Every business owner that has been in business for any length of time gets stuck in a rut. They can’t seem to get a head of the curve and stand out, even if it is only for a moment. Well it is time to change the way you operate your business. Even small changes can make a huge impact to both employees and customers or clients. Here are some small changes to help you improve the quality of your business:
1. Hold a Post-Mortem
Look at how your business is navigating with a clear and open mind. Ask yourself questions like: Are you having a successful year ? Where does your business shine? What’s holding it back?
While the answers to those questions are important, the real point of this exercise is to arrive at the moment when entrepreneurs start “looking at themselves in the mirror.”
It’s the key to effective leadership. With a brutally honest assessment of your business in hand, it falls squarely on the shoulders of the small business owner to guide the execution of any improvements that need to happen.
That takes leadership, and one of the traits of a good leader is to know how things truly stand with your business.
2. Perform a Top-to-Bottom Walk-Through
Now is the time to put your systems and procedures under the microscope. Have they kept up with the times? Are they efficient? Are any employees gumming up the works?
Small business owners often fall into a pattern and stick with inefficient business procedures or, even worse, bad employees. This walk-through and the improvements that it elicits are a chance for you to reassert your leadership and exert your authority. If you’re not controlling your procedures and processes, you don’t really ‘own’ your business.
Don’t let outdated ways of doing business or poorly performing workers determine your business’ outlook for the future.
3. Get a Look from the Outside
Meeting with your accountant, attorney and other key advisors is a great way to get a fresh look at your business and its functionality. Sure, they provide vital services like keeping your finances straight and your business on the right side of the law, but the real reason for a friendly chat over lunch is to get a broader and different perspective on market forces that impact your business.
A sit-down with your accountant can help you map out money-saving tax strategies. A chat with your attorney can give you a glimpse at the legal side before you engage in a new venture.
4. Thank Your Best Customers
Take this opportunity to determine who your best customers are and reach out to them. Sounds simple, but how will you identify your best customers?
The definition of “best” can be defined in many different ways. This exercise forces you to define what best is. You may find that it’s not the customers who spent the most but the ones that sent more business your way.
At end of the day, you have to keep your customers. Letting them know that you appreciate their business is one way to accomplish just that.
5. Shake the Blues
With all the talk of economic uncertainty and a bleak small business outlooks, entrepreneurs risk turning these negative sentiments into a self-fulfilling prophesy. Don’t listen to all the “sky is falling” gloom. Sure, the business climate may be rocky, but small business owners should always be on the lookout for opportunities.