Changes you can make to your SMB right now!Posted: August 19, 2014
When it comes to seeing continued success in your business, you must keep growing, changing and making improvements. Many of these changes are slow and could require years to see the results of your work, such as a long-term financial or marketing strategy. There are some things you can start implementing today, however, that can improve your business and allow you to take a proactive approach to problems that may be obstacles to your success.
Take charge of your bookkeeping: Oftentimes, a lack of organization in your finances can become a root cause of a cash flow and budgeting issues. Finances can sometimes overwhelm a business-owner, especially for a smaller operation. When you fully own your bookkeeping and are intimately familiar with your budget, you can make decisions based on a full understanding of your financial situation. When working with your outside help, make sure you are constantly in the loop and up to date on everything they’re doing.
Make customer service your main priority: When was the last point of contact with your clients? Did you reach out with a phone-call or email? When was the last time you called a client just to check in? When you make customer service your main priority, your clients feel valued and want to continue working with you. They will share their experiences and this indirectly improves the value of your business. If something goes wrong – a communication error, less than amazing service, etc.- make it right by offering a discount or a free service, and an apology.
Avoid customer service mishaps by streamlining processes and having clear instructions: Oftentimes, customer service issues arise when instructions and processes are unclear, such as payment requirements, service details or deadlines. Ensure that you make your expectations and processes clear on the front end (in writing, on your website, in a contract) so that you do not have to remedy a situation with a confused and disgruntled customer later.
Have a plan for unforeseen circumstances: Spend some time taking inventory of the activities and materials that are vital to your business (even something as simple as Internet, databases, telephone, etc.) and then devising a plan of action to address any obstacles to continuing business as usual. This can save you time and money if and when a “disaster” strikes your business. Check out this blog post to learn how to create a Business Resumption Plan for your business.
Increase employee engagement: Your employees can become your biggest assets as brand advocates. Encourage them to be involved the business as much as possible, either by referring to them for their opinion, recognizing jobs well done, and encouraging a positive, social environment. When your employees believe in your message, this comes across to your potential clients. A happy employee is a productive one!
As you can see with this list of suggestions, you do not have to wait years or break the bank to see improvements in your business. What other tactics can you think of that can improve your business now? I look forward to your thoughts below.