Dare you ignore your business warning lights?
Published: August 06, 2019

You’re driving your car and a warning light comes on. What you do next could have serious implications? You might decide to stop at the nearest service station and sort it out. You could make a mental note to book your car into a garage. Or, the worst option of all, you ignore the warning light altogether and hope it goes away.

Now, what do you do when your business warning light comes on? Take immediate action? Sort it out later? Pray that the light is faulty?

BGI have designed a unique system of warning lights called the Certainty Score, highlighting the key principles around scaling your business. They set out the strengths and weaknesses within your operation.

So which scores should you be concerned about?

We’ve examined results from hundreds of organisations and made a number of observations. If your score is below 50, the red light is on. This means you should seriously think about taking action. It’s telling you that some areas aren’t operating as well as they could, which could impact your ability to scale up.

If you have scores over 80 across the board, we can statistically prove you’re in the top 5% percentile and best positioned for growth. Your warning lights are all off. This is further demonstrated by businesses that have benefited from The BGI Effect, enjoying growth rates 8.6 times the national average.

So why do some businesses have warning lights and others don’t? It’s because many businesses don’t have the strategies and systems in place to both plan and carry out their journey. Consider this sobering thought – 80 % of businesses under £30M turnover are poor at measuring the key growth indicators for scale. This impacts directly on their ability to develop and implement strategies across Marketing, Sales, Operations, Finance and Talent.

Facts don’t lie.

Indicators are there for a reason. Imagine you’re on a long car journey. What if the tyre pressure gauge lights up, then the oil level indicator, a symbol tells you that a door hasn’t been closed properly, or the engine malfunction sign appears? Do you still keep driving, hoping to get to your destination in one piece? It’s a risky strategy.

The same applies in business. The certainty scores tell you when something needs looking at. Ignoring one or more of them for any length of time isn’t recommended, especially when you see the sheer number of warning lights facing British businesses.

Average scores for UK Businesses that have taken the Certainty Scorecard Test.

Let’s delve a little deeper into the numbers.

Warning light one.

74% of businesses have no strategic plan for the next 90 days or even the next 12 months. If you carry on without a clear plan how can you expect your colleagues and your customers to know where you’re headed? Time to put the brakes on and take a long hard look under the bonnet.

Warning light two.

79% of businesses don’t have a marketing strategy that targets their perfect customer with any form of precision. If you can’t target customers properly, you’ll struggle to win them. This increases the cost of customer acquisition which in turn reduces your ability to scale as working capital demands become too high.

Warning light three.

80% of businesses surveyed had no financial planning for the next 90 days. Your ability to scale up will be largely based not only on financial planning but your ability to work positively with the FD. And if you’re looking for extra cash, one of the first things an investor will look at is your financial plan.

Warning light four.

80% of businesses have no talent management strategy in place. For a business to scale it must be able to attract, retain and bring on the best talent in the marketplace. An organisation with high-quality teams that can make high-performance decisions will become a high-performance business. The reverse is also true.

None of these warning lights should be ignored for long. You may get away with turning a blind eye for a short while, but over time these will turn into serious problems, that could be very costly to address, in both financial and personal terms. By taking action you can future-proof your company against any bumps in the road, keep your top talent, achieve scale up, and give yourself peace of mind.

If you’d like to speak to one of our experts about your Certainty Score and how we could help you, feel free to book in a free and confidential discovery call here.

Or if you have not yet completed your Certainty Scorecard Test and want to see if you have any warning lights, you can do so here.

In the meantime, good luck and enjoy your journey.