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How Healthy is your Business?

Comms Business is delighted to launch a strategic initiative with Totem to bring a business health check service to the Channel. In a rapidly evolving market, do you really know how healthy your business is? In this article Comms Business speaks to Derek Owen, MD of Totem, to find out why he brought.

Comms Business Magazine (CBM): What is the back story to the creation of the health check?

Derek Owen (DO): After years of working with businesses to identify issues in their strategy, approach and other key principle areas we documented around 100+ questions that we used throughout the analysis and information gathering stage. We thought there must be a better way to provide this to businesses to easily gain a snapshot of where they are on their journey and deliver that online.

We honed these questions down into 6 key principle areas. These being: Purpose, Performance, Process, Product, People and Promotion.

The Totem Business Principles encapsulates strategies, skills, values, experience, ethics, expertise and techniques. This helps define a company’s objectives, culture, focus, adaptability,
resilience and the capability to deliver what’s necessary for sustainable growth.

CBM: Why are you focusing on the Channel?

DO: The Channel is changing; more and more businesses are heavily focused on their day jobs and delivering products and services to their customers and rarely find time to sit up and take a look at how their business is running. Are they being efficient, are the key stakeholders aligned in the strategy and direction of the business, what are their employee’s thoughts on how the business is running etc? This Health Check enables business leaders to quickly and effectively see how they are performing within this environment.

It is also possible to get all employees to complete the Health Check to provide a company-wide understanding along with employee perception of how the business is performing.

CBM: What does the process of taking the Health Check look like?

DO: It’s a quick and effective online tool that can help focus further business improvements. Once the questionnaire is complete the answers are scored against a set of principles Totem have developed by working with clients, and are based on fundamental business practices that have helped shape many businesses to succeed.

If used correctly, the weighted results from your Totem Business Health Check will help you focus on the areas of your business that need attention, and arm you with the steps you need to take to ensure your business is ‘future fit’, now and on an on-going basis. Ultimately, we wanted to create an easy to use tool that could be completed within 10 minutes, and provide business leaders a benchmark of where they are against the key principles.

CBM: What can businesses hope to get out of this?

DO: The Health Check can be used individually – to gain an understanding of how the business is performing. It can also be used by business leaders within a company to gain a perspective of the different department heads, or it can be used by all employees – where the aggregated results are analysed and presented back as a company-wide summary of which key principle areas need further improvement.

The way in which the tool can be utilised are very versatile. For example, a company we recently helped had 56 employees and 7 business board members each responsible for a separate area. The result enabled a series of drilled-down reports to identify a company-wide perspective, a board member perspective and then a business area perspective. It gave the company an enormous amount of insight into the business and showed them where the improvements needed to be made. They committed quite heavily to the process which gave the tool a large amount of data also, the more data it gets the better the results will be for that business.

To take your business health check visit – www.totem-healthcheck.co.uk

The 6 key Principle areas.
Purpose – This is the reason the business exists, the focus, the mission and core values.

Performance – Performance is how a business measures itself against many elements and activities. We call it the “key success factors”.

Process – Business processes help you to define, plan and focus on the activities, actions and linked tasks that deliver an end result.

Product – The product principle defines what products and services are developed, along with the pricing and profitability models.

People – People goes beyond staff and across all employees capability, diversity, adaptability, succession planning and team skills.

Promotion – Promoting your business can be achieved by using a number of different mechanisms that form the “Promotional Mix”.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine