The 3C’s!

Starting your own business or managing an existing business can be a stressful time. A lot of people get bogged down with the ‘small things’, when really there are three key areas they need to continually focus their efforts. Our experience of working with clients has thought us to emphasis to clients the importance of the ‘3 C’s’! It couldn’t be simpler, the ‘3 Cs’ are Customers, Cash and Credibility.

1. Customers – Who are your potential customers? What customer need are you satisfying? Where are your potential customers located? How often will they purchase your product/service? What is unique about your product/service that will make them pay for the product/service you propose to offer? How will you market your product/service? Once these questions have been answered and your business is up and running, you in turn will start to generate cash from sales. Too often we see established businesses loose sight of their ‘raisin d’être’ – their reason for being. They believe that the products, services, processes which they offer are more than adequate for their customers. Yet a new entrant or an existing competitor wins the business on what may appear to be a minor or trivial factor. By the time it is realised, the sale is lost.

2. Cash – For every business it is vitally important to remember that cash is king! Businesses don’t fail because of a lack of profit they fail because they run out of cash. Therefore, whether the business is new or existing, management needs to make sure they pursue clear financial objectives. There are many ‘false Gods’ as for example blindly pursing turnover at the expense of other key performance issues. Pursuing turnover is vanity – ‘our turnover is greater than yours’ is not something which will impress if the business does not get paid! There is some sanity in the pursuit of profit. However the most important focus from a financial perspective the cash balance of the business as this equals reality.

3. Credibility – Communicating a consistent message to customers is critical to the success of any business. By creating a vision for the business and outlining a set of values and most importantly sticking to those values the business is showing integrity. Trust and respect also play an important role in maintaining a consistent customer focus. As individuals we all expect the best out of each other. Therefore as a business earning trust based on history, track record and credibility and being granted trust is all based on telling your customers the truth and taking full responsibility of all actions. This in turn leads to strengthened trust making the business a reliable source! By making a promise that is unique to the needs of every customer it shows you are prepared to honour that commitment and be measured against it.

Without customers a business will not generate the cash it needs to survive and grow and without credibility a business will not generate customers. So focusing on these ‘3 C’s’ customers, cash and credibility will not only help the business to succeed it will also help it to excel.

Ciara Fitzgerald – WMJ Kelleher & Asscoiates

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