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Are You in a Sales Slump? – 7 Tips for Business Success from a Business Coach

Learn from McDonald’s Turnaround Strategy – 7 Tips for Business Success from a Business Coach

Sales Slumps tend to get your attention – quickly!  Like any good business, McDonald’s is very aware of its sales. Do you remember when McDonald’s used to advertise on their golden arches how many millions and then how many billions of hamburgers were sold? Well recently the new C.E.O discovered the bottom line showed signs of wavering consumer confidence.  Did they miss the current trend? Has quality control changed? Is the competition eating their lunch (pun intended)? Well, there are many opinions about what happened but regardless of what camp you talk to, the results speak for themselves. It’s summed up in two words “lackluster performance”- ouch!

In an article published in the Globe and Mail on May 04, 2015, McDonald’s new C.E.O. Steve Easterbrook gives his perspective on success.

“No business or brand has a divine right to succeed, and the reality is our recent performance has been poor,” Mr. Easterbrook said in a video message posted on McDonald’s corporate site. “I will not shy away from the urgent need to reset this business.”

So what was Steve talking about when he said ‘reset’?

Well, resetting is what business owners need to do when the direction of the company has strayed from the formula that made it successful to start with. Basically you start over and go back to the basics so that the fundamentals and foundation of your company is solid.

7 Ways to Reset Your Business for Success

1. Streamline your business structure

Take a look at how you are running your core functions and look for procedures and processes that are no longer serving your company.  Frequently businesses will grow and keep all of the habits and processes along the way regardless of whether they are still needed or not. By reviewing everything you’ll eliminate costly overhead, expenses and out dated procedures.

2. Get back to your best sales model

Every company has sales and marketing revenue streams that have worked in the past and then evolved into something different. By looking back at your original revenue streams you can see how your revenue generation has evolved, what sales techniques worked and which ones did not. This may be a good time to have a sales training seminar to refresh everyone’s skills.

3. Collect input from all of your team

Inside your company is team members who not only have real experience working with the company’s internal systems but they also have built business relationships with your clients. Why not tap into their knowledge, experience, and insight for ideas and suggestions as to how to improve the daily operations of the business.

4. Eliminate operations that are no longer profitable

Sometimes it’s hard to look objectively at each area or department of your business to see if it is working effectively. If you have been distracted with the day to day operations now is the time to review all operations. You may need to bring in a third party to take a look at how you do things.

5. Identify challenges and problems that are killing profitability

Examine what’s not working and then call in the experts to do an evaluation. With an expert opinion you will be able to make the decision that will be best for the future of your business.

6. Re-evaluate your ideal client

Take a look at your ideal client. Find out which client profile is the easiest to sell to, to work with and is the most profitable.  Then get clear about every detail about that client profile such as their income, size of company and values.  By understanding your ideal client you will be able to readjust your business to fill their biggest needs.

7. Re-evaluate your current market conditions

Here’s an important one- take the time to study the current market conditions. No matter what industry or business you are in you need to keep up with the current trends and fads. The conditions you were familiar with a few years ago may now be completely different.  For example social media has become a significant advertising tool— are you using it yet? How is your web site doing, are you using metrics to track visitors, referrals, bounce rates, exit pages, and conversions? Understanding the current marketing conditions will help you figure out what you need to do with any decision you make.
So take a lesson from McDonald’s. They have simplified their offerings by following tip  #2 (getting back to their best sales model), looked for healthier alternatives, tip #7 (re-evaluate the current market conditions) and are considering testing a personalized menu tip # 6 (re-evaluating their ideal client). McDonald’s understands their client and market. It will be interesting to see how they make the changes necessary to successfully reset and continue to be a global leader. Stay tuned!