How to Determine Your Company's Performance Levers

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

In this lesson, we define performance levers. Then, we explore the numerous questions you must ask yourself in order to help determine your company's performance levers.

What Are Performance Levers?

A performance lever is a strategy, condition, skill, knowledge, or other capability that, when relied upon or triggered, enables a business to improve its efficiency, function, achievements, competitiveness, and/or profitability.

In this lesson, we go over questions you can ask yourself in order to help identify your business's performance levers.

Your Business, Market, and Competitors

Before you can possibly narrow down your true performance levers, you must figure out your line of business, understand your market, and identify your competitors.

Ask yourself what business you are in. This might seem like a silly question but don't stop at the superficial. For example, you might work for a biomedical device company. The easy answer is that you're in the business of making, say, prosthetics. But every business has a deeper truth to its business line. In your case, it could be to improve the quality life of those with disabilities. That is part of the business you are in!

Another part of this is defining the problems your business solves. There could be many other prosthetic device manufacturers but maybe yours is the only one that can design prosthetics that can be worn comfortably for a long time or ones that last a very long time. That's a performance lever.

Next, you need to ask who your customers are. Understand your market in order to figure out your performance levers. Understanding your market is no easy task. You must figure out where they live, who the clients are, what their needs, fears, and desires are and so on. Utilize surveys or focus groups to get a feel for this and what your customers appreciate most. These interviews can reveal performance levers relevant to your clientele that you weren't even aware of.

Moreover, don't forget to ask a lot of question about your competitors. Who are they? Where are they? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Understanding your market also entails having a good appreciation for your competition. By thoroughly understanding the advantages and disadvantages they have, you can then understand your company's' performance levers in light of that and which ones to pull and when in order to improve performance and/or profit.

Your Processes, Strategies, and Measurements

In order to identify other performance levers, ask yourself how your products or services are created. This could mean having to take a look at, literally, the assembly line. Or, perhaps, a look at the team behind the service. Do they have extraordinary and unique skills you can lean on?

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