Monday, November 30, 2015, AM | Leave Comment
How does one define success? The Online Etymology Dictionary (obtained from Dictionary.com) defines success as: the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
In the business world, these goals typically center around money.
You may have other goals, like making your customers feel appreciated, making a difference in the community, retaining employees, etc., but accomplishing those goals will not pay the bills.
The sad truth of life is that you have to make money in order to thrive. So how do you do it? How do you make sure that your business is making money?
Below are eight tips to help you run a financially successful business.
This may seem obvious, but it is important to keep your expenses below your income, no matter what size your company is.
Find ways to save money (without giving up quality, of course).
You can purchase pre-owned equipment, negotiate advertising terms, take your clients out to mid-grade restaurants rather than the most expensive place in town, etc.
Find ways to cut down expenses and save a few dollars everywhere that you can. You can only earn money if you earn more than you spend.
Track Your Money
How can you make money if you don’t even know where your money is going?
Just like you have to keep a budget at home, you need to have a budget for your business.
Write down every expense and source of income that you have. It may be tempting to just go back and do it later, after you receive your credit card or bank statements, but if you do it in the moment, you make sure that it gets done.
You can be traditional and use a notebook, or you can use technology to help you keep track — there are many apps and programs that you can use, or you can use an excel spreadsheet.
Use the Internet
Nowadays, people use the internet to find businesses. If you are not on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., you need to get on them ASAP.
Get your business on Google Maps, Google Search, etc. Your competitors are utilizing the internet, and you need to as well.
Make sure that you rank for the keywords that your clients will be searching by placing them strategically on on your website.
If you need to hire a marketing company to help you with your online marketing, get on it immediately. This will help new customers find your website.
Get Things in Writing
You need to write things down, not only to help you from forgetting (studies show that writing things down helps you remember them), but to protect yourself legally.
Getting things in writing makes you and the other parties involved accountable for the contract.
Things that you should get in writing include: business plans, contracts, proposals, marketing strategies, task lists, any changes to the above, etc.
This physical and legal accountability will help parties keep up their end of the bargain.
Understand Your Customer Base
In order to effectively sell your product, you have to understand who you are selling it to.
To do that, you have to understand your customer base, and market accordingly.
Customers are less loyal yet have more power (thanks to social media) than they ever have had before.
You need to stand in your customer’s shoes and understand what their process is as they interact with your business.
You also need to understand what they want and what they need — not only in terms of how they interact with your business, but in how they interact with the world.
Set Yourself Apart
You need something that sets you apart from your competitors.
It is not always enough just to have a unique product (although that it is always helpful).
Have a unique process, unique customer service or customer appreciation, or do something additional with your goods/services that your competitors do not do.
Some ideas are: hold a customer appreciation night, send handwritten thank-you letters with your products, answer the phone a clever way, etc.
This will bring customers to you, but also bring them back as they continue to interact with your brand in a positive way.
As you are building your business, there will be many opportunities that present themselves to help you grow your business.
While some of them will help you expand and be more successful , others will just split your business efforts.
If you spread yourself thin, you will not be able to effectively generate a revenue.
Be selective of additional projects that you take on, especially if you own a small business.
Hire Debt Collector (If Necessary)
Even the best laid plans of mice and men can be thwarted.
It is often that clients do not pay up, even if you have the contract in writing.
While you may want to take care of the problem yourself, it may be more productive to hire a debt collection agency to do the “dirty work” for you.
It will save you time and effort, and may be more successful than trying to do it yourself.
They have more training and experience than even your in-house staff, and can properly collect funds while still keeping loyal customers.
Article is written by Darci Maxwell