Week 1. Take a good Assessment of your Business Figures
Give your business figures a realistic assessment. Size up your business against others in the industry and come to a feasible conclusion as to where you would picture yourself. Are you content being at the level you are now or would like to reach out to bigger targets? The goal you set for yourself will determine how to restructure your business. To get the best advice and help in this assessment you can contact the SME Counselling Centers and other local resources for benchmarking information. A good accounting counsellor will help gauge where your business stands and will help you forecast revenue, sales , measure profit margins and assist you in setting out on the path from where you are to where you aim to be.
Week 2: Identify your market niche
The next step in the strategy is to figure out your place in the market. To establish one’s presence in the market small businesses have to be inventive and resourceful. Capturing even a small share of any given market gives your business a firm foothold. According to a well experienced professional, ‘pinpointing a profitable niche and owning it’ is the best way to stay thrive in business. To carve your own niche you first have to find out if there is any possibility of exploiting one particular zone exclusively, in your specialty. One sure shot method is to study your customers. Who are the most loyal, who are the most profitable and whether there is an area where these two groups have common characteristics. You can examine your products and services in the same manner. Which products are in demand and which are the most profitable. Your niche lies in that magic area where loyalty, demand and profitability coincide.
Week 3: Send out a clear and impactful marketing message
To stay in the race, you need to communicate. You know who your loyal customers are, and now it’s time to expand this customer base. Create a message which describes your business USP in effective, incisive and simple words. Find out from your customers, how they came to know about you and why they prefer to buy from you. This will give you the best idea for creating a marketing theme which will bring in more customers looking for your product or services. Develop customer related programs, online or print newsletters. This way you can quickly update customers with information, offers and expertise. Keep track of which products are producing the best results and focus on that strong area for future investment, advertising and growth.
Week 4: Use the Latest technology to your Advantage
Study your business processes keenly and decide whether updating the technology would bring in better outcomes. Most importantly it should improve cash flow, customer service or both. The technology upgrade should be able to increase overall sales by 20 percent or cut down on cost of field operations by 15%. Only then can it be called a ‘must have’ investment. Generally, it is always an advantage to automate good business practices. When going in for an upgrade, the best option is to identify that area of your business which is holding you back, figure out a better way to get it done and then choose hardware and software based on your true needs. Make sure that your staff are well trained to use this technology.
Week 5: Strengthen Your team
Getting the right people in the right jobs is the only recipe for success. You could start off with writing or updating job descriptions for your key people and see if your current employees fit the bill. Compiling clear job description will give concrete shape to your expectations. Once this is done, you can decide whether additional training will benefit the employee’s existing skills or whether they are better suited to another position. Don’t take your most invaluable employees for granted and find ways to retain them. Don’t recruit until you’ve prepared the job description and specific requirements for education, training, experience and salary. Ask a set of prepared interview questions to each applicant. Pay attention to what candidates are hesitant to discuss- This can be a clue to weaknesses. Document their responses, and take notes. Always check references before settling on a candidate, but trust your instinct as well.
Week 6: Keep Money in the Business
If marketing, technology and employees are burdening your budget, then it’s high time you made some wise cuts. Keep money in the business as much as possible because you’re not able to just go out and borrow. Anything that distracts from running the business–any cash that you use to do anything that doesn’t move the business forward, even paying yourself excess cash–is going to inhibit your growth. Meet with your bank anyway to build relationships and keep apprised of options such as small-business credit cards or lease-to-buy programs with tax advantages.
So take these regular checks on your customer relations, marketing strategy, technology plan and human resources to stay in business and expand with confidence.
This infallible six week strategy will help you make a practical assessment of your business and enable you to identify and rectify the non performing areas which are resource draining, and will help accelerate your progress beyond your expectations.
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