Let’s face it, getting your business off the ground, or building it to the next level can seem daunting. It’s an intimidating process that can be scary and frustrating; often leading to a sense of paralysis. However, these feelings are simply holding you back from taking the initiative to make a change. Another thing that can hold you back is the failure to take the time to stop, breathe, and assess where you are now, and what needs to be done next. Sometimes all it takes is help from a person with experience, and no biases or attachments to your business, to give you sound, helpful tips and advice. The following steps will help you make incremental, but consistent, improvements to your business in order to tackle the process in small steps.
Here are 10 Simple Tips to Move Your Business Forward:
- Look over your business plan – Clarify your business mission and identify areas where you excel. It is o.k. to revise your plan when necessary as you move forward.
- Set goals – You can’t accomplish anything if you don’t know know what it is that you want to accomplish. Goals are an essential part of your business success. Set several short term goals that will help you reach your longer term goal over time. Monitor your goals weekly to stay on track and use them as a tool to help you move your business forward.
- Recognize your strengths – identify your strengths and your areas of weakness. Do what you do best and make sure that you ask for help in your areas of weakness from the beginning. This will help you focus and give you the biggest gain in your business.
- Sharpen your sales skills – We all have to sell a product or service to make a profit, but most of us are not born with inherent sales skills. It is crucial that you don’t ignore this step. Go to sales workshops and read books on sales- there are so many good ones. If you sell make up, jewelry or clothes, consider getting a part-time, short-term position to help you sell these items if possible. You can also consult with a sales coach and see if working with them for a few months would work for you.
- Monitor your debt – You are going to have some debt, every entrepreneur does. Thats how you grow in the beginning. If you focus on spending money on the things that will give you the most return and watch your other expenses closely it will balance itself out.
- Network network network – You have to go out and meet people. Make sure you do so with building relationships in mind. Ask someone how you can help them, not what they can do for you. Have a meaningful conversation. This is what making connections and networking is all about.
- Be prepared for unpredictable income – You will have periods of time where you don’t sell anything or close any deals. I know this can be terrifying. This is why it is important to have multiple streams of revenue in your business if possible. Take time early on to map out a revenue strategy.
- Follow an effective marketing plan – Don’t expect customers to just come to you. You can have the best product or service on the planet, but if you do not market it effectively and get the word out there you will never sell anything.
- Define your your unique selling proposition – What makes you unique? How is your product different from the competition? Tell people about this difference.
- Develop systems for success – Take time in the beginning to develop simple systems that you are able to follow. This is critical. If you have systems in place and you are still stuck, have someone with experience look them over with you. You need systems for marketing, sales, inventory, prospecting, and managing your customers, just to name a few.