Anyone can start a business, but growing and sustaining that business requires a lot of time, patience, and hard work. If you think you might have what it takes, keep reading…
Here are five things you and every other small business owner should do to increase profits and move well beyond the point of success you initially imagined for yourself:
1. Develop a Strategy: Planning is important, take the time to work ON your business, not just IN your business. Remember that you are the owner and need to take a step back to think about where are you now, where you were a year ago, where you plan to be next year or the year after.
You likely went into business for yourself because you didn’t want to answer to anyone, or because you wanted to provide a comfortable living for your family. Those are wonderful reasons, but they establish no definite goals and, therefore, no clear finish line. In order to stay on the fast track to success, you need to set weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. You need to have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish so that you can operate in such a way that you’ll achieve those goals in the determined amount of time, and leave yourself free to set and accomplish NEW goals in the future. You have to plan how the business will be successful; the things you do today will determine where your business is in a year. Your actions now create effects in the future.
2. Evaluate What’s Working and What’s Not: Time is your most precious commodity as a small business owner, and the biggest obstacle to your company’s success is to waste time with products, services, activities, or protocols that are simply NOT working. Learn from these mistakes.
For instance, you may be spending a great deal of time trying to implement a process or procedure that in no way adds any value to your company. Or you may be spending a great deal of money marketing a product or service that nobody really wants or gains any real value from. Instead of focusing your attention in areas that don’t contribute to your overall goals, you could be directing it towards an activity, product, or service that actually moves you closer towards accomplishing the objectives you’ve set for your business.
When in the evaluation phase, you also want to think about whether or not working alone (if you do) is actually making you money or losing you money. For example, you may dedicate a lot of time to your accounting because you don’t trust anybody else to do it properly. While this is a common practice of small business owners, it’s a crippling one. Yes, you’re saving money up front by not hiring a part time accountant, but all that time you spend on accounts and ledgers could be spent focusing on sales, improving your existing products or services, and even adding new ones to your offerings. Make sure you are PRODUCTIVE and not just BUSY, as time is finite.
3. Study Your Competition: Most small business owners know that they want to be better than their competitors, but how many actually take the time to study them? Not many, which is a mistake.
While you may be operating your business better than your competitors, you can still learn a lot from them—both what to do and what not to do. Pay close attention to what’s working for them and why, and do the same with what’s not working for them. This will give you a clear idea of what to try, what to improve, and what to avoid in your own business, as well as how to differentiate your business.
4. Don’t Hope, DO!: There is no standing still in business or life. You are either moving forward or backward. Move forward. The status quo should not be acceptable when aiming for success. Take action. Seek to do the high level activities that move you forward and are productive rather than just keep you busy.
5. Contact your current and past clients. Be interested in your clients. Ask about any changes in their business or life. Offer your services as a way to take something off their plate to make their lives easier or better. Ask them for feedback and use it to make their or other clients’ experience better.
Owning and operating a small business is extremely challenging, but if you follow the five tips above, you’ll see that accomplishing all of your current goals and then some is a lot less difficult than you imagined it would be.
If you haven’t yet established your small business and need help making sure it’s set up properly, visit https://jhrlegal.com/