If you’re a small business owner, you’re always on the lookout for better ways to go about routine tasks to boost growth and underpin reliability. So, yes, you have the will; now, what are the ways? What are those consistent routines you can instill that will have the most benefits?
This article looks at the top 6 things you can do to help your business thrive. We’re going to cover finances, goals, marketing, technology and you! So, let’s take a look…
1. Your finances are a scorecard … and a predictor
Boil it all down and dollars in the bank are the report card on the health of your business operations. Surprising then that so many people don’t really pay much attention to how much they’ve earned, nor how much they’re likely to earn. As much as it might feel like a chore, reviewing your sales and financial projections and then using them to ascertain if you need business financing is a discipline worth cultivating.
If you suspect that your cash flow is precarious, you should be checking out your options today.
First metric to check: your credit score. If it is too low, you need to take steps to shore it up. Next, check in with your bank or finance broker about what loans are available.
2. Goal setting, goal achieving, goal celebrating
So, if you’re using current and future dollars in the bank to keep score, the next thing is to do something about it. This is where goal setting comes in. If thoughtfully set and persistently pursued, goals help you orientate your willpower and your energy at each moment of the business day.
This is the hidden power of goals: giving you a good sense of direction and a way to channel your instincts towards wise objectives. Constantly checking in with your goals makes them a benchmarking tool to keep your business pointed in the right direction. Yes, just having goals helps.
Actually achieving a goal helps too, of course!
3. Increasing the impact of your marketing
Marketing is not magic. It is not a mystery. It is not an art. However, many less-than-reputable marketers will try to claim that it is. They do so to gain wiggle room to pad their invoices and cover up their lack of skill. What this means is that it is easy to waste money on ineffective marketing. The good news is that there are many low-budget marketing strategies that actually work to help grow your brand and reputation.
Scout around on the internet and choose one or two new tactics. Deploy them and test them. If they work, double down. If they don’t, try something else. If you can’t tell if they’re working, also try something else.
Social media is the obvious starting place for these low-stakes experiments and the old classics of LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are where to trial them.
4. Bringing your business up to date technologically
The ability of modern productivity and project-management tools to give small players the same capabilities as the big boys simply cannot be ignored. Harness them properly and they’ll let your small businesses operate with the same productivity as the titans of your sector. And, if your business is in the services sector, the increased controls that business technologies can yield also lets you be highly agile — that’s something the big boys can’t do. So, ask yourself: are you taking full advantage of what’s out there?
Don’t worry, the answer to this question is always ‘no’ — the field is simply moving too fast for anyone to be able to take full advantage. However, if you have a realistic view of your needs, then you have a yardstick to help assess all the solutions out there. When you know what you need the technology to do, then you can wisely choose what hardware, software, platforms and techniques to introduce.
5. SEO has changed and it is going to change again
Google — indeed all platforms offering broad search functions, from Youtube to Facebook — are constantly altering and optimising their algorithms. This, in turn, means SEO practice must constantly evolve to keep pace. So, if your SEO approach hasn’t been overhauled in a few years, the time has come to give it some attention.
Do a review of best practice and score how you cater to SEO in your online presences. Yet, because the underlying concept of SEO has not changed, the corrective actions you need to take may not be major. Then again, they might be! It is better to know unpleasant news sooner than outright bad news later.
6. Download the right new apps
The remote work trend has gone mega and this means mobile productivity apps are very much of-the-moment. See, you can get a surprising amount done with just your phone and tablet. And apps are how it all happens … plus connectivity and a full battery, of course!
Usually, apps are best for keeping an eye on things, boosting effectiveness on the “busy” tasks and enabling you to give your stamp of approval to work that needs your say-so to progress. In general, these are not value-adding tasks, just the value-neutral tasks that get in the way of the value-adding tasks.
Now, there is no end of apps out there. So, as always, don’t bother looking until you have some idea of what you need.
7. You are the ultimate business tool
Health is the single most important aspect to consider for anyone running a business. It’s the non-negotiable factor that governs everything else you are capable of.
To adapt a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger, being fit and healthy is “a status symbol. It reflects you worked hard for it; no money can buy it. You cannot borrow it, you cannot inherit it, you cannot steal it”.
This means that you must get enough sleep every night (most people need 7 hours or more). This means a healthy diet must become your preferred way of eating. This means that you should exercise every single day (except when sick). This means you must give your mind a rest too. Meditation isn’t some mystic monkish thing, it’s simply the practice of letting your thoughts come and go while you — the observer — stay peaceful and undisturbed by them. Think of it like this, meditating is mediating your mind.
Take stock, choose wisely, make small steps in the right direction
In this article, we’ve talked about some improvements you can make to what you’re already doing. You don’t have to do all of these at once. Start with the one that seems easiest and then stick with it to see if it works.
Remember, it’s not always about big changes.
Often, you can make major improvements in outcome by making small changes to input. Doing the little things better. So take stock, choose wisely and be sure to make those small steps in the right direction for success today, tomorrow and the next day.