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A Goldilocks finish - Quarterly survey of business opinion FEBRUARY 2015
The New Zealand economy had a Goldilocks finish last year, writes Paul Davies. It was not too hot, nor too cold, according to the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion.
Optimism, activity, hiring and a slew of other indicators rebounded in the December 2014 quarter from moderation in the preceding six months. But cost and inflationary pressures remained contained.
Business confidence has stabilised at 21 per cent net optimists, after adjusting for the usual seasonal variations. While optimism has faded from the heady highs of late 2013 and early 2014, firms are optimistic relative to history. Merchants were more confident in the December 2014 quarter, but optimism faded for builders, manufacturers and services firms.”
Now is the time of year to set your plans. This is the year to work hard to grow your business performance.
1. Analyse your finances
- Do a full financial analysis to establish your current situation.
- Benchmark your business compared with the top achievers.
- Identify your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities.
- Monitor progress with ongoing analysis and financial planning.
2. Your vision
- Clearly define business objectives and long-term goals.
- Create a vision statement for your business, based on what your business is about and how it will achieve its objectives.
- Create your vision statement with your team and your customers, ensuring the fully understand and buy into it.
- Incorporate your vision statement into all internal and external communications.
3. Your advantage
- Define what it is that your business does differently from all your competitors.
- What makes it unique? Is there a demand for this?
- Ask your customers – Customer Survey. Identify who/what/where your target market is.
- Incorporate your unique selling proposition (USP) into all internal and external communications.
4. Your image
- Does your image reflect your business objectives?
- How does your target market perceive your business?
- Create the image you want your customers to consistently see and experience when they visit your office, or web site, or read your advertising, your brochure and your stationery.
5. Your team
- Implement a fully inclusive pricing / service policy – Your price / our service.
- Create systems and procedures for every role, with checklists.
- Implement performance targets, regular appraisals and incentive programmes – Increase productivity through accountability.
- Establish a regime of weekly sales meetings, incorporating product knowledge updates and performance reviews.
- Full compliance in terms of employ- ment agreements.
- Complete training on USP, service standards, pricing policy, and all procedures.
6. Your communication
- Implement a consultant driven sales and marketing system.
- Develop a website for your business, consistent with your image, to help build credibility and promote your USP.
- Consistent advertising must always feature product and your USP.