Philie Group Blog

Don’t Let Sales Growth Hide Your Inefficiencies
By Mike Philie

A growing sales trajectory can affect many areas of the business – especially the bottom line of your P&L statement. It can provide new opportunities for the staff and make it easier to reinvest into the company. But when a major customer departs, or the economic headwinds are blowing your hair straight back, the affects can be quite revealing. Sales has a way of covering up for a lot of inefficiencies in a business and when those slow down, or go away, the naked truth is there to see.

Leading companies have a way of not taking things for granted though. Even during robust growth stages, they remain diligent in areas ranging from process improvement to enhanced marketing initiatives to grow market share.

A Unique DNA

Not unlike a championship golfer who challenges the course over four days and finds themselves up by five stokes on the 72nd hole, leaders show little emotion and never give up. The golfer finally smiles when the ball lands in the cup, but for the business manager, the game never ends. They keep their cool through the highs and the lows of the business cycle and continue to press on. It’s part of their DNA and it becomes contagious throughout the organization – in a good way.

Follow the Numbers

Develop a scorecard that provides insight into how your business is progressing. From what’s happening at the front door through to the time you get paid. Knowing the score, where you stand as compared to your expectations is the first step toward knowing what parts of the business are working, and what parts need attention. A focus on the top line can only detract from what’s really going on within your operation. Left unchecked, small issues become big issues which then become habits. Bad habits that the staff know will not be questioned, because they haven’t been in the past. Don’t let bad habits form in your organization.

Leveraging Your Resources

Talk with your peers and learn what they are doing to mitigate unsatisfactory results. Determine if you can implement the best practices suggested by your trusted suppliers. Gather your team and articulate your expectations that you don’t want to be surprised one day that things are not what they seem. Work together to determine your best course of action going forward. It could be process improvement, new or different technology, blocking and tackling, and making sure that you have the right people in place to take you to the next level. Don’t leave anything unchecked.

Taking Action

Analysis paralysis can have a crippling effect on your decision-making process. Get your plan in place and press the go button. Make things happen because of the actions you have taken, and don’t count on things changing on their own. Remember, hope is not a good strategy.

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic direction, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.comLinkedIn or email at

Originally published in Printing Impressions.


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