Whether you’re a single person operation or leading a large corporate entity, the name of the game is constant improvement. The natural state of both your business and the world in general is to grow so unless you are constantly improving you are going backwards relative to your competition. Making improvements to make your business better is a conscious choice and within the control of the business leaders and owners. Business owners and leaders only have a limited amount of “choice time”. These 10 tips should help you focus on the areas of business offering the biggest return on the choice time you invest in your business.
- Know Yourself: Every successful business owner, even Bill Gates, has a clear idea of their abilities and limitations. By truly discovering yourself, you can deliver on your strengths and find support in areas of weakness.
- Master Concise Presentations: A powerful business presentation can help improve your small business by leaps and bounds. Learning the essentials of how to deliver a knockout business presentation in a concise way can reap many rewards.
- Keep Score Regularly: The number of small and medium businesses that have no or little idea of the daily, weekly, and monthly numbers and financial trends in the organisation is worrying. Dedicate a regular time keeping up to date on cash flow and business trends. If you lack the financial skills to obtain this information on a regular basis invest in some external or internal support.
- Set Goals & Targets: Like keeping score, setting goals and objectives is an essential part of business success. Without the goals it’s possible that you’re comparing your actual results against the wrong targets.
- Don’t Reinvent the Wheel: Every industry has its own best practices or ways of doing things that are tried and true. Don’t waste money and time reinventing the wheel. Unless you are producing a new innovation to the industry make use of the resources already out there.
- Know the External Market: Sadly for business owners, business doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The events and changes in the world impact your business. Create a regular review system that allows you to keep up to date with the events beyond your four walls.
- Smart Marketing: It’s easy to waste money on ineffective or expensive marketing campaigns and programs. Learn how to use cost effective high impact marketing to improve your small business.
- Sharpen Selling Skills: The sales function can be daunting for many business owners who are experts in their service or product but not necessarily selling that service or product. Whether you’re selling to big companies or managing a sales team keep looking to improve your selling skills.
- Motivate Team: Start by having a team rather than staff. Talented and motivated team members can bring on big improvements in business. Learn what motivates your team and watch them perform at their optimal level.
- Sharpen the Saw: Running a small business is hard work – that’s one of the key reasons why everyone doesn’t jump into their own business. Stephen Covey (author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) recognises that the seventh habit is to sharpen the saw. That can be in the form of vacations or development outside your core skills.
If you can master each of these 10 tips you’re well on the way to growing your business beyond that of your competition.