Small business owners bear numerous burdens over the course of a fiscal year, the end of which sometimes leaving entrepreneurial spirits dampened under the cloud of logistics, customer retention and performance reviews.
These entrepreneurs give themselves the opportunity to imagine a business vision, gauge direction and alter the system as they go – not to mention taking home a chunk of the profit.
As the months of the 2013 calendar turn and your new quarter begins, it’s time to step back from the daily grind and reinvigorate your business with a healthy and more human take on employee motivation and how you’ve come by success and failure.
Set new goals with the purpose of creating positive cashflow and reenergizing your employees.
Reenergize Your Business: Reflect on Successes … and Failures
Driven forward no matter how lavish the surroundings, small business owners tend to struggle when reflecting, even after a landmark year. This introspective look doesn’t just give fuzzy feelings it also provides insight into how to move forward.
Reflecting on how success motivates employees. Positive reinforcement in the workplace enhances the self image and solidifies behavior of all employees.
Whether it’s at a morning meeting or company party, supplement company strengths by celebrating the successes that took place throughout each month, quarter or year. Perhaps you topped sales goals or developed a more efficient cash flow management system — if you want to continue raising the bar higher, these achievements can’t go unnoticed.
Along with celebrating achievements, evaluate business struggles. Maybe you could have done a better job organizing finances.
Set New Goals
With a healthy perspective of the previous fiscal year, it’s a perfect time to establish new business goals. As difficult or ambiguous situations arise, these goals act as the final word, dictating whether or not an employee should carry out an idea. Goals should send you and your employees to achieve greatness without inhibiting creativity or risk-taking.
If your business flew past its goals this year, raise the bar and inspire you and your employees to greater things. On the other hand, if your company fell short, change next year’s projections so that these marks act as a catalyst for success rather than a looming reminder of failure.
Cut back on items that may have burdened your bank account and discover new ways to save. Use penny-pinching promotions by piggybacking your advertising or splitting it with a neighboring business and provide expert advice to content marketers and online journalists. Be sure you’re clear on social media. Reduce office overhead — buy used equipment and print business cards for less.
Take a Personal Inventory
You probably manage employee performance reviews and test employee satisfaction, but how do you evaluate your own professional growth? There is no better time than now to evaluate your performance as a business leader and assess how to improve.
Ask employees to rate and comment on your leadership style, communication skills and accessibility. Your small business will function as well as you see it, so personal development should be seen as an investment in you and your business.
Explore the year’s lasting impression for your business. Perhaps you saw this small business as a temporary stop gap but have developed a passion for entrepreneurship and enjoy watching not only your bank account grow but your employees also. This introspective look at your business will spark your passions and guide your organization’s future prosperity.
Good Businesses Grow No Matter What
Every business demands growth, and double-digit growth is the dream of every dedicated business owner, even when lackluster results show up at quarterâ€™s end.
Most entrepreneurial business owners need a guide to navigate their way toward substantial, sustainable growth. It can be done even in a slow economy as demonstrated by such companies as Harley Davidson, Starbucks, and WalMart. Even smaller companies such as Paychex and Oshkosh Truck have been able to make gains in revenue, gross profits and net profits.
Here are 5 disciplines of sustained growth:
Retain Your Customer Base: Keep the growth that you have already earned by coaxing customers into complex relationships that make it a hassle for them to switch to your competitor. Tailor your products/services using data gleaned from your customers giving you an advantage. Proactively managing customer defections will help you anticipate and pre-empt them. Bonding with customers wherever emotion is tied to an interaction is another great way to retain them.
Gain Market Share at the Expense of Your Rivals: Give customers a reason to abandon a competitorâ€™s product/service for yours. Do what it takes to lower the switching costs. Pulling customers away from a competitor can be difficult, so you must devote many resources to raiding their customer base. Offering higher value and quality are crucial to this end. Buying a competitor is another way to do this.
Exploit Market Position: Show up where growth is going to happen by spotting it early. This can be done by watching the industry for shifts in buying criteria, product or service innovations, and population trends. You must be able to spot positioning opportunities to make the most of them by continually using a systematic approach to the process.
Invade Adjacent Markets: Before moving into a nearby market, decide whether it offers significant long-term growth and profitability. Determine whether you have an advantage over a competitor, and ensure you can match its standards of quality and value.
Invest In New Lines of Business: If you take this approach, never overpay for a new line. You must find simple strategies instead of complex ones, and partner with the new business by assessing its leadership team and balance sheet.
Although a successful growth portfolio might not include all five of these disciplines, it must contain more than one. Only a balanced growth portfolio can keep an organization growing when the market shifts dramatically.
Success In Online Marketing – The Path To More Profits
Just like there are no magic weight loss cures or ways to earn money from home without a great deal of effort, there is no one simple solution to guarantee online marketing success. However, online marketing is not overly complicated and many business owners can enjoy at least some degree of online marketing success with only limited knowledge about the industry.
Online marketing is not overly complicated but it is also not a process in which anyone can excel without making attempts to learn more about the subject.
Business owners who do not know a great deal about online marketing but who wish to implement online marketing into their overall marketing strategy should carefully study the basic principles of online marketing before launching their online campaign.
Fortunately for these business owners there are a variety of options for learning about online marketing. These options may include online research, reading published books and studying successful online marketing campaigns.
Researching marketing online is one method which can be used for learning more about this topic. This type of research can be very informative and can provide the business owner with a great deal of advice and other information.
However, it can also provide the business owner with a great deal of misinformation. When researching any subject online it is very important to note that not all of the information available online is accurate.
This may be due to a variety of factors including content which is written by those who do not have a great deal of knowledge about the subject matter as well as content which was written years ago and is outdated.
This can be frustrating but fortunately business owners can still learn from the online. This just means they should be more cautious about accepting information as being accurate and may wish to verify the information they obtain before implementing an online marketing strategy.
Published books are another valuable resource for learning more about online marketing. There are a variety of books available which focus on this subject and provide a wealth of useful information.
When selecting a book for use as research material it is important to seek out a book which received independent reviews which were positive. It is also important to seek out books which were published recently.
This is important because the online marketing industry is evolving continuously and a book that was published only a few years ago may be outdated and may lack information on some of the new developments in the industry. The appeal of using published books to learn about online marketing is you can keep the books on hand for easy reference when you launch your online marketing campaign.
Finally business owners can learn a great deal about online marketing simply by studying successful online campaigns. If your business offers products and services in a particular niche consider entering relevant terms in popular search engines and studying the websites of some of the highest ranking businesses.
This can provide you with a great deal of insight into what these business owners are doing which may be contributing to their success. Examining everything from their website design to their search engine optimization strategies and even the content on their website can help you to determine why they are more successful than you.
You should also consider how they are marketing their website which may include banner ads, affiliate marketing programs or other types of advertising. Armed with this information you can take the opportunity to implement changes to your own website and marketing strategy which may help you to gain a greater degree of success.
Care should be taken to not copy anything directly from your competitors but to rather try to emulate their degree of success in your own way.