Building a successful business, and running and maintaining a successful business, isn’t easy.
In small businesses in particular it’s often a juggle between the various different aspects of the business that could be focussed on. And there’s definitely no magic wand that can be waved to make this is an easy feat.
So, which of these areas should be focussed on for success? Here are the key ones.
Marketing and the Sales Pipeline
People need to know about your ‘thing’, whatever that may be – a product or a service. If they don’t know about your thing, you will struggle to succeed.
So, marketing strategy, marketing efforts and building your sales pipeline is key! This area must be fruitful for you to succeed.
You need a strategy that works; you need to track and monitor your efforts, so you know what does work to generate those sales leads. Once you know what works you can be very targeted and focussed in your marketing and sales pipeline areas.
And you need to be consistent in your approach – you need a constant feed into this sales pipeline.
Innovation – Stand Out
Your thing, product or service, needs to be great – or why would people pay you for it? Improve on it and be innovative with it – make it the best it can be.
Differentiate it from the competition, think outside the box. Keep an eye on your market and trends within that market, to help you be the best and most innovative you can be. Then you can stay ahead of the curve, the competition and your customers’ expectations.
Also think customer service and value; referrals and recommendations are the best form of marketing! You want people to rave about your thing? Give them the best possible service, experience or value for their money.
There comes a point when you can’t possibly juggle all aspects of the business – this is where focus comes in.
What’s the most important action that needs taking? What are the most important tasks? And, most importantly, what can be outsourced?
There are a plethora of businesses out there designed to aid other small businesses – they can free up your time, so you can focus on the things that really need your attention.
Top things to think about outsourcing so you can maintain your focus:
- Administrative tasks; to a Virtual or Personal Assistant
- Marketing; content, scheduling posts, website maintenance, SEO, social media
- HR; if you’re employing staff you need this
- Bookkeeping, Payroll, Accounts, Tax Returns
Check out our Business Outsourcing and Cost Benefit Analysis & Decision Making articles for more help with this one.
Your business needs to be making a profit. Therefore, you need to have your eye on the bottom line to ensure the profit is there, sustainable and growing.
Here are a few things you should consider when thinking about the profitability of your company:
- Price; often one of the most difficult areas is price – check out our Pricing Strategies article for help with that one
- Costs; cost control is key for profitability, whether its cost of raw materials, outsourced services, office costs, personnel costs, controlling the costs within the business is vital
And finally, cash flow. Cash is king – I’m constantly saying it, it’s a fact!
Having a handle on your cashflow, incomings and outgoings, and your cashflow forecast is vital to success. 90% of businesses that fail do so because of cash flow. This is an area you should know inside out and backwards! Here’s a link to our article about Cash Flow tips.