Business interruption is all too common.
Over the ten years I was in Houston, our company experienced two or three major disruptions during hurricane season. Once, for over a week.
What about illness, injury, or another global financial crisis?
Build up cash reserves so that you can get through the tough times.
I recommend clients to get this number over three months as soon as possible.
Take it to six months and sleep even better.
An important part of being successful at selling, and hence business, is being different. It’s not about being “better”. Being better is in the eye of the beholder.
I suggest you prepare a clear positioning statement that defines your ideal customer, what you do and your difference. This is one of the best things I learnt at the Stanford Strategic Marketing course:...........
Provide specific answers to what, where, when, and why. Instead of the general goal: "let’s make more money", quantify: "we will get five new customers this year to increase our total sales and reduce risk”.
Break down the annual goals and targets into smaller chunks: quarterly and monthly.
Examples are: increase revenue by 15%, build cash reserves to 3X monthly costs, open a new location, and improve customer feedback score by 15%.
What you measure helps keep you on track towards your goals and targets.
What you should measure depends on your specific business and industry. However, there are some metrics that can help any business grow and succeed.
Consider the following: cost to measure and insight it gives. Too many metrics can be a real pain in the a*** and cause “messages” to get lost in a sea of data.
Start with two or more of these:......
The idea behind this weekly review and decide meeting is to check if the business is on track, and if it isn’t, to correct the course.
Review where you are taking the business (Check #4) even though this won’t change week to week (hopefully!). Assess progress and look at data (#5). Are you on track? Confront obstacles or barriers. Face reality, decide on actions, EXECUTE.
You'll be able to get our template for this meeting in the checklist.
Ever heard of a modern day athlete or sportsperson who doesn’t have a coach?
I have had a business coach for the last 18 years. My coaches helped enormously - mostly guiding me to understand what I should be doing at each stage of my business. Day to day, week to week, etc. Running a small business can be overwhelming because there is simply so much to do. How do you decide what is important and what isn’t? How about what’s urgent and what’s not.
Recent research shows that email marketing can return $38 for every dollar spent. This makes email marketing EXTREMELY important if you want to grow.
Your target market may not be ready to buy just yet, but keeping in contact with them means that when they are, they are more likely to consider you. Plus, it’s an important way to move them up the prospect food-chain: from cold, thru warm and hot, to customer!
We have found MailChimp to be easy to set-up and use.
Email frequency – there is plenty of advice out there. Some say...
IIdeally there should be one person per role and each person should have one role only.
Alas, in small businesses this is rare until the company gets bigger and more organized. Even when it is bigger, however, this rule is often forgotten.
List the key roles in your company, eg finance, accounting, cash management, sales, marketing, hiring, operations, and then name the person in charge alongside. Give each role a metric or two (see item #5) so that you can see the level of success.