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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Seven Keys to a Profitable Small Business

Running a business, whether big or small, requires a type of leadership that taps into various areas of business expertise to bring together an all-around profitable business. Some companies excel in certain areas and bleed profits in others. It is important to be sure that all aspects of the business will be managed effectively to profitability.
Need help pinpointing where to start in assuring your small business is on the track to prosperity? 

Here are 7 vital keys for running a profitable small business:

1. People

Building a business with a solid employee base is an important key to running a profitable small business. Your employees must be dependable, flexible, and more simply, they should be people you like to work with everyday. An enjoyable work environment means happy employees, which almost always leads to great customer service and higher productivity.
Small businesses are also fairly dependent upon their vendors, partners, contractors, and other professional relationships. Building and strengthening these associations will not only make for a pleasant work environment, it can also translate into customer referrals or even a crossover from professional relationship to loyal customer.

2. Planning

There’s no need to write a dissertation about the intricate goals and business trajectories you intend for your new business. Setting pen to paper and outlining a clear business plan for your business will help ensure that you stick to your plans as time goes on and your business evolves. Evolution is great in business development but keeping a reminder of the business plan from day 1 should serve periodically as a helpful eye-opener.

3. Personal Development

Your small business is a reflection of you. As you develop personally, so will your business, and this should translate into greater earnings across the board. The more you invest into yourself by building your knowledgebase and expanding mental and physical well-being, the better off the company will be. It’s important to make a strong commitment to your own personal development, and it’s easy with these tips:
  • Spend commute drive time listening to audio books or informative podcasts.
  • Work, or maintain consistent phone or email contact with a business or personal mentor. Having a successful role model to hold you accountable and offer advice throughout the maze of business ownership can be priceless.
  • Invest 15-30 minutes a day catching up on industry-relevant reading. Make a goal to read 12 books a year, and you’ll end up way ahead of the game.

4. Products and Services

Whether your business is a brand new startup or an established business looking to expand, take a moment to step back and really look at the products and services your company offers. Not just to analyze whether or not you’re selling at the proper price point, but to take a close look and really consider the quality of your offerings. This will also be a good way to identify if there is something clearly lacking from your product or service line. Is it time for a technology upgrade, or is it possibly time to seek out new product lines?

5. Promotions

Thinking outside the typical marketing box can really pay off. We see promotions everyday directed at new customers, such as discounts for first time visits or a waived initial fee. Why not thank existing customers? Posting special promotions to email subscribers or Facebook followers will not only bring already happy past customers back, but it will greatly increase the likelihood that you’ll be on the receiving end of that priceless word of mouth advertising from those happy customers.

6. Processes

Henry Ford had it right. Creating an automatic process similar to an assembly line will greatly heighten the efficiency of any given procedure, and it will also build credibility with your customers, as they can count on consistent results every time. This will also help remove quite a bit of pressure off of you as the owner. Having a systemized process in place will share the work amongst employees, rather than mandating the owner to micromanage day in and day out.

7. Profit

An important key to ensuring you have a profitable company is to be able to understand what makes you profitable. You don’t have to be trained in high finance or be a professional accountant, but investing in dependable accounting software is a minimum. Being able to demonstrate gross profit margins, net profit, customer retention rates, and track accounts payable and receivable is fundamental to running a profitable company.

Source: http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/blog/7-vital-keys-for-a-profitable-small-business/



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