Small Business Talk
The Podcast to Grow your Business Faster
23 Business Growth Strategies to Run a Successful Business - Part 2
Go to episode 185 of Small Business Talk for the first 9 business growth strategies to run a successful business, there is plenty to think about and work on, so start there if you haven’t already.
Now for the next 14 more strategies to complete the 23 Business Growth Strategies to Run a Successful Business.
10. Leverage New Technology
I suggest you start with What Tech Do I Need in My Business where I talk about the basic tech that you will need, accounting software, calendar, CRM (customer relationship management) etc. I don’t want you to get bogged down in the tech. AI is definitely coming and embracing it will be a must for many industries. We have had chatbot for a while now, they are being more sophisticated and user friendly. They now the options to make them more like a bot and them transfer to a human. The bots have gone away from trying to look like a human in most cases.
Having a good email system or CRM can deliver automated responses that give your customers and prospects a great experience time after time eliminating errors and saving you time. Accounting systems are a must to remain compliant and also so you can easily see your P&L (profit and loss), cashflow and other critical data.
In the last small business talk episode 23 Business Growth Strategies to Run a Successful Business (part 1), I discussed how cashflow is essential for healthy businesses and if you are not invoicing in a timely manner it is hard to get paid. Having an automated buy now system via your website can eliminate this issue as well.
11. Consider Accepting Modern Payment Methods
Depending on the type of business you have, accepting alternative payment methods might give you a competitive advantage. Offering payment service options where they carry the risk (for a fee of course) might also open your services to people that otherwise couldn’t access it.
12. Manage Your Cashflow
I have touched on cashflow already and as it so vitally important it deserves a point of its own. Cashflow issues can arise from not invoicing on time, not charging enough for your services, not having enough working capital to carry enough stock etc. If you sell produces and you can’t stock yourselves it make it really hard for customers to buy them. Yes ordering in is an option however to maximise the customer experience you probably only want to do that on slow moving or obscure product lines.
Holding too much stock, especially slow-moving lines can be another issue. Forecasting is also vitally important so that you do have enough seasonal stock and don’t get left holding it was the time has passed.
Shiny objects and buying training when you can’t afford it can be another trap business owners can fall into. It is important for you to offer payment options but don’t buy things you don’t need, won’t use or can’t afford just because payment options are available.
Personal development is essential and in some sectors mandatory. Make sure the training you choose is benefiting your business and furthering your education to move you ahead. Training for training, sake can be an expensive hobby.
13. Set Budgets
If you can’t afford it don’t buy it. Setting a budget will help to curtail those shiny object impulses. It is always good to allow a bit of money to have a play with some new toys but not at the expense of your business.
Forecast so that you have the cash on hand to pay your suppliers on terms that save you money, such as buying your subscriptions on an annual basis where they are cheaper. Also watch out that you don’t get sucked into buying things on sale or bargain sites with lifetime licenses, when it is not something you need. If they are things that you need then sometimes it is worth waiting for these sales or offers.
14. Tax Plan Now
Don’t spend the GST money from your sales, it is not your money. Many businesses end up with huge GST bills (tax or equivalent to Vat) and then don’t have the money to pay them. Businesses often forget that 10% of their sales price is for GST. GST or taxes that are collected on behalf of the government on your sales must be put aside and used only for paying that obligation.
I am a big fan of Profit First by Mike Michalowicz where you put money for GST, super and other taxes, into a separate bank account so that you can’t see it or spend it.
Talk to your accountant about what tax planning strategies you can implement into your business especially as it grows, or your circumstances change. Be ahead of the curve can often save you money in areas that you may not have realised.
Spending hours and hours looking for physical or digital things in all that mess is not a good use of your time or brain power. We often think about decluttering and clearing out our physical space and that is a fabulous thing to do often.
Also remember to sort out your digital spaces like file storing so that you can find things easily. How many minutes or hours do you lose every day switching between all the multiple tabs you have open. Back in the day you looked at the website, did what you had to and then closed it. Now we have so many tabs open that we forget why we were there in the first place or open a new one because we can’t find the first one.
Even more importantly your mental space so that you are not carrying unnecessary baggage around with you year after year.
16. Update Your Database
The money is “in the list”. Having a clean list, database of customers, suppliers and prospects is something every business should have. CRM’s and email providers generally charge by volume so if you are sending emails to 100’s or 1000’s of emails that are no longer interested or worse still don’t exist you will be paying too much for something of little or no value. The chance of you being backlisted or marked as spam is very high too.
Remember to comply with privacy laws as well. If it is not your list, you can’t use it. If the person didn’t opt IN you can’t use it. If they opted in, to another company or for another reason you can’t use it.
17. Set Your Calendar
Do you set theme days, mornings, afternoons for you work?
Batching has been around for forever, the concept of doing the same tasks all together. Common things such as going all your invoicing together, shooting multiple videos, scheduling content etc. When you are doing the same type of things you know where you are at and don’t have to keep going back over it to see where you were up to. You don’t waste time doing things only to find that you have already done it.
Setting theme days, hours is a variation on batching. Setting time in your calendar when you do the same things. You might have a sales day, morning / afternoon when you go out, ring or message your prospects. You might set up a regular time when you do content and then another time when you schedule that content.
Set up your calendar so that you are making the most of your work hours and not jumping from different task to different task all day. You are also less likely to waste time checking your emails every 2 minutes or wasting hours on social media following this rabbit hole or that.
This might sound to rigid but actually the opposite is true sticking to your calendar and doing set things frees up your time and gives you more freedom.
18. Hire The Right People
Right people, right seats, right bus. Nothing new here but having the right people in your business is critical.
The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay. — Henry Ford
Remember to appreciate your team, let them know. Also find out how they would like to be rewarded for a job well done. Money is not everyone’s driver and not always possible for small businesses. Be more creative with your rewards. A dinner voucher for 2, might be prefect for a recently married couple. Friday afternoon off, for a Mum before school goes back. Movie tickets, golf days, sharing the gifts that customers or supplier give.
19. Meet With Your Team
No matter how big your business is having regular check ins with your team is important. Having meetings for meeting’s sake is a waste and should be avoided. Meetings are important especially with hybrid work environments, getting the team together is very beneficial.
20. Ask For Help
You can’t see the forest for the trees. You can’t read the label from inside the glass.
Asking for help is how clever business owners have accelerated their learnings for hundreds of years. Evolving and learning is how we grow. Whether you are asking for help and learning through books, courses personal growth is important to stretch your mind and build your skill levels.
There are many studies to whether lack or physical or mental exercise can be a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s as we age. One thing is for sure if you don’t use it you lose it.
What about the asking personally for help? The coaching industry is growing by 7.6% a year and is estimated to be worth $27.5 billion by 2026, according to a recent article by Forbes. Having a coach or a mentor to bounce ideas off, verbalise issues and learn for can make a huge difference to your stress levels and success.
21. Learn From Your Mistake
We learn more from our failures than we ever will from our successes.
If you didn’t have the courage to try you would not be walking now.
It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is you become memorable.
Sara Blakely, Founder and CEO of Spanx
Without mistakes we would not have cars, books, movies , WD40 and so much more.
- The greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan, was cut from his high school team.
- Walt Disney was fired from his job at a newspaper early in his career–they said he lacked imagination.
- Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times.
- John Grisham’s first book, “A Time to Kill”, was rejected twenty-eight times.
- Albert Einstein had the label “mentally slow” put on his permanent school record.
- Henry Ford’s first two automobile companies failed.
- Oprah Winfrey was fired from an early job as a television news anchor.
- Jerry Seinfeld was booed off stage in his first stand-up comedy appearance.
- Sir James Dyson suffered through 5,126 failed prototypes before he landed on the first working Dyson vacuum.
- Elvis Presley was fired from the Grand Ole Opry and was told to go back to truck driving.
- Colonel Harland Sanders of KFC fame was rejected over 1000 times before finding a franchise partner. Read full article at Inc Australia.
Embrace your Miss Takes and you never know where you will end up.
22. Be Ready For New Opportunities
Opportunities come in all shapes, sizes and forms, be open to looking at things without a judgement lens.
Who would have thought that you could run a very successful business for your bedroom or dining table. Who would have thought that we could have meeting with people all over the world via a computer. Everyone can have their own radio show – a podcast.
When the first computers were made IBM thought 4 would be enough for the world, now most people have more than 4.
23. Be Grateful
Even on your worst day find something to be grateful for. Gratitude is said to reduce stress, increase sleep, regulate your emotions, reduce burn out and so much more.
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
Being grateful can only ever bring good things.
Thank you my SBT community I am grateful for you.
23 Business Growth Strategies
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