Business Development Audit – Stage 3: Performance Data

Jan 10, 2024

7 Stage Business Development Audit for Construction & the Built Environment

Stage 3 – Performance Data

 

 

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Stage 3 – Performance Data

Peter Jubb, TC Group Consultant

In our previous blogs, we discussed how to establish what your business model is (stage 1) and how to define your business identity and personality (stage 2), with a view to making your brand distinctive and your value propositions different, based on customer insight.

Now, let’s turn our attention to performance data. This is a great way to sense check whether you’re fulfilling the business’s purpose and model, and how you want to be described is matched by what clients say about you.

There are 4 key performance data areas.

  1. Your business purpose/Just Cause (ref Simon Sinek)
  2. Customer Service Delivery
  3. Technical Service Delivery
  4. Financial Performance

By taking a comprehensive view of performance across all these facets, your business development strategy can be tested, to ensure that activities are not only focused on the right clients, sectors and projects, but also to measure the value that clients are receiving from the delivery of your services.

 

Let’s briefly examine each of these performance facets.

1) Your business purpose/Just Cause – how do you measure whether you’re being true to this? The best way is to give you an example.

My Just Cause is to ‘enthuse people to unlock and never stop fulfilling their talent’. I measure this through the business skills training I provide to SME construction businesses, and track the progress of delegates careers and personal achievements, during and post-delivery. Through programme feedback reviews and testimonials, I can gauge whether I am achieving my Just Cause.

2) Customer Service Deliver – how do you maintain high standards?

  • Use KPI’s centred around ‘soft skills’
  • Have strategy meetings with your clients – where are they going/what are their pain points/create solutions that fulfil their needs.
  • Have regular Customer Satisfaction Reviews to sense check whether they’re getting the value they need, and ensuring that relationships are strong and progressive.
  • Use Customer Journey Plans to maintain regular dialogue with clients and achieve consistency. Don’t blow hot and cold (clients soon pick up on this and there are competitors waiting to step in, if you ‘drop the ball’)

3) Technical Service Delivery – here, you should be mapping out and monitoring the client’s experience with your service through all project delivery gateways

  • Sense check at each RIBA Plan of Work Stage
  • Utilise project scorecards-communication/issue of information/requests for information/management of risks
  • Is the technical solution provided meeting the client’s expectations.

4) Financial Performance – how do you maintain your expectations, when margins are always under pressure.

  • Do you have accurate time sheets to evaluate client/sector/project type/project size profit performance?
  • Do you maintain a dashboard of financial priorities-debtors/invoices issued on time/debt to equity ratio?
  • Revenue Per Employee – do you benchmark this through your professional body: how are you performing?
  • How accurate is your pipeline forecasting? This is essential for cash flow; are you being realistic?

 

I would like to round things off with two topical issues.

Margins/profit

We know that right now, there’s the sad position of construction business failures on the increase. Pricing is often favoured at the expense of quality, so how do you protect your margins? This is where I believe that good performance data capture is essential. Firstly, to make you more efficient and make better decisions and secondly, to analyse the results of your inputs to outputs from the work that you do and who you do it for.

AI

During Digital Construction week in October, I watched a webinar on AI and how it will impact functions and processes in the construction sector. A human touch will always be necessary to a lesser or greater degree, but if a positive effect is to make things more efficient and give us better performance data in all its forms, then surely, we should embrace it, within a sphere of exercised control.

 

The overall message is that both hard and soft performance data streams are necessary to form a whole view of your business performance, and whether you are achieving clients’ expectations.

I am currently assisting several SME construction clients with their performance data strategy to inform efficient use of business development resources, and whether they are fulfilling their business goals and purpose. Being a bit more forensic is worth the effort if you want to get better results.

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