or identified as having declining sales over the past 3 to 6 months compared to the previous year.
  • Identify any clients who have 1) growth potential, 2) are high in columns B or C and 3) have not been actively engaged with you for six months.

 

 

Your task

Create a client-centric matrix for your business, as shown in Figure 1 and a cluster chart as shown in Figure 2. (You may want to involve your sales team.)

  1. Can you see where the unrealised potential lies?
  2. Has your product offering expanded? Has this opened up new opportunities?
  3. Have all your + + clients and Growth clients (identified in Figure 2) had direct communication with you or your team in the last three months?
  4. What could you do to engage your key clients in a way that is interesting, beneficial and innovative?
  5. Review your client-centric matrix and identify those who can be shifted from well managed to growth, or those at risk to a highly satisfied, strong revenue contributing client.

Where to from here?

What you measure can be managed and what is observed is done

This matrix ensures you have a very clear focus on who contributes the most value to your business. Take steps to build better relationships with your most valuable clients and you’ll be rewarded with greater business growth and an improved client experience.

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