14 Jun How To Improve At Business in 60 Minutes
If success were guaranteed, practically everyone would open a new business, Yet, a very real – and statistically justified – fear of failure holds many back. Even those who don’t scare easily often find themselves in the dreaded predicament of hanging on by a thread, not knowing how much longer their businesses can survive.
The truth is, no one can unequivocally guarantee a business will be successful, but I’ll share what I’ve learned first-hand while building my consulting firm and how I’ve helped my clients grow highly successful, sustainable companies using cost-effective solutions with proven reliability.
Refocus on Your Core Goals
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is losing sight of their greatness. They forget who their core customers are, which has been the chief struggle of retailer J.C. Penney. They venture into new areas without first securing and protecting their current successes, the ones that keep their wheels turning.
Look back at how you got to your current status, whether you reached a growth plateau or started going downhill. In either case, what changed? Did you miss a major opportunity? Did you shift focus to something that wasn’t profitable?
Refocus your strategy on your core goals and tune out the rest. This not only gives you less to think about and work with, but also frees up valuable resources for maximum impact.
Analyze Your Revenue
Business decisions require money, and before you spend a dime you should check your financial health. Look at your company’s finances to see what you’re spending money on and if there are any money leaks you need to plug.
It’s also vital to look at the sources of your revenue. If you have multiple products or services, pinpoint which ones are the most profitable and which are the least. Shore up your money-makers and strategically redirect your time and resources into those offerings with the most impact. You can ill afford to inadvertently scale back on your most profitable offerings, which could cause your business to plummet.
Systematize Your Processes
Systems are the single most important piece of business growth. They create a predictable, repeatable, scalable pattern for success that can be learned and executed quickly. For instance, put in place a system to quickly hire a new employee when another resigns. Clarify your most vulnerable areas and design solutions to meet every challenge, potential or realized. When you start growing, your systems should be able to easily accommodate.
Create systems for virtually everything your business needs – bookkeeping, marketing, production, customer fulfillment, follow up and anything that can help you predict your success and repeat it in the future. This not only helps you streamline your business, but can also help you keep costs under control and give you granular insights into your business.
If your business is like most, at some point you will exhaust your internal resources and can’t move forward without getting more hands on deck, so to speak. But hiring internally isn’t always the best solution, especially if you need to fill a role that requires skillsets your current employees don’t possess.
Outsourcing is a viable option for any task that isn’t dependent on customer fulfillment. You wouldn’t outsource a function that is critical to the success of your business, such as client account management, but you could hire a freelancer or agency to handle your books, marketing, or social media accounts.
As for benefits, outsourcing gives you access to a greater talent pool without incurring the costs of hiring. Typically, outsourcing gives you a set cost so you can better control expenses. It also means not having to scale up your workspace to accommodate for a larger in-house team. Less overhead (a healthier bottom line), no unexpected vacations or sick days in the middle of a time sensitive project (less frustration), and more expertise than you will ever need, a perfect formula for success!
Partner with a Growth Management Consultant
If starting a business rates a 7/10 in difficulty, keeping a business afloat rates a 9.5/10 or higher. You take risks, hoping they will pay off, hire strangers who can help make or break your business, and often take on huge debt to obtain the tools, equipment, and resources you need to level up.
But you also know that one wrong decision, bad hire, or wasteful purchase could send your finances into a tailspin and leave you wondering whether or not you’ll be open for business tomorrow.
Why not hire a growth consultant, an expert trained to recognize business challenges and advise you on practical steps to take to grow and sustain your business? Just as in architecture, if the foundation is not sound, the house, and in this case business, will ultimately fall. Invest in the needful and always be open-minded, willing to learn and try new things to grow, grow, grow.