The financial goal of a business is simple – increase profit dollars. However, those profit dollars can be elusive and to increase revenues and margins, companies can invest in methods, programs and systems. Continuous improvement methods like Lean or Six-Sigma are popular but need executive support and championing. Even with executive support, skeptics can easily shut down continuous improvement projects and programs with negativity and passive resistance. Performance management systems typically drive outcomes with stick-carrot methods with annual objectives and bonuses tied to individual results that can be misaligned with the overall goals of the company.
The good news is that methods and systems, when used within a structured framework, CAN work. The P-2-3 Cycle is framework that that I have developed to guide Business Development. The key to successfully leveraging the P-2-3 cycle is to work on the P3 cycle first. Doing so will make the P2 cycle easier to achieve, and in return will lead to profit.
The P-2-3 Cycle
- P (Profit) – This is the ultimate measure of success. All investments, projects and programs should lead to a measurable increase in profit dollars.
- P2 (Performance and Productivity) – How profit is achieved. Increasing performance and productivity will influence two primary financial outcome measures, revenue and profit margin. Increasing both revenue and margin leads to an increase in profit dollars.
- P3 (People, Product and Process) – What to focus on. This is where most of the work will take place.
- People includes all stakeholders: Employees, customers, suppliers, management etc. How well are your employees trained? Do you focus on the right customers? Are they happy? Are your suppliers performing as expected? Is management creating the best environment for success?
- Product and Services: Are you delivering on the promise? Are you getting referrals? Are you scanning the environment for threats, improvement opportunities, or preparing for the risk of obsolescence?
- Process: Everything has a process. Product development, manufacturing, and distribution are a few processes where lean and six sigma methods pop up. Are your processes delivering the best possible outcomes i.e. performance and productivity at the lowest cost?
For most businesses, there is no quick and sustainable way to deliver significant profits. The P-2-3 Cycle in combination with a skilled Business Development Professional or Department will give your organization a great chance at achieving business success.