As a business person seeking success, revenue increase and improved productivity, you must make consistent effort to enhance your business, maintain business visibility and achieve sustainability. Simple things like monitoring your cash flow, using social media to market your products and asking for help and coaching in weak areas are some of the important things you have to do. I recommend having an easy checklist to remind yourself of the basic things that should become your routine on your path to success. Each of these is important with equal weight and in no particular order.
1. Set your business plans and goals
Setting goals is everything. I strongly believe in Benjamin Franklin’s word: “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” It should be your objective and an important part of your business culture. You cannot afford to move about aimlessly without a plan. I personally recommend setting short, medium and long term goals, so that you won’t spend too much time and energy facing long term goals when you should be focusing on short term ones. Get a diary or jotter and write them down. You can keep checking up to see how far you have come and what you need to attend to urgently. For each plan or goal, put a timeline. This will enable you to pace yourself accordingly and work towards achieving the set goal.
2. Explore both high and low-Impact marketing
Marketing for any business is compulsory, even the almighty companies like Coca Cola and Unilever spend lots of money marketing their products. You have to be careful not to waste money on marketing to the wrong people or at the wrong time. You can make use of low budget marketing or high budget marketing, depending on you can afford at the time. Just make sure you put your business out there in the face of your potential customers. Social media is an excellent low-cost and low-risk way to promote your business. You can make use of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Be mindful, each has its own operating rules. Each has a category of people who use it. For instance, Instagram has younger users while Facebook has a mix of both young and old users. All you need to do is make some effort and leverage on the ones that best works for you. It takes time but it works.
3. Keep accurate financial records
Some businesses are unable to properly track income and expenditure because they do not have an accurate idea of their daily, weekly, and monthly financial positions. They also do not have accurate records of what they receive and what they spend. It is very important that you spend some time keeping current and accurate records of your cash flow. If you lack financial skills, hire an accountant who can show you what to do or get a business coach to show you the ropes. However, ensure you are still aware of what is going on, do not leave it entirely to them, ask questions and be abreast of your financial standing. ignorance is not an excuse
4. Be aware of latest trends
You cannot operate your business as if you are an island. Every business needs support and knowledge of the latest happenings, especially in the industry they operate in. Things change every day, not even with the way social media and technology have made everything fast and accessible. You must be on your toes and open your ears to hear and understand how to move your business to the next level. Events and changes in the global landscape have effects on your business; sometimes positive, sometimes negative. You have to be current on what is in vogue and make the best out of it.
5. Improve on how to sell
I like money and I am sure you do too. The only way you will make more money is to have more sales. As a business person, you must have a top-notch sales team. You must focus a lot on how to improve sales. Constantly devise new ways to improve your sales strategy, learn from others and go for training if need be. Go out there and sell, sell, sell.
6. Master the art of public speaking
Not everyone knows how to present, especially in front of a crowd. A powerful business presentation can help improve your small business performance. You need to start by learning the basics of making your speeches unforgettable, making your audience know that you have not only done enough research but have the requisite knowledge about what you are saying. It took me years but I am proud to say I am now a master in this and have been opportune to train others as well. You have to own the stage. You should not overload them with information, but just enough to pass across your message.
7. Reward and motivate employees
The essence of human resource in business is learning how to manage your staff. If you have employees who are passionate about the business and they are properly rewarded, motivated and inspired, they can help the business grow and also encourage positive changes in the business. Even if you just two employees, reward them when they do exceedingly well. Listen to them and give them opportunities to contribute and give suggestions. Let them feel like a part of the business.
8. Know your limits and understand when to take a break
No one should know your business more than you. When you understand who you are as a person and understand your type of business, then you can know and recognize your limits. This will help you know how to manage your staff and yourself. Everyone knows the life of a businessman or woman is not easy, especially a small business where you are CEO, secretary, mailman, customer service, marketer and many other things. Sometimes when you burn the candle on all ends, you may not have a clear head to know the next step and make logical decisions. To refuel you will need to know when to take a break, spend time with loved ones and have some fun. In essence, take some fresh air and then get back to the hustle fully charged.
Rois Ola is a public speaking coach, business strategist, human resource consultant and school administrator for children & adults. Follow her on Facebook @roisolaO, Twitter @roisolao, Instagram @coachroisola