In this 2nd “spotlearn” video from the #BrexFitBunker, Malcolm Gallagher introduces you to the essentials of a #Brexit Continuity Plan also known as a Brexit Contingency Plan or BCP. Know how to mitigate risk and the steps of a plan.
The BrexFit Bunker is a new series of short “spotlearn” videos presented by Malcolm Gallagher. Each video aims to give you incisive knowledge on a #Brexit action element. Video 1 is an introduction to a No Deal scenario,
I’ve produced a short video with my 6 wishes for your great 2019. Whilst they are principally for my tourism & hospitality clients I suggest they can apply to all sectors. What do you think?
Get to the Point BrexFit video No 2
This is Video 2 in our Get To The Point series with Hugh Morgan-Williams and Malcolm Gallagher. In this video, Malcolm asks Hugh if an external communications campaign at this time in #Brexit negotiations may hurt the business.
For our BrexFit channel we recently video interviewed Sir Keir Starmer, Shadow Brexit Secretary. Hugh Morgan-Williams asked the questions and, myself, Malcolm Gallagher filmed the interview and produced five short videos. In video 1 Sir Keir says how Labour would go about the Brexit
New “Get To The Point” Brexit video series launched by Get BrexFit team
by Malcolm Gallagher
When we’ve been out and about with our Get BrexFit podcast and filming, a host of small and medium-sized businesses have been giving us their “Brexit feelings”. Some of it has been quite strong (take note politicians!). And others very perplexed, unsure and looking for sensible guidance. I say sensible because there’s a lot of narrow-thinking out there and its likely to get worse and possibly harmful to you so beware! To help we’ve taken a selection of your questions and comments and made them into a #GetBrexFit video series we’re calling “Get To The Point” – because that’s what you seem to want, not the self-centered waffle that’s out there! Anyways you can try us out with below Video One in the series. More will be posted over the coming weeks.
The idea is that we take one of your key questions which I narrate. Then it’s over to my BrexFit co-presenter, Hugh Morgan-Williams, to give you our answer. Hugh spends nearly two days a week just researching Brexit so he has bountiful knowledge as well as being a sad person doing that!! But it’s sound knowledge you need along with sound advice – and that’s our aim at #GetBrexFit.
Watch the video below – Video 1 is on the need for financial resources – listen to the weekly Get BrexFit business podcast and contact us if you want to see, size and seize the Brexit opportunity.
You want to make the right quality and timely decisions. You can’t afford to wait and see. So your decisions need to have velocity alongside quality.
I was intrigued to read recently that the Consultants, McKinsey, said that businesses who make decisions well use 3 ingredients. How are you performing in all of the following 3?
McKinsey found first of all that winners use SPEED as part of their process. Those winners will often make a decision with just 80% of the necessary information rather than waiting for it all and possibly lose out to a competitor.
Its sensible here, as the business leader, to identify what decisions ONLY YOU can make and delegate the rest. Make sure your decision process allows you to move good ideas forward quickly.
The second ingredient of decision winners, says McKinsey, is that they favour interaction amongst themselves over the process of deep analysis. Good interaction sparks off great ideas and it also has the extra benefit of heading off biases with the result that everyone is in tune together.
And the third ingredient is to what they call “Choreograph the decision process”. Hey, if you have been to a stage show or even watched Strictly Come Dancing you know how effective and impressive good choreography can be. Without choreography, your decision making could become turgid with countless reviews and approvals. Craft it so the decision process is made in one place.
So that’s a brief look at a key soft skill of decision making. Sharpen your process now and you’ll be more fit to compete for any business opportunity. Are you using all 3 steps?
Ask yourself these 6 key questions to see if your timing is right for growth
says, Malcolm Gallagher of BizVision,
A key question at the moment should be “Is your business ready to grow”? Irrespective of what is happening in the bigger “Brexit” picture at the moment. In growth, timing is crucial.
You need to decide if your business is in what I call a sensible position to journey on a growth strategy. To help you make this decision, coming up are just 6 deep dive questions to ask yourself.
- How is your business performing against your budget in sales, and costs? I hope you are using some key ratios here. If not then email me email@example.com and I’ll send you the top 3 ratios for small businesses
- Thinking of your available resources, how is your business using those resources to generate profit? Or is it not? Sometimes resources such as assets are bought and they lie unused or underutilised. Also, have you sold off old equipment (say on eBay)) – a few pounds is better than nothing
- Is your market sector expanding or contracting? Or where is it changing? We have seen horror stories about retailers recently and problems about construction businesses. But these changes usually mean there is opportunity elsewhere. Are you missing it? Is your radar working to seek out opportunities?
- How are your competitors behaving? Rationally or not? What are they saying publicly? If you don’t know, you need to start what I call a Comp Set. Take your top 5 competitors and monitor them, benchmark your elf against them, keep a watch for news on their website with RSS feeds or use services such as Mention.com or Talkwalker.com to get a hold of what they are both saying and doing.
- Ask yourself the truthful question of how much cash have you got that is readily available to fund growth. Likely it is not enough so you need to go searching for funding. Do it soon not last minute.
- How well do you use your working capital? Funders will want to know but you should know this NOW not when you want more money.
Okay, there’s your six key questions to get you truly ready for growth. Armed with the answers you can make your growth decision. Which are the most relevant to you? Have I missed any key ones?
Using symbols and models can help people grab concepts, making things easier to understand. So here’s a way to communicate to your people the importance of an all-round positive customer experience. It’s called the Change Maker Tricycle of Customer Service.
Whilst this item is aimed at the hospitality sector, it is applicable across most businesses. Just adjust to suit yours!
Your Three Wheels
There are three wheels to the tricycle
- Service efficiency where everything needs to be working to get satisfaction
- The quality of your product or offering meeting their expectations
- And the Hospitality Skills of your people
Service efficiency is the need to ensure that you have systems and procedures in place to help your people deliver the right type of product or offering. Efficiency and timeliness is vital. These can be policies for handling problems or complaints or it could be the right type and effective technology systems
Having the right quality of your physical product or offering means that the ‘bricks and mortar’ elements at least meet if not exceed the expectations of your customer. This can include the cleanliness and fittings in the bedroom, restaurants, lounges, fitness centres.
Remember quality means fit for purpose so it doesn’t have to be totally overboard.
The first two components represented the back wheels of the tricycle. But it’s the front wheel, BIGGER than the other two which steers your tricycle in the right direction.
Most managers are smart enough to teach people about welcome skills and most teach new staff about using technology, systems and procedures. Unfortunately most only skim the surface on teaching hospitality skills
Using the Change Maker Tricycle of Customer Service
Lose a rear wheel?
What happens if a rear wheel comes off? For example, the quality offering wheel. Let’s say they get a warm greeting and check-in and then go to their room which is dirty or things not working. The result is that their experience has been marred.
If it’s the service efficiency wheel then let’s say again they get the warm greeting but something goes wrong in the service such as the key system not working, the credit card machine inoperable, the computer system down, slow service at check-in causing the tired and hungry guest to wait 20 minutes for the key.
But the front wheel?
The two rear wheels are usually handled by sound training which most people have or should be given. But the front wheel, the one that steers your tricycle is often ignored. You see this as someone arrives at reception and sees the top of a receptionist’s head “Checking-in?” It almost wants to make you say “No, I’m standing here with my suitcase as it’s a hobby of mine seeing how many hotel lobby’s I can visit with my suitcase!” I know that sounds facetious but I’m sure you get the gist. Or when you go into the dining room by yourself and the waiter says “Just for one?” in a condescending manner.
It is important that the front wheel doesn’t come off and that your people are taught hospitality skills in the form of interactive communication. They need to know to smile, make eye contact, have the right body language, and anticipate guests and how to start the right kind of customer interaction.
Everyone is in the driving seat
It is important for staff and managers to know that everyone can be in the driving seat of the tricycle. Everyone can bring out their best side. Everyone can work to anticipate customer needs and make sure that all three wheels work in harmony to meet customer needs.
How to use this Change Maker learning
Use the Change Maker tricycle model for your next training session or meeting to illustrate to them the importance of the three wheels and that everyone needs to ride the Tricycle of Customer Service to provide hospitality excellence.
What’s your thoughts?
What’s your experience with standards of customer service? Are they improving at your organisation? Where are you making changes? What are you doing to monitor and measure service standards?
How do you score on the supplier four?
Over the last few years we’ve had some frenetic activity at The Preferred Supplier with our programmes and presentations, filming of buyers and coaching on tendering. But one thing has arisen a number of times.
I’ve been by asked many what I think are the essential attributes of a great supplier. I’m not talking skills, resources or facilities here but instead the spine or the core that gives form to the selected or differentiated supplier.
My suggestion to you is that the difference lies in the four core areas of CRIC – Committed, Resilient, Innovative and Compliant.
Here’s a brief overview of each of the 4 parts of CRIC. Read through and think how they apply to you and how you score with each of the four.
Committed is about a commitment to continuous improvement and the ability to be evidential about that improvement. Now, wrapped up in this is commitment to quality, commitment to consistency and commitment to customer service. It’s also about “keeping your promise to your customer” such as commitment to delivery on time. Far too many suppliers reckon they are committed to say quality because they have ISO qualification but forget that it is daily living that commitment that sets the excellent apart from the average. You can measure yourself and be evidential in your commitment by asking us about The Preferred Supplier balanced scorecard.
Resilience was something addressed by Nick Edgar, of IP Group who are fund managers, when speaking at our The Preferred Supplier event. Resilience is not totally internal, for example about your financial strength, but also external about resilience within your own supply chain and the market your serve. Start thinking, how strong and reliable are your suppliers because that’s what your customer is likely also thinking if they are to select you?
Innovative is to-day becoming an abused word! My friend, Charles Sellers, is an acclaimed expert on innovation and passionate about the need to start thinking just what is true innovation. When I talk about innovative actions he makes me think if it is truly innovative by asking which of these three things can be said about the innovation. Is it the same as, similar too or different than? I can’t stress how important innovation is in being the preferred supplier but, at the same time, it has to be true innovation.
Compliance is something far too many suppliers hope will go away – but it won’t! A recent CIPS survey showed that 54% of companies expect compliance demands to increase this coming year with only 2% thinking it will decline. But compliance is an all-embracing word. Compliance in what? It differs across company, organisation and sector but don’t ignore the essentials of inclusion, environmental and health and safety.
CRIC is my core four attributes or make-up of a selected or preferred supplier. Have I missed anything truly essential? How do you measure up to the four? Where is your biggest challenge?