Ok, so you?ve quit your job and started up your own business.
You?ve got passion, you?ve got drive and you have a great concept that you think people will love.
But you say to yourself ?Hang on a minute, there?s got to be more to it than that?.
Well, you are right...and the scary thing is that if you don't learn the ropes fast, there is a high probability of failure.
Depending on which statistics you look at, it has been said that within the first 5 years, 4 out of 5 new businesses go out of business.....and within 10 years, only 1 in 10 businesses will survive.
If you were a betting person, you probably wouldn?t like those odds. And yet every day, many people lay it all on the line and enter the business world with the hope of fulfilling their dream...a dream of freedom, lifestyle and prosperity.
So what can you do to move the odds more in your favour and improve your chances of success?
There are a wide range of strategies and processes for businesses to address and there are a thousand books around to tell you exactly how to do it. The problem is, where do you start?
To help simplify the process, I have made a list of 10 steps that as a minimum, every business owner must follow.
1. Business Plan. A business plan is critical to achieving consistent growth in any business. The benefits of a business plan are realised immediately through the process of just thinking clearly about your business for an extended period of time, and through illuminating the areas of your business that need fixing.
2. Customer Database. At the end of the day, your customers are the most valuable asset you have in your business. You should be taking every opportunity to collect the names and contact details of your customers and communicating with them on a regular basis.
3. Systems. Systems are essential for ensuring that you provide a consistent level of service to your customers and so that you understand the financial performance of your business. They will also enable the business to run without you being there every minute of the day.
4. Staff Incentives. You?ve probably heard the expression ?If you pay peanuts you get monkeys?. That expression directly translates into bad people equal a bad company. To attract great people, progressive companies are keenly aware that they need to foster personal responsibility and provide direct reward for measurable results.
5. Staff meetings. Meetings are an opportunity to inspire your people and thereby your business. They also give your people a sense of belonging through the process of sharing information.
6. Marketing. Marketing is not just about getting more customers, it?s also about retaining the customers you have, generating ongoing sales from existing customers, increasing your profit through value adding, creating a sense of loyalty within your team and creating an image of your business in the minds of the consumer. In fact marketing is the most important of all success strategies in your business, because if you can't find a buyer for your product or service, nothing else you do will matter!
7. Branding. Branding is about creating and communicating a set of values to the consumer of your product or service. Your aim should be to stamp your logo onto the brains of your customers every time they are in the process of buying your product or service.
8. Business Image. First impressions count for a lot. Addressing your business image is all about paying attention to the little things that will exceed your customers expectations.
9. Guarantee. How does a customer truly believe they are going to receive value from doing business with you? They will only know this if you are prepared to take more risk in the transaction than they are...and this promise is delivered through your guarantee.
10. Customer care. Every business should have a follow up system that extends sincere thanks to every new customer and for their ongoing patronage. When was the last time you received a ?thankyou? from someone that you did business with? Probably never...so how do you think your customers will react when they receive a thankyou from you?
If you take action in each of these 10 areas, you will not only be 2 steps in front of your competition, but you may very well be within touching distance of living your dream.
So go ahead, don't wait a moment longer...take action today because it is only massive action that will bring you massive results!
About the author:
Stephen James specialises in teaching small business owners powerful sales and marketing systems that unlock large amounts of untapped cash within their business for low or zero cost. Be sure to sign up for your FREE access to The Business Club at: http://www.thebusinessresultscentre.com/join_us.htmand utilize the free articles, ebooks and other information that can enhance your marketing!
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