Trigger points align with a businesses key indicators that signify when you’ve arrived at a point when a planned action or decision can be put into play. In very simple terms, ‘when this happens, for that long, do that’.
My hope is to encourage you to think of those trigger points that give you the confidence to go to the next stage in terms of scale and growth or help you make a difficult decision in your business.
Take the emotion out of the decision with trigger points
Many businesses have been through difficult times, especially lately, so you may need a trigger point that helps you keep business decisions factual rather than based on emotion. I’ve heard examples where people are perhaps keeping staff on board to the detriment of their own return on investment because that’s what they feel is right to do, not necessarily because it makes business sense to do so.
So, what could your trigger point be in this example? It could be based on turnover.
- Trigger point – Turnover below threshold for six months
- Action – Revise staff hours, wages, bonuses, staffing levels – Revise other spending that can be reduced to retain staff – Communicate your actions to your teams.
TIP: Having trigger points in place helps you base difficult decisions on fact and therefore makes it less emotional when communicating the decisions behind your actions to the person or people they affect.
In considering the opportunity to scale and grow, then you may also have a turnover threshold, consistent pipeline value or minimum cash reserves in the bank that act as your trigger points to hire new talent or invest in new technology or software.
Make the business serve you
A trap you can easily fall into is serving your business instead of the business serving you. It’s really easy to think that you have to do things because you’re the business owner and must do good for your staff. This is often detrimental to the business owner. I have seen too many examples where the business owner is not taking a living wage, even taking on more debt, to pay the market wage for their team. These are times when non-emotional trigger points should encourage you to reflect, reset and consider the next steps rather than just ploughing on.
TIP: Remember what you want from the business, and what that looks like going forward.
Do you want a certain level of income and to be able to guarantee that for the next six months? Your trigger point would be to notice the rate of income growth – is it too slow, has it stagnated? What do you decide to do next?
- Trigger point – Income not where you wanted it to be at this point
- Action – Revise your prices, increase leads or cross-sell to existing customers – Revise your expenditure.
I invite you now, to put time in your diary to think about what the unique trigger points in your business look like, how long the situation must be sustained for before you take action, what actions you will take and who needs to be informed. What are the things you can do to scale your business, or help you make difficult decisions?
Do you need help identifying your trigger points? Why not arrange an hour of free business mentoring where we can put actions in place to help you make difficult decisions or scale your business? Or you could download my free business e-books to refer to over time. You may be particularly interested in 21 Tips for Entrepreneurial Success at this stage, especially tip five: Have belief and persevere!
All the best, Mike.