10 Tips to Grow Your Business Plain and Simple
by Beth Tabak
“Try not to become a man of success but rather to
become a man of value.” Albert Einstein Recently I heard
a statistic that the majority of businesses operate
at 60% of their potential. While I was unable to obtain
the source of that statistic it seemed rather accurate
or maybe even high. The Small Business Association reports
that “2/3 of new employer firms survive at least 2 years,
and about 1/2 survive at least 4 years.” The language
they use is almost as scary as the statistics themselves.
This article provides tips to help you develop and grow
a strong, solid business foundation.
1- Solid Plan with a Clear Simple Vision-
Think of the impact you would like your business to
have in the world. Think big! You may never reach your
vision but the vision itself is so grand that your team
gets excited about it. Then back up and look at what
would have to happen to get there. Create a solid plan
with realistic short and long term goals.
2- Focus on Profitability vs. Revenue-
While revenue is important, high revenue doesn’t add
value if your expenses are just as high. What can you
do to create more profit? Possibly develop various streams
of income. What expenses could be reduced or eliminated?
How can you operate more efficiently? Think profit.
3- Work “in” and “on” your business-
Sometimes we get so caught up in daily tasks “in” our
business we forget to step back to take a wider look
from the outside. Seeing it through a customer’s eyes.
Noticing how it fits into the community. Preparing the
future of the company. On the other hand, we can get
so comfortable working “on” our business we forget to
step in to talk with customers and experience what the
employees face on a daily basis.
4- Automate and Create Systems-
What do you need to automate? What system can you put
in place that would free up your time or make you more
money? What tasks need to be eliminated, systematized,
or delegated. What system would help your employees
be more effective and provide the best service? Finally,
is there a system that needs to be upgraded? Automation
and systems help your business be consistent and efficient.
5- Consistent Marketing Plan-
Marketing expert Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerilla Marketing
has said that “I hate to admit this, but mediocre marketing
with commitment works better than brilliant marketing
without commitment.” It is important to have a marketing
plan in place that is consistently and persistently
being carried out on a daily basis....not just when
you need more customers.
6- Increase Value to Your Customers-
Give more than your customers ask for...more than they
expect. There are 3 convenience stores by my neighborhood.
The first one built I visited regularly and was satisfied.
Nothing unique. The second I visited less than a handful
of times and had to wait every time to get checked out
so haven’t been back in years. Every time I get gas
at the third store I am greeted over the intercom with
a friendly “Hi, how are you today?”. When we go inside
they are friendly and always provide my kids with a
free lollipop. They even added a Post Office inside.
Who do you think gets my money on a regular basis and
with very little effort or money on their part? The
one that gives more than I expect. What added value
can you provide that will increase your “Wow” factor?
React to the customer’s needs before they know they
need it. Instead of selling what you want, sell what
the customer needs. How do you know what they need?
Take time to talk to them. At a minimum talk to your
best customers and learn from each one you’ve lost.
Find out what they would like and what their challenges
are. Stay current on market trends in your industry.
8- Leadership vs. Management-
Empower your staff to manage themselves. Do you really
want to spend your time problem solving? Train them
well. Make sure they know the vision of the company
and they are on board because there is a personal win
in place for them. The personal win gives the employee
motivation to cooperate as part of the team.
9- Well Oiled Machine vs. Chaos-
Is each section of your business operating efficiently
while working together towards the common goal? Or are
the members of your team expending time and energy daily
putting out fires. What change can you make to shift
your business out of crisis/ problem-solving to operating
10- Develop YOU! -
Take a minute to hold your breathe. As you hold your
breathe think about what you really want. See what happens.
Unless you are uniquely talented you probably had trouble
thinking about what you want....because your needs were
not being met. When you take care of yourself... feel
strong, healthy, happy, and have time and space in your
life...you can focus on what you want and attract more
to your business. Take one step at a time and build
a strong, solid business. Along the way build lots of
reserves...time, money, space, revenue sources, future
products, etc. and begin filling the gap to your potential.
Today’s Dare to Take Action Challenge: Focus on one
tip above for one week. What changes can you make? Take
action on one, build momentum, and move on.
About the Author
Please send your comments and tell me what you want
to read. l would love to hear from you! Copyright 2003,
Beth A. Tabak, All rights reserved. Beth Tabak may be
http://www.startingnowcoaching.com. Beth Tabak is
a Business & Life Coach and owner of Starting Now. She
coaches busy business people to achieve more with less
stress and struggle. Contact Beth to set up a free “Try
It Out” session to see what coaching can do for you.
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and e-mail. Wishing you success!