If you run your own business, chances are you're already working very hard.
But it is possible to make your business more productive and successful by working smarter.
Here are seven things you can do to improve your company's bottom line and performance.
1. Look at your superstar product
And then list five things or more you can do to make it better (even if you can't do them all right now).
Why? Because someone, somewhere, is probably already working out how to better your product, so do it before they beat you to it.
2. Identify one skill you don’t have (but should)
You can always upskill to improve your business game.
Perhaps you need to polish your sales skills or learn about e-commerce or social media.
Start thinking of things that will add value to you as a business leader; once you know what you need to be good at, then find the means to learn it.
3. Connect with your employees
It's important to chat with your people.
Lee Iacocca, the force behind Ford Mustang and later the turnaround of Chrysler said, “start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them". "If you do all those things effectively, you can't miss.”
And it's not just staff you need to connect with, it's also clients.
Close your email and pick up the phone. Check in with your three top customers and set up an in-person catch up. Why?
Research published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology shows that people tend to underestimate their level of persuasion in face-to-face interactions, while overestimating the power of online communication.
The research suggests that, "six offline equals two hundred online", or to put that another way, "you need to ask six people in person to equal the power of a 200-recipient email blast".
4. Revisit your business goals
Creating updated business goals is crucial to success.
Treat this step as the nav system with the destination plugged in that reminds you if your route is on track or if it needs to be recalculated.
5. Write (or rewrite) the elevator pitch for your business
You might be sitting next to your potential biggest customer on the airplane or an interested investor for your startup might end up with you on the lift to the 20th floor.
You have to be absolutely, succinctly sure of what to say, so make sure you're ready.
6. Keep up to date with compliance, legals and insurance
Nothing slows business growth down than a law suit or getting behind, and then having to catch up, on legal compliance.
If it's been a while, get up-to-date with any laws that affect your business or industry.
At the same time review your Business Insurance.
Being underinsured or not having appropriate cover for your business needs can derail profits, or worse close a business if an event happens that you're not protected for.
7. Get involved locally
Companies that support their local community generate more business in their area.
Find a cause to support and put your business behind it.
It will make your business more successful and help you feel good at the same time!