Image by: StockMoneys.com
By Michael Sterling
Growing your business is on the minds of every business owner. Whether it’s growing revenue or growing size, the foundation of success lies with the person driving the boat – You! One bad decision can lead to another while you’re creating the building blocks of growth.
It’s time to configure your numbers so that you can pinpoint the barriers that are keeping you from getting to the next level. These barriers can vary greatly, depending on your personal choices with processes. Keep focused during this time, because it is the difference of staying stationary and doubling, even tripling your revenue.
The likelihood that you will still be floating in three years are slim. According to Business Money Today, 50% of small business fail within the first year and 95% fail within the first five years. There’s lots of competition out there, so it’s time to devise a strategy.
Get Your Plan And Stick To It
Think in time limits. I will reach X amount of dollars in revenue this year, I will start branching out my advertisement to reach this market by this date, I will save enough money to pay back my loans by this date, etc. When you have these in the back of your minds (and in your goal sheet) it makes it easier to surpass the leaches of the business.
Studies have shown that it is more likely for you to meet your goals when you have a plan. Think long-term. This makes it much more easier for you when making decisions on staff, inventory, and budget costs, plus it can help you see problematic situations before they arise or during.
Make Things Automatic
Here’s a friendly tip: when you make things automatic, the least likely you are to be late on paying credit cards, rent, bank loans, and everything else in between. Making things automatic will help in the long run as the company moves forward. Staying on time with payments can be the most beneficial thing, because it gives you more time to focus on other important details.
One of the biggest issues that small businesses have is paying back their loans. When this happens, interests will pile up and create a mountain of debt that will be unfixable.
Know Your Boundaries
This is a rookie mistake. Dreaming too big too fast can lead to the utter disappointment of reality. Don’t spend money on things that aren’t going to help you grow. Did buying an extra company car actually help you in the long run? If no, get rid of it! Being a great manager means having your mental budget.
A prime example of this was covered by the New York Times about The Elizabeth Ann Bed & Breakfast in Colorado. At it’s peak, it reached over $100,000 in revenue – and was still growing. The owners decided to make their bed and breakfast more appealing, so they took out some equity to renovate their giant kitchen. The 10-year interest-only loan increased their mortgage to 1,700 a month.
When the recession happened in 2009, Americans were taking fewer vacations and their business lost 21% of revenue that year. they weren’t able to make payments, and were foreclosed. What they should have done is realize that what they had wasn’t broken and renovating the kitchen was unnecessary.
When the economy is bad, don’t expect your customers to have the same routine of loyalty. Think before you act!
Not Every Customer Is Right
By listening to the people who have unimportant issues based on their own taste, and they want them fixed NOW, it is easy to ignore the other ones with real problems about the process or product service itself. These are the most important ones, because they will help you create more satisfaction with customers.
Not to mention technology is always reinventing itself and the focus needs to be on the growing customer. If someone today came out with an 8-track tape that’s completely state of the art – who cares?! We’ve moved on from that. When you creating the best machines for a shrinking market, you’re wasting your time.
Focus on the goals you have set out for yourself, and realize that not everyone is going to be satisfied – but that’s just because they aren’t happy people and will always have something to complain about. If complaints mean a lot to you, be sure you pay attention to the ones that are valid. It’s no use trying to please unhappy people.