Every business owner, regardless of their industry or service type, strives to be successful. At the heart of all business, journeys are finding the balance between accomplishing goals and standing out amongst competitors while remaining profitable.
It’s a statement of fact that all businesses will experience highs and lows, but you can use these ups and downs to learn about and ultimately grow your business. Whether you are on the up or trying to dig yourself out of a bad situation, there are a few best practice tips that any sized corporation can follow to ensure your brand stays ahead of the curve and ultimately flourishes.
Develop a Strong Peer Network
Nobody can do everything on their own. Even the most diverse and experienced individuals will sometimes need a hand. Whether it’s a colleague who you enjoy bouncing new ideas off or somebody that’s great at playing devil’s advocate, having a solid network of reliable peers that you can count on will reduce mistakes, help you make better decisions, and help you through tough times.
Set Short and Long-Term Goals
Goals should be measurable and within reach. A good idea for any sized business is to establish short and long-term goals. Consider breaking up your objectives and business plans into segments – one to three years, three to five, and five to ten for starters.
This will allow you to create separate plans for every goal at every level while giving you the flexibility to change or amend your strategy throughout the process. The type of measured goal-setting approach listed here is used by many successful companies, and for good reason. You should also develop a performance-driven culture that has rewards for achieving measurable goals.
Become a Master of Delegation
The best business owners delegate well – to managers, supervisors, and even average employees. Delegation empowers people to elevate their personal performance and takes a lot of responsibility off the shoulders of the ‘person in charge’.
While it’s important to empower your people, make sure to set ground rules and opportunities for follow-up. It’s not to ‘catch them making mistakes’, but to ensure they are consistently making good decisions, and be sure to give your employees opportunities to improve their abilities and skills.
Reduce your Overhead Expenses
The leading source of reduced profitability is high overhead expenses. It’s simple economics, the more you’re spending on operating the business, the less profit you take away from each sale. Moreover, higher overheads often lead to overpricing your products or services – which can ‘price’ you out of the competition. By being smart with your overhead expenses, you can keep your pricing low, which attracts more customers and increases profitability. When it comes to profitability and expenses, it is important for business owners to also consider their insurance options.
Be an Expert Before Expanding
If you’re trying to bite off more than you can chew, it can end up coming back to bite you. While diversification of services and products can be a good thing, it’s more important to establish yourself as an expert in a service or product before spreading your wings. Before you attempt to expand your offering, make sure you have all the ingredients to cover existing items.
Always Cover Your Expenses Before Jumping Head In
A leading source of poor decision making with new businesses is when the owner can’t pay their own bills. This usually leads to taking risks that end up backfiring and can cause a start-up to fail. To avoid this all-too-common situation, make sure to keep your “day job” or initial source of income until your business start-up is fully profitable. Always ensure that you are receiving a liveable wage, whether it’s from your day job or your start-up.
Most business owners operate at full throttle – all the time. This reduces the opportunity for distractions to sway them from their busy schedules. However, it’s still a possibility. The key to growing a business is being 100 percent committed to excellence. You simply can’t put forth a 50% effort, which tends to be the norm for those attempting to build a new business while involved in a secondary venture.
Nonetheless, it’s important to reduce the potential for distractions to occur. So set a tight schedule for daily activities, set milestones for weekly, monthly, and bi-annual performance goals, and always fine-tune your operations to maximize opportunities for success.
Reduce the Risk of Falling into the Pit of Despair
Most businesses fail when they fall victim to business killers. Some of these include not sticking with a business plan, failure to adapt to changes in the consumer market, or the inability to integrate technology due to being under-educated. Business owners that succeed have a unique ability to seek help from experts when they’re not 100% clear. By simply asking questions, you can avoid the pitfalls that doom many start-ups or expanding businesses.
Every business looking to grow and expand must also find creative ways of standing out from the competition. At the heart of this for most industries is offering superior customer service. Remember, your customers are the ones that matter most. They are the ones who pay your bills, keep your business afloat, and provide you with the extra revenue that permits you to grow in the first place.