Conducting a Sweet Spot Analysis™ to Find the Best Leverage Point to Grow Your Business
August 31st, 2017 6:30 am
Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a simple, one page tool that would let you pick the highest leverage spots to invest your limited time and attention on inside your business?
Here is that tool – I call it the Sweet Spot Analysis™ Tool. We developed this tool to help our business coaching clients have a simple way to determine the very best ideas that they could implement each quarter to grow their businesses in the face of too much to do and not enough time in which to get it all done.
It’s based on the premise that every business has on Limiting Factor – capital “L” and capital “F”. Your Limiting Factor is the single biggest constraint currently limiting your growth. It’s the one ingredient that, if only you had more of, would allow your business to grow instantly.
The more precisely you can identify your Limiting Factor, the easier it is to effectively push it back. For example, if you say your Limiting Factor is “lack of sales,” you might come up with a dozen ideas to increase sales. But before you solve this, dig deeper and see if you can pin your Limiting Factor down more precisely. Is it the need for more leads on the front end? Perhaps your business has enough leads but instead lacks the sales capacity to effectively follow up on all the leads you are already generating? Or is it that you have plenty of sales staff, but lack a proven sales process so your sales team’s conversion is too low? As you can imagine, depending on your answer here, you’ll need to take an entirely different approach to solve that Limiting Factor. That’s why it is so critical that you narrow down your Limiting Factor to the most accurate kernel you can.
One of the most important principles to scale your company is to identify and push back your current Limiting Factor each quarter. Doing this usually exposes a new Limiting Factor you’ll need to work with next quarter. Every time you push back your Limiting Factor so it is no longer your biggest constraint, you expose a new Limiting Factor to work on. Good! This is how you grow your business in a leveraged way—by focusing each quarter on pushing back your current Limiting Factor.
Once you’ve pinpointed your company’s current Limiting Factor, it’s time to pick the highest leverage tactics to push this Limiting Factor back. We developed the three-part Sweet Spot Analysis Tool to help you do just that. First, brainstorm a list of all the potential ideas you have to push back your Limiting Factor. Don’t settle for five or six ideas; push yourself to come up with at least ten, ideally fifteen to twenty, ideas.
For example, if your Limiting Factor is a lack of sales capacity to follow up effectively on the leads you currently generate, your list of ideas could include: a better lead qualification system to prioritize your sales efforts, hiring more salespeople, or creating a sales video to do some of the selling for you. The key is to push yourself to come up with as many ideas as you can that could potentially help you push back your Limiting Factor.
The best way to come up with a few great ideas is to first come up with a potential list of a lot of ideas. Next, run your brainstormed list of potential tactics through two filters: the “Low-Hanging Fruit” filter and the “Home Run” filter.
A Low-Hanging Fruit is a no-brainer opportunity that you’re almost certain will work. While it may or may not have a big impact, it is fairly straightforward to implement and you have a very high level of confidence that it will work.
A Home Run, on the other hand, is an opportunity that if you hit it well and all goes just right, has a huge payoff for your business.
Go through each brainstormed idea on the list and ask, Is this tactic a Low-Hanging Fruit? If it is, mark it with “LH” for Low-Hanging Fruit.
Then in a second, separate pass, go through your list of brainstormed ideas and ask of each item in turn, “Is this tactic a Home Run?” If it is, mark it with “HR” for Home Run.
What you’re looking for are those tactics that are both Low-Hanging Fruit and Home Runs; these are your Sweet Spot ideas, the highest leverage choices to push back your Limiting Factor. Low Hanging Fruit are easy to implement with high odds of success, and Home Runs offer big impact if they work.
These Sweet Spots are the best tactics to focus your company’s resources on first. Finally, now that you’ve identified your Sweet Spot tactics, turn them into a mini-action plan of who does what by when. Now you can hold yourself and your team accountable to implement the sweet spot idea(s) you chose. Good luck putting this simple tool to work in your business.
If you want to learn more ways to effectively grow your business and get your life back, I encourage you to download a free copy of my newest book, Build a Business, Not a Job. Click here for full details and to get your complimentary copy.