When planning for the long term success of your business, your focus should be on moving forward with such things as industry trends and customer demands. You’ll want to make sure you’re planning to grow your business in a realistic way. Without a focus on improvement, your business becomes stagnant and will not grow. The following ideas are simple adjustments you can make for yourself to keep your business growing.
- Reward yourself for positive results, not for effort. You may feel as if all the hours and creative energy you put into running your business deserves its own Nobel Prize. While it’s definitely commendable that you devote yourself so fiercely to the business, hold off on rewarding yourself until you actually see positive results. For example, you’ve spent countless hours researching how to design the most efficient online ordering system and even more hours implementing it. Now you’re ready to take that long-awaited holiday weekend trip. But instead of laying out lots of cash, the smarter approach would be to reward yourself with a latte, and then await the results that come from this new system. By doing so, you ensure your physical presence if there are unforeseen problems and you maintain your focus on quality and efficiency. Once you’ve gotten positive feedback and that increase in orders you were hoping for, then you can pack the car and head out of town.
- Be flexible; that’s why you have your own business. Being your own boss has allowed you to create your own work schedule and everyday operating protocol, hand-pick your team, and run this business in a way that works for you. Keep this in mind when things don’t go as planned. Your flexibility is crucial to staff morale, customer satisfaction, and the overall success of your business. One recently retired photo lab owner spent most of his career and gathered much of his success by running the lab efficiently and being knowledgeable about each photo processing machine. However, when the industry went digital and photo processing started to become a thing of the past, it was time for him to modify his whole business model to compete with big business processing chains and the at-home photo printing and scrapbooking revolution. By adjusting to these new ideas and thinking creatively, he was able to spend the final years of his career in the business that he loved, instead of shutting down like so many of his counterparts had to do.
- Pay yourself fairly, but not too much. You may have a pre-conceived notion about how much you want to make each month or year, but make sure this is a fair amount based on the financial state of your business. There will be times when your profits fall short of those expectations, so it may be necessary to take a pay cut. On the other hand, when business is booming, don’t be tempted to pay yourself too much. Plan for a rainy day by putting some money back into the business and/or by rewarding deserving staff with appropriate bonuses. It’s important to frequently assess your salary and adjust it accordingly.
You can keep your business growing and achieve your goals in low-cost or no-cost ways by being disciplined, flexible, and fair. Always strive for these qualities in yourself and your colleagues.
How do you keep your business growing? Please share your ideas below!