There may have come a time when you have felt that your business has become stagnant and everything that you have done is showing little or no results. When this point has been reached, some have made the difficult decision to just shut the business down or may have even felt that there is not any hope in making the business function again as it once did. There are many factors that might cause this halt in your business to occur but there are also many solutions to change things around so that you can experience growth within your business again. The following items are areas a business owner should really pay attention to when starting a business or if they are at a point of turning a faltering business around.
Your business is a reflection of you and if you are lacking in the personal growth area, your business is likely lacking as well. Growth requires a continuous effort in order to maintain or maybe even keep up with the behaviors of the world. If you are unable to identify items that are causing problems and are unfamiliar with how to properly handle those items, it could result in a costly situation. Think about the corporate world for a moment. There are certain training courses that the corporations pay for to assist their employees and to keep them certified or up to date on the proper ways of dealing with certain situations they may face. Examples include courses such as customer service solutions or maybe even updating their knowledge of new and improved technology. The point I’m trying to make is this…Owning a business works the same way! You’ve got to continue to stay updated with the latest technology and invest in your own personal growth as well. Not only will your business benefit, but your personal life will benefit as well.
Some business owners feel that in order to get business, they have to price their products or services at a very low price point which can negatively impact the business image. Going cheap devalues what you have to offer and if the concern is to just get in multiple customers for a cheap price, you would be expending extra efforts that are unnecessary. Performing acts out of desperation when it comes to conducting business can send a negative message to consumers that is LOUD and CLEAR. If you’re serious about your business, your image should matter enough to not risk devaluing what you have to offer just to get a dollar in. I’ve learned the ones who are looking to get something of value at a very cheap price are the same ones who become the most difficult customers to deal with. They want value, but they don’t want to pay for it. Save yourself now and obtain a clientele that reflects what you and your business are about…VALUE!
When starting a business on your own, one can tend to be very over protective of the business and not trust many duties to be handed over to others. I know it was hard for me to let go of some to the duties required because I felt as if no one had the same passion I did about the business and I felt they would not put much effort into their performance and produce the output that I knew I was capable of producing. What worked best for me in the beginning was hiring independent contractors because this allowed me to have someone on board who was passionate about the work they performed which made me feel a bit more comfortable. Selecting to hire this way prevented me from having to do a lot of training in an area the contractor was already an expert in. My time was now freed up so that I could be productive in other areas of the business. Depending on how your business is set up and which services or products your business provides, this will assist you in determining which route to take when it comes to choosing an independent contractor versus hiring an employee for your business.
Limited marketing efforts will do nothing but bring you limited business. It’s important to look into professional marketing services to assist with the task of getting the word out about you and/or your business. Because of the ever changing marketing trends, it’s important to stay current with the techniques utilized in today’s market place. Coming up with your marketing strategy can be very time consuming so it’s worth it to hire someone who provides these services so that you can focus on the core competencies of the business. If you don’t have an effective marketing plan, it can have a negative impact on the growth of your business.
There have been mixed opinions about business networking opportunities. Some articles or reports might state that it’s important to get out and attend networking meetings but you may find that some people feel networking events are not effective for them now that social media is now available. This might be the case for those who are actually networking with the wrong groups. If you cannot locate an ideal business networking group that is located close to where you live, look at this as an advantage! You can be the one who creates a business networking group that will not only help others but will also give you the opportunity to market your services too! Look into creating a networking group that is built around who your niche market is. For instance, when I started to provide my marketing and business development services to start up companies, I created a networking event called, “The T.O.W.E.R. Networking Event” which was an acronym for Touching Others With Empowering Resources. My attendees consisted of many start up business owners and people who were currently working a full-time job looking to transition into becoming a small business owner. The attendees came to my event and had the opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals and obtain expert knowledge from not only me but from my guest speakers. I created a comfortable environment and focused on creating an “experience” to give these attendees something to go back and talk about. I always focused on “over” delivering and providing value. Always remember…when you over deliver and provide value, a customer will become your mouthpiece and help to spread the word about you and your services. After leaving my business networking event, I would always end up with new clients and referrals so my way of networking definitely paid off for me!
When was the last time you took a look and evaluated your company’s overall image? When a person first sees your logo, brochure, website, or even sees you… what might come to their minds? If you want to come across with a professional image, you really have to make sure you are presenting a professional image to your audience. Many people try to short cut or cut expenses by going the cheap route and many times it becomes clear to your audience that you’ve done just that! If you care enough about your business and want to present value to your clients, you should value your business enough to want to create the image you feel you deserve to have. There is a statement that says, “Dress to impress”. Well, if many applied this to their business, it couldn’t do anything but help. When you are creating your business, take the time to dress your business up where it will catch the attention of your audience. Get a professional logo, professional website and promotional items that share a message of quality and professionalism. There are many affordable freelancers available on websites such as www.elance.com and www.fiverr.com who can assist with creating your professional business image. In regards to personal image, pay attention to how you dress, hygiene, grooming, etc. because remember…You ARE a reflection of your business!