Is It Time To Improve

Is It Time To Improve Your Business?

A mentor once told me, “A business is like a tree, it’s either growing or dying”. Building a business is hard work. But continuous growth and sustained profitability take more than just effort. It requires innovation, commitment, and the right focus. If you are ready to improve your business, here are a few ways to get started.

5 Ways To Improve Your Business

# 1 – Have an Open Mind

Business improvement ideas come from a variety of sources. Sometimes these opportunities are obvious. But often they come from fleeting remarks or suggestions by friends, colleagues or total strangers. But you must be open to new ideas and willing to try new things. When you do, improvements will follow.

#2 – Invest Your Time Wisely

Most owners know their time is valuable, but do you treat it that way? Or do you waste it putting out fires, working on trivial tasks or micromanaging your staff? Plan your day, schedule your time and focus on the right stuff – the things that only you can and should do.

Interruptions will happen, so plan for some.  And, when you do schedule the time to work on important tasks, treat it like a customer appointment. Shut the door, tell others you don’t want to be disturbed, turn off the cell phone and email reminders. Make these blocks of time productive so they move you toward your goals and improve your business.

#3 – Be a Profit Builder

Keep your focus on the bottom line.  There are a lot of ways to improve profit in your business – cutting costs is the obvious one. While keeping costs down is important, put adequate resources (time and money) into other areas. Here are a few you may wish to consider.

  • Grow sales of higher margin products or services. Products, like customers, are not created equal. The growth of low-margin products can actually reduce your overall profit.
  • Gain efficiency with systems especially if your business relies on labor to deliver the services.
  • 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 take time.  It is not a stop-start activity.  Plan and make business development activities something you do daily, weekly and monthly. Then 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 $35 each time you mow their lawn.  While the first transaction is only $35, they spend that each week from May – September, so annually they spend about $700. If they stay with you for four years, they will spend about $2,800.  So is this a $35 customer or a $2,800 customer?  The way you view them will dictate how you invest in current and future customers.

The 30-Day Business Improvement Challenge

Are there improvements you can make in your business? Certainly. But nothing will change until you take action.  So identify one thing to work on over the next 30 days and get started.

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Build Profit the Hybrid Way

Get Started. Stay On Track

Are you ready to take a leap forward? To get started and stay on track? My accountability programs offer 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.

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How to Make Your Business Work Simply

There are some things in life that are complicated. Business doesn’t need to be one of them. You don’t need to be Einstein to invent new ways to create a better business. But it does require two things – goals and systems.

Many small businesses lack clear direction. So one of the first things I recommend to clients is that they define and prioritize what they want to accomplish over the next 12 months. When you have simple goals and share them with your team, everyone is on the same page. It gets them focused on the results you want.

I’ve had clients increase sales and profit significantly simply by defining and sharing their goals. Then they track results and communicate how they are doing.  This allows the owner to recognize them for a job well done or get their input to make adjustments when necessary.

Client Examples:  Simple Ways to Improve Your Business
  • A medical practice wanted to increase the number of new patients. Before we jumped into marketing, we tweaked some current procedures, including answering phones, scheduling appointments and new patient intake. We made sure that first contact was friendly, efficient and helpful. With scripts and procedures to make it easy, retraining staff and new patient goals, the practice added at least 25 new patients each month. They now have a strong foundation to make future marketing and lead generation activities pay off.
  • A commercial cleaning company wanted to grow customers in a few key segments. We developed key speaking points, a letter of introduction and a follow-up phone script. We modified their proposals to address both price and differentiation. With this in place, we implemented a campaign to contact 10 new prospects weekly. We generated three new clients the first month.  This is now an ongoing effort that continues to pay dividends.
  • A professional service firm was not pro-actively requesting referrals or testimonials from current clients. We implemented a quick phone survey for them to use when they completed a service such as tax preparation, planning or other business initiatives. While the feedback helped with our ongoing improvement efforts, the survey gave them the chance to ask for and receive referrals and testimonials. New business through referrals has produced sales growth without additional marketing investments.

As these examples demonstrate, doing small, often simple things, can make a difference in your sales and profits. Set goals and get others engaged. Apply a little innovation and you have a recipe for success.

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 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.

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