It’s not easy finding the right methods and approaches for your business. You’re ready to do everything you can to make it a success, but there’s no clear path to what you should actually do. But here’s the thing: in many cases, business improvements aren’t a result of sweeping changes; they come about from small alterations. Independently, these changes may have a small impact – but group them all together, and you’ll have made one significant impact! Below, we take a look at some of the areas you should be looking at, none of which should take up too much of your time.
Get An Objective View
You’re understandably pretty close to your business. This is positive in one aspect, as it’s unlikely that anything will go seriously wrong when you’ve got such a close eye on all the important matters, but there is such a thing as being “too close.” If you can’t see your business with fresh eyes, then you might miss something crucial that you should be doing. This is especially relevant to your design, whether online or in-store. You might have an outdated look that shows your age, but if you can’t see it, then there’s not much you can do! Try to look at your company as objectively as you can. If you find this difficult to do, then invite a friend or fellow entrepreneur to cast their eye over your business – just be prepared for some constructive criticism!
And An Accountants View
It’s amazing how many business owners don’t keep close tabs on how much money they’re making each month. This is one of the simplest ways to improve your business, yet many don’t do it! It’s simple, too. All you have to do is put your takings into a spreadsheet, and then, you know, think critically about the pattern. If you made a bunch of money one month, before taking a slump the next, then look at why this might be: what did you do in the profitable month that you didn’t do the following month? You might not be able to find a correlation, but it might just throw up something simple that you’re able to integrate into your business moving forward.
Breathe Life Into Employees
Your business success depends on you, your customers, and your employees. You can help bring the best out of your employees be showing excellent leadership skills, and motivating them to be the best that they can be. Some employees can hit a slump, and it’s not through any fault of their own: they just lack an incentive to do well, or they’re feeling uninspired, or anything else. If you’ve noticed that your workers aren’t quite as productive as they once were, then breathe some life into them! Planning a workplace retreat, offering a raise, or other benefits should do the trick. Productivity is a key ingredient when it comes to business success: don’t underestimate it!
Learn What’s Efficient
As a business owner, you’ll have plenty of things on your plate that needs to be handled, and it’s easy to develop an “ad hoc” approach. That is, to face each issue as it comes, and to get through as much as you can during the day. While this will most definitely feel like you’re getting a lot of work done, in reality, you’ll be completing much fewer tasks than if you were organised. If you’re going to put in long days and make yourself tired, you may as well ensure that it’s all worth it! Instead, figure out how you work best, and do that. Understanding the most efficient methods for your business is one of the best ways to boost productivity, and in time, take your company to the next level.
Have a Target
When we have so much work to do, it’s hard to think about anything beyond the here and now. But if you’re forever doing that, then it’s going to be difficult to move your company forward. As such, one of the most powerful acts you can do is to have a target. It doesn’t have to anything overly grand; indeed, that would be the wrong approach – you want it to be achievable, after all. Having a target of, say, increasing sales by 10%, or increasing your email subscribers by a set number, and also an actionable approach for it to be successful could just give you that extra push in the right direction that’ll bring a small, but measurable difference.
You don’t exist in the business world all by yourself. You’re part of a much bigger system, which includes other businesses and your customers and the society in which they inhabit. As such, one of the best ways to improve your company is to keep an eye on the trends that are sweeping through society. They might just show you something you’ve been missing! To give an obvious example, consider the smartphone. Most of the world’s internet traffic is now through phones – as opposed to desktop computers – and if you’d known this several years ago, you’d have been ahead of the curve when it came to having a website that was optimised for mobile viewing.
Reconsider the Popular
You use a lot of technology and software as part of your business operations. While there’s no shortage of options for all of your needs, many business owners tend to find out what’s popular, and then use that for their company. However, it’s important to remember that just because a piece of software is popular, that doesn’t necessarily mean that’s right for your business. You might be better served by using a Dropbox alternative, or a Windows computer above a Mac, or anything else. It’s about analysing your needs, and then finding the best tool to do the job, and not just relying on what’s more readily available.
Know Your Limitations
It’s your business, and you’ll have plenty of ideas about how you can push your company forward and make it the best that it can be. However, it’s worth keeping in mind that while you have the potential to be your company’s best asset, you may also be holding it back. As an entrepreneur, it’s imperative not only that you understand what you can bring to the organisation, but also what you can’t bring. No one can do everything for their business, at least not without training. Commit to being the best leader and owner you can be, and you’ll be able to serve your company well.
The world of digital marketing has grown pretty complex in recent years. There’s a reason why there are so many SEO and marketing experts available for hire! If you’re doing your own marketing in-house, then it’s important that you take a read of some effective online marketing tips. Much of what online businesses so marketing wise can be considered a waste of time and energy; they just don’t yield the type of results they need to yield.
Outsource your Work
Sometimes, you have to spend money to make money. Take outsourcing, for instance. This is one of the most effective ways to make your small business function as if it were a much bigger company! You’ll have to spend some money sure, but, by outsourcing, you’ll be able to gain access to expert opinions (which you can’t afford to bring on board full-time), and also rid you and your staff of those annoying, repetitive tasks. It’s a time-saving exercise that can bring real benefits to your company, essentially.
Two Weeks Away
Yes, you might be willing to put in a twelve hour day in Monday to Friday, but keep in mind that isn’t necessarily an impressive thing. Indeed, in some cases, it might be considered foolish! To bring your best to your company, you need to be fresh and energized. If you’re looking for an excuse to spend two weeks away from your business, perhaps lying on a beach, then you’ve found it. You’ll have plenty of time to work on some new ideas while you’re away, and will come back ready to hit the ground running. Remember – your productivity doesn’t depend on how many hours you’re working; it’s how much good work you get done.
Open to Learning
The world is moving at a pretty quick pace these days, and there are always new ideas, products, and ways of conducting business popping up. In your workplace, try to encourage an ‘open to learning’ culture. This won’t necessarily make an instantly noticeable impact on your profitability; it’s more of a long-term strategy to ensure that you’re not left behind as the world moves forward.
And, as a complement to being open to learning, make sure your venture has a forward-looking mindset that grows alongside change and doesn’t try to resist it. It’s tempting to hold onto your past success or to carry on doing the things you’ve always been doing, but the future is coming whether you like it or not: go with it.