In an exclusive talk for MASSNEGOCIOS, the director of DINKA tells how to achieve success in a small business.
How can an SME optimize its resources?
The first step towards optimizing resources is to obtain a good diagnosis of the situation. Every SME is different, each situation different, Therefore, it is essential to carry out a comprehensive review of the company to detect key areas for improvement., and understand the general state, para luego elaborar un plan de acción. In this way, The analysis of the information is essential to understand where the business is leveraged and where the most important shortcomings are in terms of optimization of existing resources.. Namely, it is very important to identify where the focus should be so that the use of resources is aligned with the company's objectives.
What suggestions would you give to SMEs to improve internal processes?
Resistance to change is common in the members of companies. It is common that when working with a view to modifying internal processes, Claims arise such as “why are we going to change this if it works like this??”, "make 40 years we do this this way, why change it?” or “if in this way the business yields positively, why should we change something?”. These proposals are common and that is why DINKA highlights the company's management, that when making the decision to change, the conviction with which it is done is fundamental, to convey confidence in the decision. Otherwise, if the employer is not convinced, the change process has little chance of success.
in addition, should be emphasized when considering a process of change, that it is the best solution found in the situation. Namely, leaders and their collaborators are not judged, but the external gaze allows you to see things from a different approach.
On the other side, process optimization should occur as a result of the information analysis stage. Namely, that this need should emerge from the conclusions obtained from the management numbers that show where the business is leveraged. If you start reformulating processes without understanding why you intend to make the change, it is highly probable that everything will return to the initial state in a short time.
It is essential to simplify processes, make them simpler and simpler. Keep in mind that the final consumer "pays for what generates value". I mean, internal bureaucratic processes use time and resources that as a consequence generate costs in products or services, that are not perceived as benefits for the consumer.
Objectivity in the evaluation and reformulation of processes is fundamental, that is why in many cases it is decided to hire experts who have an objective look, external and “fresh”, with the experience of having successfully implemented certain types of solutions in other companies.
What should an SME do to develop its business strategy?
To develop an effective strategy, the starting point is the knowledge of where the business is leveraged. Management boards are an essential tool to know the reality of the company, define where you want to go; then measure results. A) Yes, understanding the initial situation and stating where you want to go, es que la definición de una estrategia se vuelve más clara.
What can an SME with low financial resources do to manage the relationship with its customers?
There are many tools that allow you to manage the relationship with customers without the need to invest too much. Social media, mailing, direct marketing, surveys, bring companies closer to their customers without major outlays.
Having scarce resources, their allocation must be efficient, For this reason, it is important to clearly identify the customer profile in order to then carry out effective actions.. To achieve this, it is essential to know the client in depth., and have a reliable and updated database of current and potential customers.
In relation to commercial management, it is convenient to have dashboards that allow evaluating customer satisfaction, their rotation, contacts per month, etc.
How to guide an SME when it is out of focus on its business objective?
By laying out clear strategies, tangible goals, a mission, plan comercial y elaborar parámetros medibles para evaluar el curso de acción, the goal of where "you want to go" is "focused" much better. On the other side, Measurements serve as a traffic light to detect deviations and then resort to contingency action plans to clearly identify objectives again and redirect actions that could have deviated.
What should an entrepreneur do to start their SME project?
It is advisable to carry out a feasibility analysis of the project. As starting point, It is essential to carry out a market study to know in depth the potential. Namely, get to know thoroughly: pleasures, behavior, preferencias de quienes podrían ser clientes. On the other side, You must analyze the competition to know and understand how the market you want to penetrate currently works..
It is important to look for a clear differentiation of the product or service that you want to offer (sometimes this occurs in the design of the product or service, sometimes in the form of distribution, after-sales service, etc).
Then, plantear una estrategia comercial clara y plan operativo de cómo llevar a cabo el proyecto, and from here the structure that will be necessary to implement will emerge, such as the team.
To assess the economic and financial viability of the project, relevant estimates must be made in terms of sales, costs, general expenses, using different tools, it will be possible to analyze if the project is economically attractive or not.
Questions usually arise in relation to whether it will be undertaken alone or with a partner or if financing will be sought through a loan., investors, etc.
What does an SME have to do to maximize its performance?
DINKA focuses on maximizing the performance of SMEs, and in this sense, there are different ways to do it: reducing company costs or increasing sales.
The first point is attacked with the optimization of resources and processes, eliminate tasks that do not add value perceived by customers and develop more effective management (important point here is the effective delegation of the entrepreneur to his collaborators to allocate time to strategic definitions and not operational tasks).
As for the second, the important thing is to leverage the segment of products and customers that generates the best performance for the company. Namely, “sell better” and not “sell more”. You have to be able to identify, of all business units or products offered, which generate better results and put “the energy there”. The same happens when segmenting types of customers: siempre existe un grupo al cual vale la pena poner el foco.
Si se enfocan energías y recursos en apalancar lo que genera mayor rendimiento (sell better), you are being more efficient than if you put your efforts into selling more in general. Namely, it is more efficient to increase a 20% sales focused on products with higher margin, to increase a 50% of general sales without taking into account this distinction.
The same goes for customers.. If sales strategies focused on customers that generate higher performance and more leverage the business are developed, more efficient results. Not understanding what is mentioned as neglecting the rest, but yes, set a general service level and see where to “point the guns”.
The Pareto law applicable to both concepts states that the 80% of results are generated by the 20% of customers/products and vice versa, namely, 20% of results by 80% of products/customers. This implies that it is convenient to segment clients/products and see where to focus to leverage the business.
DINKA in numbers
Worked with more than 25 SMEs, en proyectos de gestión comercial y optimización de recursos. DINKA ha acompañado a 20 emprendedores en el armado del Business Plan de proyectos y start up de los mismos.
The 90% consultations are related to issues such as:
– La preocupación de empresarios por verse demasiado involucrados en cuestiones del día a día, which as a consequence generates a lack of time to think strategically.
– He doubts why the sales generated in the company are not reflected in results.
– Necesidad de incrementar las ventas.
– Cómo hacer para apalancar el resultado de la empresa.
How should an entrepreneur do not be overwhelmed in how to manage day to day?
Everything revolves around effective delegation and the entrepreneur's leadership capacity, ya que el objetivo es que él aprenda a no involucrarse en tareas operativas diarias, but develop leadership skills and spend more time thinking strategically. For this, it is necessary:
– Assemble an efficient team, according to the needs of the company.
– Develop effective instances of control to achieve autonomy and mastery of the work team (through dashboards, números de gestión, that allow the entrepreneur to lead through control, without the need for their active participation in day-to-day operations)
– Clear work processes and procedures.
Eng. Sandra Felsenstein