As another year comes to a close, looming resolutions from last year may still be hanging over your head. New exercise routine? Check. Healthier diet? Check (for the most part). A super-charged small business that’s maximizing revenues? I know I was supposed to change a few things, but…
“Those ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’ business goals are attainable for every small business owner in 2008,” says Ridgely Evers, CEO and founder of NetBooks. Start now by developing your tried and true game plan for revolutionizing your small business. Here are five tips.
1. Define your success. It’s different for everyone.
What’s your measure of success? Define realistic and measurable goals, and communicate them to your employees. Put goals up in the lunch room where everyone will see them on a daily basis, and track progress against them. Give out rewards when they’re met.
2. Understand and fix the sources of error.
Pinpoint the errors that seem to keep happening, requiring everyone to run around and fix them. Cleaning up messes prevents employees from focusing on their jobs. Figure out what is causing the error, and fix it. Address one at a time, and when you’re finished with the most common one, move on to the next one. Your profit margins will thank you.
3. Make your data safe, and have a back-up plan.
Catastrophic data loss is a leading cause of failure for small businesses. Don’t risk it. Right now, your data is probably on a hard drive that will crash or get overwritten accidentally, and there isn’t a current back-up in place. Keeping all pertinent data in a web-based system gives you a reliable system for storing data securely that is accessible from any computer. No more worrying about the life expectancy of your PC.
4. Create a marketing program and use it consistently.
Marketing is crucial to growth and success. A marketing plan doesn’t need to be complicated, but it needs to be executed consistently. The first step is to make sure you know who your customers are and then figure out where they get their information and how to reach them. A great resource is The Small Business Marketing Bible by David Frey.
5. Increase sales and start by raising prices.
Most successful business owners focus their energies on growing revenues to the point where the business can stand up comfortably, and keep them there. Cutting expenses never hurt, but success come from growth. “Growing sales should be a focus for you all year long, but the first part of the year is the best time to raise prices,” says Evers. “And you can reinvest added revenue into making sure this coming year is the most successful your business has ever had.”
Now is a great time to share your best ideas with other business owners. Go to http://netbooks.com and click on “Share your Best Ideas” to enter your top resolution for 2008. One winner will be selected to win a free year of NetBooks.