In a previous blog of mine, ‘Sometimes it’s better to just say No.” I spoke a little about knowing your competition and knowing your business. I had some great feedback from that post and I wanted to take a moment to discuss something that most business owners do not like to talk about. It’s a topic of asking yourself if you know your business, the business industry and most important your competitors.
Knowing your business is very important, and believe it or not, a lot of business owners really don’t know much about their business. Let alone what’s going on in the industry. Here are a few tips to ensure that you are connected with your business and the industry.
Create a Business Plan: A business plan is one of the most important aspects to any business. Especially a small business. A solid business plan could help with obtaining funding and most important, serve as a road map to keep your business on track with your goals and help you move forward when faced with obstacles. An important part of a business plan is the business strategic plan. A strong strategic plan will define your strategy to meet your goals, and serve as a guide when making some important decisions from hiring additional personal to whether or not to expand to new locations or even acquire additional businesses. Your business plan should also outline your sales and marketing plan. I feel that this is one of the most important aspects of the business plan. After all, without sales there would be no business. Educate yourself in your industry. Make sure your rates are comparable and/or competitive with your competitor rates in your area. I found that one of the best ways to gather this information is to join an association that is based on your industry. If you need some more detailed information on how to create a business plan. I would recommend reading an article by Entrepreneur Magazine that will give you some great tips and outlines in a very detailed manor on how to create a business plan. You can find this article by clicking here.
Stay Plugged In: A great tool for small business owners is networking. Whether its joining a local networking group, chamber or a meetup.com group. Networking is a great way to stay plugged in with other local business owners in your area and a great way to get referrals. Another tool that I highly recommend utilizing for your business is Social Media. Sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are great ways to stay connected with your clients and prospects. By posting updates for your business, specials and promotions, blogs about your industry and giveaways, your business will stay on your followers mind.
Stay Motivated: Out of everything I wrote today and all the other business help articles and books out there. If you’re not motivated, non of these will help. I know and have experienced times where nothing seems to go right and I feel defeated. If you want to see your business thrive, then breath life into it. If your business is struggling, then its time for a new business plan. Its time to go through your business financials and see where your losses are. Find the areas that are doing poorly and eliminate them if needed and focus on the areas that are profitable. If you have a sales team, show excitement and passion for your business. Get your team on board with a strong vision and a positive vision. Donald Trump once said, “With out passion you don’t have energy, with out energy you have nothing.”