How to Build Profit

How to Build Profit As You Rebound

For many businesses, the journey to rebound and build profit is underway. Will you focus on sales and hope you can get back to where you were? Or will you apply your resources to building a better business in 2021? One that is profitable and sustainable. And admired and respected. A business that can quickly adapt – even in a pandemic.

The secret to such a business? Build a strong foundation and leverage all areas of your business – marketing, sales, operations, people, systems and finances. This whole business approach, which I call the “hybrid way”, is a proven recipe for growth and sustainable profit in any small business.

Here are 7 business improvement opportunities to help you build profit as you rebuild your business

Planning

If you want to take a different path, you need a roadmap. In this case, some clear goals with specific actions you need to take to achieve them. A simple action plan will provide clarity and focus.  And with all the changes over the past year, this is a good starting point for rebuilding.

As you put together your goals and tasks, think beyond revenue. While sales growth is important, here are some additional things to consider:  product or service mix, customer retention, productivity, efficiency, hiring or outsourcing, system development, distribution channels and power partners.

Products/Services

For my clients and other businesses, the ability to quickly modify services or change how they were delivered had a big impact on their business in 2020. A few client examples include:

  • A medical practice Introduced telemedicine visits and drive thru flu vaccines
  • When out of state travel required quarantining, a volleyball academy introduced local leagues and clinics to temporarily replace national and regional teams.

And I’m sure many of you enjoyed the outdoor dining or take-out options from your favorite local restaurants. Or maybe curbside pickup from your favorite retail store or boutique?

And the best part is that these new services don’t need to go away. Businesses continue to offer them, along with their traditional (pre-pandemic) services. It’s a win-win for the business and their customers.

So why do you need a pandemic to give your products and services a facelift? You don’t. Technology, competition and customer needs will continue to change over time. Make sure your products and service keep up!

Promotion

Sales don’t just happen. It requires an investment of your time and money. Most of all, it requires consistency. Something you do frequently – not simply when sales decline or you have time.

So, what are you doing to attract new customers and to keep existing ones coming back and referring others? To build profit, not just sales, you need to invest in both. As the past year taught us, a loyal customer base is priceless. For many small businesses, these were the customers who kept them afloat. So make sure your plans include activities to generate new customers and retain your existing, loyal customers.

Systems & Processes

Streamlining and standardizing procedures makes daily operations easier, efficient and more effective, whether you are there or not. It also made it a lot easier for businesses to quickly pivot and go in new directions.

During the past year, we saw many businesses add new services, modify delivery options, change payment methods – and even change how their people worked. They all require system changes within the business. When a company values both systems and people, making changes is easier and more profitable.

Why wait for a pandemic to address the systems issues in your business? Make it more of a priority. Start with a few. Focus on those that save you time, increase sales, or fix problems that consistently erode profit.

People & Teams

No business operates successfully in a vacuum. We all need help from others. While we often associate people with employees, building a strong network of contractors, vendors and alliance partners for your business is also important.

The past year has been difficult for employers and employees. Uncertainty has a way of doing that. Work-life balance and working from home have changed expectations. The future will look different than the past. But with it comes opportunity. As the leader, you have the ability to rebuild your team and the culture of your business. Take advantage of it and long-term you will come out ahead.

Professional Development

As you learn and grow, so will your business. Make a commitment to learning and building new skills and knowledge. Did you know that if you read (or listen to audio books) for 15 minutes a day, you will read about 12 books each year? What a learning opportunity!

Want to be a better leader or improve your productivity? Maybe you want to improve technology, sales or marketing skills? Need ideas to improve cashflow or build profit? Read a book, listen to a podcast, take an online class. There are plenty of resources available today. It simply requires a commitment to invest in YOU.

Financial Mastery

Sales are important, but cash flow is king and profit is your reward for excellence in entrepreneurship! You don’t need to be an accountant or financial guru, but you do need to track and understand the numbers that drive your business success. Beyond sales, here are a few others to consider: average sale per customer or transaction, the number of leads, sales conversion rates, revenue per employee, average accounts receivable, gross profit margins, customer retention rates and net profit.

Monitor them and focus on activities that help to improve them, especially gross profit margins and net profit. If you keep them at the center of what you do, your small business will continue to serve your needs and the needs of your team, vendors and customers.

Remember, little improvements in ALL these areas will put more profit on the bottom line and in your wallet. So, build your goals and plans with them in mind.

Need a different perspective?

Would another set of eyes, ongoing support and accountability from an expert help you get on the right path and quickly rebound? Let’s explore the possibilities with a brief, complimentary consultation.  Click here to schedule your free exploratory session.

Time to Improve

Is It Time To Improve Your Business?

Building a business is hard work. But sustaining growth and profitability require more than just effort. They take innovation, commitment and the right focus. So if you are frustrated with where your business is today and ready to improve your business, here are five suggestions to help you get started.

#1 – Have an Open Mind

Ideas and opinions come from a variety of sources.  Some ideas are obvious opportunities. Others come from fleeting remarks by friends, colleagues, employees or even total strangers.

Today, more than ever, people dismiss ideas because they don’t like the source or messenger. Sad because good ideas can come from anywhere — if we open our minds to the possibilities.  With an open mind and a willingness to try new things, ideas will flow and improvements will follow.

#2 – Invest In Your People

If you want to improve your business — start with your most valuable asset. Your team. It’s hard to be a great company without great people.

When you have a great team, innovation and creativity seem to flow. There is no need to force them to work together. Collaboration is something that happens because they value each others opinions. When you create an environment where people are engaged and productive, good things happen.  It pays dividends. 

Investing in your team make sense. The work place is changing so now is a good time to look at your culture, your hiring, your benefits, your training and most of all — your expectations. You can’t change things overnight, but over time you can. Just make it a priority.

#3 – Be a Profit Builder

Keep your focus on the bottom line. You can’t stay in business if you don’t make a profit.  If you want to take care of your customers and your employees, profit is not an option — it’s a requirement.

There are a lot of ways to improve profit in your business. Cutting costs in an obvious one. But while keeping costs down is important, put adequate resources into other areas too. Here’s a few you may wish to consider: 

  • Focus on growing sales of higher margin products and services. Products, like customers are not created equal. The growth of low-margin products can actually reduce your overall profit.
  • Gain efficiency and save time with systems and technology. It’s especially important for service businesses that are labor dependent. 
  • Eliminate re-works that come from poor quality.  Get it right the first time.
  • Evaluate your pricing to reflect value, not just cost. This can help you optimize the gross profit margins, a key profit driver.
  • Improve your marketing ROI with better targeting, compelling messages, diverse tactics and a follow-up system that converts more leads.
#4 – Balance Operations and Business Development

As a business grows, the day-to-day running and serving customers can become overwhelming. When this occurs, marketing and sales activities often go on the back burner,  Building a pipeline of new business opportunities while increasing sales to existing customers takes time.  It is not a stop-start activity.  Plan and make business development activities something that is done daily, weekly and monthly.  Whether you delegate or outsource these tasks, do it consistently. It will pay off on the bottom line. 

#5 – Think Lifetime Value

As a business owner, you must establish a long-term view of customer value before you can appreciate how important it is to develop a relationship with customers and ensure everything is done to keep them as long as possible.  What are your customers worth over their lifetime?

Here’s an example to demonstrate this point.  You own a lawn-care company.  The customer pays you $50 each time you mow their lawn.  While the first transaction is only $50, they spend that each week from May – September, so annually they spend about $1,000. If they stay with you for four years, they will spend about $4,000.  So is this a $50 customer or a $4,000 customer?  The way you view them will dictate how you invest in current and future customers.

Get Started. Stay On Track

Are you ready to take a leap forward? To get started and stay on track? My focus and accountability program offers an affordable way to get the help you need.  More than accountability, this program provides business owners with structure, another set of eyes and practical advice too! Click here to learn more or schedule a free phone consultation. Book appointment now.

Whole-Business-Approach 1500x1000

Are You Ready to Rebuild Your Business?

The past year has taught business owners a lot about leadership, innovation, flexibility and teamwork. We came to understand that business as usual can change in an instant, so we need to be able to adapt quickly. We found that technology is a great tool that can open doors if we open our minds to all the possibilities. And, we learned that with the right people, we have what we need to innovate and win despite the obstacles we face.

While some of our local favorite businesses did not survive, there is a lot of resilience within the small business community. Some businesses thrived in the chaos and uncertainty that was 2020. Others struggled but made it through and are now applying the lessons learned to rebuild their business better in 2021.

A Whole Business Approach to Profit Building

Whether you need to get customers back, fix a supply chain, hire more people or build back sustainable profit, take a whole-business approach. as you rebuild your business.

Think of your business as a machine with a lot of connected pieces. It works best when all the pieces perform well together. If one or more of the parts are broken, the business no longer works efficiently and effectively. Profit erodes.

My whole-business approach works for my clients. You can use it too and build sustainable profit in your own business. Here are the core elements:

  • Planning & Goal Setting. Aligning your vision and setting clear goals with action steps and deadlines for greater focus and results.
  • Products & Services. Packaging, positioning and pricing your products and services to attract and retain profitable customers – today and in the future.
  • Revenue Mastery. Business development, marketing, sales and customer service strategies that attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back and referring others.
  • Systems Mastery. Streamlining and standardizing procedures, to make daily operations easier, efficient and more effective – whether you are there or not.
  • People Mastery. Hiring and developing employees, contractors, vendors and alliances who are committed to your customers and the success of your business.
  • Personal Development. Commitment to learning and building skills and knowledge to help you achieve your true potential.
  • Financial Mastery. Creating synergy and profit mastery, to sustain growth and cash flow, so your business continues to serve you, your people, customers and other stakeholders.

Apply This Approach To Rebuild Business

There are a lot of ways you and your team can improve each of these areas in your business. My free eBook, Building Profit Through Leverage, provides additional information and practical ways my business clients build sustainable profit using my whole-business approach. Download now.

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together – Vincent Van Gogh

The proven methods outlined in my free eBook can help you create a strong foundation and build profitability. Take it one step at a time and focus on small improvements in all areas of your business. Get started now. Click here to download my free eBook.

Could a Business Coach Help You Rebound Faster?

Would another set of eyes, ongoing support and accountability from an expert help you take your business in a new and better direction? Let’s explore the possibilities with a brief, complimentary consultation.  It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.

Click here to schedule your free session.

profit builder

How to Turn 1% Into Double Digit Profit Growth

Profit growth or improving the bottom line is a priority for business owners — especially now as they look to bounce back from the Pandemic. But too often they look for the magical silver bullet.  The one big innovation or idea that will turn a business around and make people notice.

Innovation is important in all areas of your business, but often small improvements over time can make a big difference on the bottom line. In fact, a mere 1% improvement in revenue or sales, cost of goods sold and expenses can produce double-digit profit growth!

The Power of 1%

Here’s a simple example to demonstrate the Power of 1-1-1

Revenue:  With a 1% increase, revenue goes from $500,000 to $505,000

COGS:  With a 1% reduction, cost of goods sold goes from $300,000 to $297,000

Expenses:  With a 1% reduction, expenses go from $160,000 to $158,400

The result, Net Profit goes from $ 40,000 to $49,600.  An increase of $9,600 or 24%!

Check it out with YOUR numbers to see for yourself.

So now ask yourself “Do I have what it takes to achieve a 1% improvement in these three areas”? Absolutely! Can you do more? Probably. The key is to start – so set a goal. By focusing your efforts in these areas, you too can make progress 1% at a time.

Of course, a goal without actions won’t do much to get you there. So here are some things to consider as you plan your profit growth initiatives:

Revenue / Sales: There are hundreds of ways to grow sales. While generating more leads is an obvious one, here are a few that are often overlooked. You can improve revenue by improving your sales conversion rates, get customers to spend more or buy more often or expand your products or services. Need some ideas, check out 155+ Profit Building Ideas

Cost of Sales or Goods Sold: Based on experience with hundreds of small business owners, this area offers a lot of opportunity for profit improvement. The costs included in the cost of sales or goods sold will vary based on your type of business. These are variable – and link directly to sales levels. Examples of costs include inventory, incoming freight, direct labor (associated with service delivery or production), raw materials, service related suppliers and sub-contractors.

So how can you improve this area? Consider some of the following: improve labor efficiency by eliminating waste, renegotiate prices with key suppliers and vendors, outsource or utilize sub-contractors, improve scheduling, plan purchases to get volume pricing, and eliminate rejects or reworks.

Expenses / Overhead: These are relatively fixed and include everything from wages and benefits to marketing and rent. In today’s economy, many have focused on trimming the fat – but the key is to do so without impacting your ability to grow and deliver on your promise to customers.

Here’s a few things to consider: re-evaluate staffing levels to align with sales and service requirements, re-evaluate benefits, develop compensation model that includes pay-for-performance elements (not just guaranteed wages), evaluate outsource options or leasing, re-quote service contracts and insurance, renegotiate rent or relocate where appropriate, track marketing to improve ROI, and establish a budget – and live with it.

Small improvements in all areas have a compounding effect on your bottom line. They build on each other. All it takes is a clear focus, some simple proven strategies and a commitment to do it. 

Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?

Would working with a business coach help you take your business to a whole new level? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary 30-minute session.  It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.  Book appointment now.

Got questions? Call Joan Nowak at (856) 533-2344 or email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com

systems.teams.technology

Business Systems | Build Profit As You Grow

Business systems make life easier, drive profitability and leverage your business. Many small businesses learned the importance of operating systems this past year when a pandemic caused changes in the way they had to operate. The old way of doing things didn’t work. With safety as a priority, everything from sales and hiring to customer service, daily operations and billing were impacted to some degree.  These businesses also learned that it’s easier to modify your current systems instead of building everything from scratch.

The businesses with quality systems and technology to support them, found ‘pivoting’ was a lot easier. 

So whether your back to work plans include simple modifications, a whole new business model or something of a hybrid approach, make sure your systems are updated and documented too! Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Hiring people is on the rise. Training them without systems is far more difficult.
  • Getting customers back (or getting new ones) is a priority.  Consistent methods to implement your strategies is important for results.
  • Defining your customer experience is easy. Delivering on your promise time and again is more difficult without systems and technology to support your efforts. 

Business Systems | How to Get It Done

Whether you simply need to update what you have or build them from scratch, here is some good news. You can do it while you continue to grow your business. Here’s the best way to approach it.

Set the right goal.  Yes, I’m also a big advocate of setting goals! Avoid setting a goal to complete a ‘how to’ manual. It is just plain boring and overwhelming.  Instead, set a goal to build systems into your business – as you are building it.  You will eventually end up with a practical, how-to manual, but you’ll build profit and efficiency along the way to keep you motivated.

Take it one procedure at a time.  For every system you document and implement, you will see improvements in efficiency, productivity, and profit.  So you don’t need to reach the end of the project (a how-to-manual) to see results:  more sales, customers, profit, control and freedom.

Start with the most critical.  Business systems, like customers, are not created equal.  Focus first on the ones that impact YOUR sales, delivery, profit and time. 

When evaluating the systems in your business, you need to consider two factors. First, consistency. Is the procedure performed the same way by all involved?  Second, effectiveness. Does it deliver the outcome or results you want? 

For example. You have a sales system that is documented so everyone does it the same way.  But if your process doesn’t help you achieve a better outcome – more sales or a higher conversion rate – then it’s consistent but not effective.  In your business, you want both!

Keep it simple.  Procedures must be understood by those who implement them if they are to deliver consistent results.  Include scripts, checklists, and samples where appropriate to help people perform the task at hand. And always take advantage of technology that is out there for you. 

Include limits of authority.  Procedures will explain what to do and how to do it.  But some tasks such as preparing a customer quote, closing a sale, paying vendors or resolving a customer complaint may require you to spell out how much authority others have to complete these tasks.  Limits of authority empower others (with limits) so tasks get done without you while also reducing potential risks (aka bad decisions). 

Here’s a common example.  If quotes are needed to close a sale and timely response plays into getting the business, you don’t want approvals to become a bottleneck.  With guidelines, only proposals that fall outside the parameters you set need to be held for your approval. Therefore, your quote process may include language such as “All quotes or proposals over $5,000 OR under 35% gross profit margin require owner review and approval”

If you really want less stress, more profit and freedom and the ability to effectively pivot in the future, then make systems more of a priority.  Take it one at a time and build as you grow.  It’s not hard, you simply need to kill the excuses.

Get Serious About Systems

If you are serious about leveraging your business with systems but struggle with where to start and how to do it, then check out my Ultimate Systems and Procedures Guide. Designed specifically for small business owners, my step-by-step guide with templates and examples makes it easy to do it yourself.

team stepping up

Does Your Team Step Up or Sit Out?

It’s been a crazy year. One filled with a lot of changes. And for those who own a business, it is taking leadership, innovation, creativity and a lot of team work to keep it together (or maybe afloat). During difficult times, we learn a lot about ourselves – and the people we have in place to support our business.

Some of you saw your people step up. They brought new meaning to the word collaboration. Looked for better ways to serve customers. Came up with new product and service ideas. Developed systems to help operate efficiently and safely. In short, they embraced change, worked together and made a difference. You know you have the right team so the future looks good on that front.

Others weren’t so lucky. Some business owners realized they didn’t have a team. They had a group of individuals who were content to sit on the sidelines. No commitment to the business, customers or each other.

The good news is that you can change the story line as you head into 2021. Make hiring a priority – and have a system in place to help you do it right. Bring in quality people to support the business. Then create a culture that promotes collaboration and team work.

Related: Hiring | 7 do’s and don’t to make your efforts pay off

Team Building Secret

So, what is the secret to building a great team? It’s not about paying them a lot of money, but always pay them what they are worth.  It’s not about giving them weeks and weeks of paid time off. But getting paid to enjoy time away is always appreciated. You may be surprised to learn that some of the best ways to build a strong team cost you very little.

#1 – Get Them Engaged.

Vince Lombardi had the right idea. “Individual commitment to a group effort is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work and a civilization work.” Individual commitment comes from participation and understanding.  The more involved your team is, the more committed they are to its success.  And since some of the best ideas for business growth and improvement come from employees, it’s time to get them engaged.  Then everyone wins!

#2 – Show Appreciation.

As human beings, we want recognition and need to feel appreciated. It’s natural. So what do you do to make your team feel appreciated? Again, it’s not about money.  Yes, token gifts or group lunches are nice; but simple things like thank you for a job well done, recognizing them in front of peers and customers, and soliciting their suggestions goes a long way.  All it takes is a little forethought and some of your time!

#3 – Volunteer Together.

With so many needs in local communities, this is an opportunity to work together outside the traditional work environment. These projects help you get to know co-workers as people. It’s a great way to build personal relationships. Find a volunteer project the team can get behind – and do it together. Have fun while you help others.

#4 – Give Them Authority

When you give people the opportunity and authority to be their best, you will get the best out of them. Provide your team with the guidance they need. Then give them the authority to make decisions and solve problems. It’s the best way to demonstrate trust.

Get Your Team Off the Sidelines

When your people are committed and in the game, you set yourself up for success. So, make sure you hire the right people, invest in their development and create a collaborative culture. When you do, you and your business will be in a better place. One where you will survive whatever the world throws at you – even a pandemic!

Need help? Let’s discuss. Schedule a free 30 minute consultation.  Book an Appointment

 

Hiring Process

Hiring: 7 Do’s and Don’ts to Make Your Efforts Pay Off

A strong team makes it possible for any small business to accomplish great things.  But when it comes to hiring, many owners  just wing it, and often end up disappointed and frustrated.

Getting  the right people is not easy, but if you do it well, you won’t be doing it so often!  Here are some do’s and don’ts to make your hiring system pay off – in terms of sales, productivity, and profit.

Do Build a Case for Your Hiring Decisions.   Before you rush out and replace an employee or bring in additional help – stop!  Be clear on what you need, why you need it and what it will cost.  Think long-term not just quick fixes.

Do Create a Good Job Description.  Think beyond just duties and responsibilities.  What skills must the person possess to accomplish the job and add value to your company? A good job description sets the expectations for the position and can provide the clarity you need – so you attract what you want.

Do Require a Resume. With online job sites for almost every position out there, most candidates have a resume of some type. Resumes are a great way to evaluate written communication skills and can be helpful in weeding out those you don’t want.  So make them a part of your hiring process – ask for them!

Do Phone Screening of Applicants.  A 10-minute phone screen, with relevant questions,  can save countless hours of time.  Beyond getting clarification on resume information, a phone screen is a great way to evaluate verbal communication skills.

Don’t Go It Alone.   As a small business owner, you likely interview most candidates.  But why not allow other employees to participate in the interview process.  We all pick up different things and input from others can be very helpful in making good hiring decisions.  If you are a solo owner, ask another solo-owner to interview your candidates and return the favor for him/her when needed.

Do Reference and Background Checks.  Face it, some people polish the apple a bit or just flat-out lie on resumes and throughout the interview process.  Before you jump in and offer someone a position, do your homework.  Get business references and call them.  Confirm their employment and the dates – then ask the magic question, ‘Would you re-hire the candidate’.  A simple yes or no will speak volumes.  And don’t forget to do a little online research.  Facebook, Linked-In and other social media platforms are helpful. Google and other search engines can also provide information, good and bad, on potential employees.  Use it.   If background checks or assessments are part of your process, do them too.

Do Not Settle.  I know that being short-staffed can be frustrating, but hiring the wrong person, just to get someone in there, will cause more damage.  It can hurt productivity even further, kill employee morale and cost you in the long run.

Finally, believe you can get quality people within your company.  If you believe you can, you will.  Unfortunately, the opposite is also true.  So whether you are replacing a current employee or hiring for the first time, invest the time to do it right.  The people in your company represent YOU – so set high standards and integrate these suggestions into your hiring process or system.

New Monthly Article & Business Tools

For new business improvement articles, exclusive tools and insights on entrepreneurship, click here to subscribe to my monthly eNewsletter. When you do, I’ll also send you my free eBook, How to Build Profit Through Leverage.

Band Aid Problem Solving

How To Turn a Quick Fix Into a Permanent Solution

No matter how difficult the problem, there is always a quick fix.  And with so many fires to put out, the quick solution is often welcome by business owners because it allows you to move on to the next crisis or opportunity.

By definition, a quick fix is a problem-solving technique which involves using the fastest solution to keep the problem from escalating or recurring in the near future.

Solving the immediate problem quickly is a good thing, especially when it impacts customers, team or money. But the quick fix is often nothing more than a band-aid. It doesn’t address the root cause; it’s not the long-term solution. The problem will likely return again.

Is It a System Or People Issue?

Here’s an example to demonstrate this point.  Your technician performed a service.  The customer was unhappy and called to complain.  You apologize and send someone out to re-do the work and smooth over the customer.  Problem solved. The customer is now satisfied and you move on.

But what have you done to fix the problem moving forward? This is the missing piece in many small businesses. After you employ a temporary solution, you should evaluate the source of the problem in a more in-depth manner – to create the best solution for the future.

In the above example, it’s easy to assume the employee did a poor job or needed more training. In this case, the office staff scheduled two additional service calls and he was running behind. Concerned about being late to his remaining customers, he took shortcuts to make up the time.  So is it a people issue or a system issue – or maybe a combination of both?

Fix Then Solve

This principle applies to all areas of your business. While customers may create obvious fire drills, here’s a few others to consider:

  • Key employee resigns unexpectedly – and you have no one cross-trained.
  • Primary supplier goes out of business or increases prices dramatically and you have all your eggs in one basket!
  • Your biggest (or best) customer merged with another company and they have their own preferred vendor (and it’s not you).
  • Sales plunge and you have no ongoing, consistent method to generate more sales from new leads or existing customers – cash flow is getting tight.

All of these issues require immediate action, so go for the quick fix.  But afterward, work on the best solution for the future. From the above examples, that may include documenting or improving procedures, cross training employees, creating multiple supplier arrangements, expanding or diversifying customer base, and ongoing marketing and sales efforts.

While the best solution will take more time, it is often worth it in the long-run. Think about the impact these problems have on costs, profit, customer satisfaction, team satisfaction – and you personally.  Do you really want to spend your days putting out fires?

Determine The Source of Problems

How do you determine the source of problems?  Ask more questions.  How do we make sure this doesn’t happen again?  How can we do this better in the future? Think systems and people!

  • What systems and procedures do you need to run all areas of your business? Are they documented so others can use them consistently? Are they effective – work the way they should?
  • What people (employees, vendors, contractors, power partners) do you need to run your systems? Are they trained properly? Are the expectations clear?

Get others involved and encourage people to speak up without fear. It’s difficult to get to the root cause and solve problems without honest communication from everyone.  Make the commitment to really improve your business.  Get rid of the band-aids and fix the problems for the long-term.

Tired of Hitting Roadblocks?

Would another set of eyes, ongoing support and accountability from an expert help you to get moving in a new and better direction? Let’s explore the possibilities with a brief, complimentary consultation.  No obligation, only opportunity. Click here to schedule your free consultation today.

Effective leadership

Ready to Lead Your Team?

Leadership is tested most during times of crisis or change. Are you ready to lead your team? To be the leader your team needs, start by focusing on these four areas.

Communication

Good communication skills are important at all levels of business. But it can be challenging with some or all employees working remotely.  Keeping a pulse on what’s going on is more difficult. Casual chats as you walk around and lunch room conversations aren’t there for you. Getting informal communication or feedback requires planning and initiative.

  • Schedule brief catch up calls with your staff. Encourage others to do the same. Nothing says I care more than a one-on-one conversation.
  • Zoom and Google Meet are great tools for bringing the team together. They can replace onsite meetings. Just don’t over-do it! Keep them brief and have an agenda.
  • Keep email communication clear and simple. They are a great way to keep your team up-to-date on what is going on.
  • If you use text, use it wisely. Would you want to receive text messages all day and night from your boss or colleagues?

Redefine Goals & Expectations

Most small businesses have undergone changes over the past six months. Some are as simple as safety protocols while others changed their business model, products or operations. Right now, you may be focused on re-opening or getting fully operational.

But with the knowledge you have gained and trends you’ve watched, take a hard look at your overall business. Your team, operations, customer service, products, systems and margins may need revamping to handle changes in attitudes and behaviors. It’s not about surviving – but thriving in the months or years ahead.

Communicate your vision for the future. Clarity from you can also reduce stress on them! Set clear goals and expectations so everyone is on the same page.

Accountability

Communication and clear goals are a good start and something your team needs from you. But make sure you give people the tools, support and authority to do their jobs and achieve the results you all want. Build in accountability.

By definition, accountability is the acknowledgement and assumption of responsibility for actions, decisions and implementation within the scope of their job. It comes with an obligation to report, explain and take ownership for results.

The best way to build accountability within your company is through follow-up. Check on progress along the way. When you follow up on projects or tasks you reinforce their importance. It also gives you the opportunity to recognize their work, keep them motivated – or help get them back on track if necessary.

Delegation

“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things, but the one that gets the people to do the greatest things.” If you believe the words of President Ronald Reagan, you have the ability to be a great leader. You simply need to open doors for others on your team to accomplish great things.

It starts with delegation. Sure effective delegation saves you time and allows you to focus on the right stuff. But it’s really more than that. When you effectively delegate work to others, you allow them to learn new skills and take on more responsibilities. It helps you empower others to accomplish great things for you and your company.

Related: How to Delegate Effectively

Mentoring

If you take care of your team, your team will take care of your business. Good leaders understand this so they make teamwork and developing others a priority.

We’ve all had people in our lives who we admired or learned from. They make a difference and are often unforgettable. Many of these individuals are former bosses, coaches, teachers or business colleagues. And when you ask people about them, you will often hear “I learned so much from him/her”.

You too can be that person in your company. Whether you teach them directly or open the doors to learning, you have the ability to help your team reach their full potential. Share your knowledge. Promote training and development within your company. Be the serving leader your team needs to excel at work and in life.

Related: Leadership: What Makes Some Great

Ready to Take a New Path?

Would working with a business coach help you take your business in a new direction? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. It’s a chance to get to know each other, discuss your goals and the obstacles that hold you back. Together we can determine if there is a good fit between your needs and my services.

There no obligation, only opportunity. So call me at (856) 533-2344 to learn more or schedule an appointment.

products services

Do Products & Services Need a Facelift?

Products and services have a shelf life because customer needs change over time. Do your need a facelift? Are your products and services a want, need or must have? The right products and services make marketing and sales growth easier. 

5 Ways To Improve Offers and Grow Revenue

#1 Create a new product or service

What do your customers want or need today that you could easily offer or integrate into your services? They can be big or small. The key to success here is to ensure it’s a natural fit for your other products.  They should compliment your current offers and be logical to customers based on your company’s reputation and experience.

#2 Offer a simpler or smaller version

Can you take something away or simplify it to make it more affordable to your target customers? This may be a way to create an easy entry to your company. From there, you can up-sell or cross-sell products in the future.

#3 Upgrade a product or service

What can you add to create a premium version or upgrade to something you already sell? What would your ideal customers value? Consider what your competition does or does not provide. One of the keys is to do a little research by talking to your ideal target customers. What do they want, what are they willing to pay?

#4 Bundle into a package

While bundled services may cost more as a package, they typically deliver more value in the long-term and ultimately save customers money. The key with packaging services is to create them for a niche or small segment of your market. Do not try to create packages that serve everyone or you will ultimately serve no one.

#5 Update your current products or services

Since the needs of customers change over time, your products and services need to keep up. Do the value-added features you include still matter to customers? If not, remove them and save the money. Are there services that you need to add that are now expected? If so, find a cost-effective way to incorporate them. Feedback from customers makes this easier to do. So evaluate your services and modify them as needed.

Communicate Changes and Improvements

When you give your products and services that much-needed upgrade, remember to communicate it! While many small businesses promote a new product, they often overlook communicating improvements or changes to existing products or services. Announcements in newsletters or email campaigns, press releases, a simple business letter, direct mail piece, updates on social media or even a ‘New’ icon on your product website can often do the trick.

Don’t overlook the product or service development side of your business. It’s an important part of marketing. And rem to communicate the changes you make. Your bottom line will thank you.

Ready to Put Your Business on a Better Path?

Would another set of eyes, ongoing support and accountability from an expert help you take your business to a new level of success? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation

To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com