The conscious choice to improve the way you do business is necessary to grow your business and move it forward. It is always a good idea to focus on one small area at a time so as not to spread yourself too thin. Consider the following suggestions for improving the way you do business.
- Always look for new and better ways to do things. Sometimes we just get stuck in our old habits without thinking of better ways to do things that might be more efficient. For instance, even though you have been paying your bills online for years, you still find yourself with paper statements and an overflowing filing cabinet that needs to be cleaned out at the end of every calendar year. An easy solution would be to sign up for e-bills through your bank’s online bill paying system and/or paperless statements through your vendors themselves. Create an online filing system that works for you, and back everything up on an external hard drive or via cloud storage such as Norton or Carbonite. New and better ways of doing simple things are becoming available all the time, so take advantage of accessible resources.
- Think of “no” as “not yet.” Perhaps one of the hardest things about owning a business is hearing the word, “no.” It may be from a potential customer, a recruit, or an existing client. Instead of taking “no” as the final word, think of it as, “I’m not ready for this yet,” or “I need more information about why I need this.” Adjusting your mindset when wearing your salesperson hat will prevent you from giving up too easily or shrugging off the follow-up questions you should be asking. Even if you only acquire one additional sale out of 5 or 10 by adopting this approach, it will be worth it to your confidence and to your bottom line.
- Build lasting relationships to grow your business. Relationships with everyone you work with from colleagues to clients are the heartbeat of your business. Build new ones, nurture existing ones, and always demonstrate sincerity. Make an effort to learn something personal about your customers, especially something to which you can also relate like hobbies and family life. Find out from your staff what you can do to enrich their experience working for you or help them with something they’d like to improve. When others know you truly care, lasting relationships can be built.
- Continue taking calculated risks. When considering taking a risk, make sure you are fully informed about the pros and cons and have a backup plan ready for the worst case scenario. Don’t fear risks so much that you never take them, as that can cause your business to remain static. Use your existing knowledge and skill set, research necessary information, and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of your decision.
- Develop a reputation for excellence. It is better to do one thing extremely well than to do several things at a mediocre level. Focus on one aspect of your business, and strive to be the best at that one thing. For example, your bakery offers everything from freshly baked breads to custom made cakes. Your real strength, however, is that crumb cake that everyone raves about. Promote that particular product and consider creating new ways to use it, such as in bite-sized packages for gift baskets or kids’ parties. Your customers will always be able to count on your excellent crumb cake and because of your consistently high quality, they’ll branch out to your other offerings as well.
Don’t be overwhelmed by all the things you want to improve about your business. Just a few simple changes here and there can make a significant difference. What else should be added to our list? Please share your ideas below!