- January 5, 2021
- Posted by: Mayar
- Category: Uncategorized
Having your own business is the way to financial security, but it’s no easy road. The difference between a business and a successful business can take years to recognize, and if you can’t act fast to make your business produce, there could be terrible consequences.
Even if you’re not the one left holding the check if the whole thing goes under, every employee has a stake in driving a successful business. The following 10 techniques will help you bring a little more black into the bottom line. Some are quick fixes while others require structural change.
1. Set Goals
Similar to keeping score, setting goals and objectives is an essential part of your business success. Use the goals you set as an ongoing planning tool to ensure that you continue to move forward with your business. For instance, try to increase traffic by a certain amount on your business website or blog. More web traffic can translate into added sales or customer loyalty.
2. Develop a strategic business plan, organizational structure, and operational support systems
Compared to building your brand, this isn’t as exciting. But, these procedures can make or break your business.
As explained by Robert A. Norman on Business Know-How, a strategic business plan is the blueprint of your business that describes your business concept, philosophy, and mission.
An Organizational Structure is the policies and procedures that ensure your business is a well-oiled machine, such as job responsibilities and discipline.
Operational Support Systems can relieve management from day to day routine activities, like scheduling meetings or tracking cash flow. This allows you to focus on tasks that can grow your small business.
These three factors will provide you with a clear understanding of your company’s processes and making sure you have the right systems in place. As Dr. W. Edwards Deming said, “85 percent of the reasons for failure to meet customer expectations are related to deficiencies in systems and processes — rather than the employee.”
3. Obtain credit availability and management
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t want to take out a line of credit. However, there will be times when you will need to obtain a line of credit for your business, like when you need to bridge a short-term gap between receivables and payables because of seasonality, inventory enlargement, or business growth. Sometimes there’s an emergency, such as equipment breaking, where you don’t have the cash-on-hand to replace it.
Whatever the situation, it’s imperative that you are able to obtain credit when you need it. Additionally, when you have good credit you can receive more favorable payment terms, provide a payables float, and get set up with new vendors.
4. Avoid common mistakes
One of the best ways to increase your chances of succeeding is by learning from other’s mistakes. And, here are five of the more common mistakes business owners make:
You overestimate demand for your product or service. Let’s say that you still receive DVDs in the mail from Netflix. Just because you can’t let go of this now-outdated technology, doesn’t mean that starting a DVD rental business will work. Between Redbox and streaming services, your chances of survival would be slim-to-none. Vet your ideas to your friends and family or conduct some primary market research.
Entering a competitive market. On one hand, at least you know there’s a demand. On the other hand, the market may be oversaturated. The only way this works is if you have a distinct competitive edge.
Not taking into account overlooked costs. Expenses like your salary and purchasing an office and equipment are obvious. But there are plenty of overlooked costs associated with any business, such as expenses that could lead to not utilizing your resources or throwing your budget out-of-whack buying things you don’t need.
Not planning for profitability. If you want to succeed, then you have to know your profit model. This means being aware of your gross margin on sales, net margin, and how much you need to make to break even. These numbers based on KPIs will let you know how your business is actually performing.
5. Use High-Impact Marketing
Wasting money on ineffective marketing is easy. Seek out low-budget, high-impact marketing strategies to improve your business. Test one or two new tactics and see which perform best before adding them to your marketing mix. Social media is an excellent low-cost and low-risk way to promote your business. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are a few good tools to build a social presence and attract attention to your business.
6. Don’t just acquire customers, retain them
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. As such, you need to acquire and retain them by:
Advertising your goods or services to your target audience via local newspapers, TV/radio, ads, direct mail, trade publications, directory ads, internet listings, event or charity events, or co-op ads with suppliers.
Promotions and premiums like discount coupons, free trials, or promotional swag.
Referral programs where existing receive an incentive for referring your business to someone else.
Providing top-notch customer service.
Building a brand that customers want to support — think Apple.
7. Carve out a niche
Want to get ahead of the competition? Then become an expert on a specialized topic and target a niche within an established industry. Sound complicated? You can get started by:
Defining your industry or knowledge base.
Breaking a broad market into a more specific niche.
Put your specialty to the test by using the SPAN method (Subtopics, Pain, Attainable, Numbers).
Becoming an educator and advocate in your niche through content.
Get your content in front of new people, like writing guest posts.
8. Monitor Trends
No business operates in a vacuum. Events and changes in the global landscape have an effect on your business. Stay current on trends and issues happening in your industry and local community. Even things that don’t seem relevant on the surface might have an impact on what you do, so consider all possibilities.
9. Redesign your Sales Collaterals
If you want to understand ways to increase revenue, you have to either create a need or need to give your customers a reason to buy from you. The importance of sales collaterals like brochures, flyers, presentations, pictures, videos, and websites are often ignored by business owners, even though the only purpose of the collateral is to make the sales effort easier and more effective for your sales team. To make your sales strategies up-to-date, accurate, and informative you should use sales collaterals effectively. Update your website regularly. A website is the face of your business.
Review and redesign your sales materials to see whether they convey the image and message you want to present to your customers.
10. Identify the Issues that Are Holding Your Business Back
Sometimes it isn’t your product or the people that are holding your business back. Sometimes it’s the process. How do you promote your business? How do your products or services fit together (or fail to fit together) as a cohesive whole? How convenient do you make it for customers or clients to do business with you? Using one local restaurant as an example, Adam White, founder of Website Rocket, demonstrates how the smallest hiccups in the process can kill your business.