The activity management tools are like a map. The one that guides you in your Business Management.
Without it, no clarity. The road becomes hazardous. The chances of reaching the goal are compromised. Not to mention the detours that make you waste a lot of time ...
In this article, I will explain to you concretely which management tools to put in place for each aspect of your business :
- at the level strategic ;
- at the level financial ;
- at the level of human ressources ;
- at the level of prospecting commercial.
Good reading !
Strategic management tools
Entrepreneurial strategy, your roadmap
Your strategy is the basis of everything. I told you about it in this article on entrepreneurial strategy. A good strategy includes:
- of Goals ;
- of actions ;
- of monitoring indicators.
Indicators help you check your performance. They start from what was planned (your objectives) to compare it with what was achieved (your results). Anglicism KPI is often used to designate them (for Key Performance Indicators).
The dashboard, a performance management tool
The dashboard is the most suitable tool for evaluating the performance of a company to ensure monitoring of these indicators.
But which metrics should you use in this dashboard to gauge your results?
The management and performance indicators can be very diverse. They vary depending on your purpose. You can even have multiple dashboards depending on which aspect of your business you want to check out.
It could be :
- indicators financial ;
- indicators commercial ;
- indicators of quality ;
Monitoring indicators and results indicators
Warning ! There are two different types of indicators:
- indicators of action tracking ;
- indicators of monitoring objectives.
The action monitoring indicators help you measure the result of your actions. These lead you towards the achievement of a goal.
However, some of them may not have the expected results.
These indicators help you correct the course on the way to reaching your goal despite potential failures. They help you spot problems and react to them right away. For example, by using more resources or by practicing some adjustments. Or even by putting an end to an action which ultimately proves ineffective.
For their part, indicators for monitoring an objective simply validate success or failure in the pursuit of that goal. It's up to you to find other ways to reach it in a new strategic plan, or redefine your goals. Maybe you set those goals wrong from the start? 😉
Financial activity management tools
The right financial and accounting management tools
Manage the finances of your business, here is a whole program… essential! Again, you need to know where you are.
The management tools for a good control of the financial management of your business are:
- the Adequacy Report ;
- the estimated budget ;
- the cash plan ;
- the income statement.
Financial management tools indicators
The managing your budget is based on specific indicators that give you global visibility.
It is not enough that the company's bank account is full. You still have to know what charges will fall on you tomorrow! Just like it doesn't do much to have a full tank of gas if you don't know how many miles you have to go and where the next station is.
The key indicators are:
- thedifference on turnover (the difference between your financial forecast and your actual performance);
- the late payments (yours and those of your clients!);
- the Gross margin (or commercial margin) and thegross operating surplus (EBE), which roughly indicate if your business is profitable;
- the break even ;
- the need in funds (BFR);
- the self-financing capacity (CAF).
These indicators and management tools make it possible to measure the good financial performance of your business. Even if you have an accountant to handle all of this, keep an eye on it. You will always know if your business is healthy.
I am aware that all these technical financial data are sometimes impressive for entrepreneurs and managers of TPE. You are always on the front lines and have to deal with many different aspects of your business. My coaching offer includes financial management tools in excel that help you master all this data and use it with ease. 😉
Business management: people first
When we talk about business management, we do not immediately think of individuals. However, they are part of the company, and rather twice!
Manage the activity of a team is a delicate exercise. I regularly meet entrepreneurs who have started without having any notion of management and who are helpless in the face of this issue. Human beings are more difficult to manage and measure than financial data. Are you in this case?
Management especially asks forempathy, of the'relational intelligence and leadership. None of the activity management tools can replace all of this.
However, you can “oil” the cogs of the machine by providing your team with efficient organization and good working conditions. And, there, the HR management tools can help you.
The tools to lead a team
Good planning, made up of clearly defined and achievable steps and actions, is essential to motivate teams. You can also send certain elements of your dashboard, or even all of it, to some of your employees in order to federate them and involve them as much as possible. The whole company is more in osmosis when it moves forward by following the same road map!
There are also many project management tools on the web that work in sharing.
The key is organization. If everyone knows what to do, why and when, everything becomes clearer for everyone.
This has an impact at all levels:
- motivation of individuals ;
- decrease in conflicts ;
- meeting deadlines ;
- quality of work.
Commercial prospecting tools
Just like management, customer search is an activity that makes many entrepreneurs uncomfortable. I have already spoken of the Customer survey in another article.
The good news is that it's easier to model the behavior of buyers (whether B to B or B to C) than of its employees. You can rely on a few prospecting tools to manage your search for clients ... while keeping in mind that, in this area too, human skills, interpersonal skills, leadership and sometimes daring cannot be replaced by software!
The customer relationship management tool
It is called CRM in English (Customer Relationship Management) and RCMP in French (Customer Relationship Managementt).
It is a management and control tool that is invaluable for knowing where you are in your prospecting actions. It centralizes all your customer data.
You can also add options like:
- the creation of tasks and reminders (for example, call back such and such a prospect on such and such a date after sending a quote);
- the making appointments ;
- the email tracking sent to your prospects.
This type of activity management tool is all the more useful if it is shared between you and your sales representative (s).
Automated marketing tools
If you follow me you will most likely know that I am a follower of thebusiness automation. Not out of love for robots or out of interest in business management, on the contrary. Simply because time is in my eyes a treasure which should not be wasted on monotonous tasks with little added value.
I am therefore in favor of tools that allowautomate marketing tasks (marketing automation). This includes for example:
- the targeted emailing campaigns (with automatic sending to prospects selected using behavioral, socio-professional, geographic data);
- the lead scoring, which helps you sort through the different levels of prospects (from the newly acquired lead to the "hot" prospect ready to become a customer).
For my part, I provide my clients with excel prospecting monitoring tools that help them master the subject with confidence.
So what about you? How do you run your business? Choosing your next stop every sunrise and making sure you have enough fuel for the next day?
Or by following a precise route and orienting yourself on the road thanks to the many landmarks that the landscape offers you?
The company management tools are very valuable for sustaining your business. They give you visibility into the future, so you are more likely not to “mess up” along the way. This clarity of mind also gives you confidence, an essential quality for a successful entrepreneur.
You don't know how to set up activity management tools in your structure? I suggest you contact me to discuss it. My coaching offer includes business management advice and different activity management tools on excel that I customize according to the needs of each of my clients. The first meeting is completely free!
Image credits 1: David Bruyland
Image credits 2: Free-Photos
Image credits 3: Larisa Koshkina