Today, I’d like to share my best business advice for 2015 and beyond. This advice can benefit any business owner in any industry, even network marketers. These are things you can do to take your business to the next level in 2015 and beyond. The ideas are listed in no particular order. Enjoy.
1. Step Back at Look at Your Business from the 30,000 Foot View
It’s so easy to spend all your time working in your business that you forget to step back and look at your business from the outside in. In 2015, I challenge you to spend 1 hour per week looking at your business from the 30,000 foot view. Step back from the minutia and look for areas to improve upon, missed opportunities, and things to eliminate. Look at your business objectively and find ways to grow and improve your business. Develop your why and your vision.
2. Give Your Customers a Reason to Talk About Your Business
Word of mouth advertising is the best form of advertising you can have, and it’s free. I’m sure you already realize that. In 2015, try to give your customers a reason to say good things about you, your company and your products. Provide great quality products and services and provide amazing customer service and follow up. Do the little things that your competitors don’t do. Give people a reason to talk about you (in a good way) and they will.
3. Take Time to Assess What Is and What Isn’t Working
This goes hand in hand with number one. Make the time to see what is working well and what isn’t working well in your business. Find areas that waste your time and eliminate them. Find expenses that are too high and find ways to reduce them. Evaluate your advertising and marketing and ditch the losers and keep the winners. Find policies or procedures that don’t make sense and rewrite them or eliminate them. Evaluate your employees’ performance and see if their contributions justify their expense.
4. Do a Better Job Staying in Touch with Current and Former Customers
All businesses can do a better job staying in touch with current and past customers. Make it a point to start your own mailed monthly newsletter in 2014. Stay in touch with all of your past and former customers MINIMUM once a month. Send note cards, periodic phone calls, emails and direct mail.
5. Fine Tune Your Unique Selling Proposition
Each year, it’s a good idea to fine tune your unique selling proposition. In other words, what makes you and your business different from your competitors? Why should people do business with you and not someone else? Ideally, you want a one to two sentence unique selling proposition. Make sure it is on your business cards, stationary, website, and all advertising materials.
6. Clearly Identify Your Best Customers
Look through all your sales figures from previous years and identify your best customers. If you are like most businesses, you will quickly discover that 80% of your sales came from 20% of your customers. Do yourself a favor and study that 20%. Learn everything you can about them and then go out and find more customers just like them! Remember, not all customers are created equal.
7. Try to Have More Fun at Work!
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy! Try to have fun with what you do. If you have employees or other people who work for you (or with you), find ways to bring happiness and fun into work. Consider doing a casual Friday, a monthly cookout, a quarterly employee appreciation day, office bingo, or something else. Get creative. I truly believe that if your employees and team members are happy, and can have some fun at work, they will be more productive. It’s also good for you to have some fun from time-to-time.
8. Start Outsourcing More to Free Up Your Time
Stop being so darn busy! Track what you do on a daily basis for the next 30 days. At the end of the month, look at how you spent each day and make a list of everything that you did, but could have someone else do. Identify time wasters and tasks that you don’t enjoy and don’t produce revenue for your business. Once you have those tasks identified, consider hiring an employee to do those tasks for you, or outsource it to an independent contractor. This will free up your time so you don’t have to spend your $100 per hour time doing $10 per hour tasks.
Within every niche and target market, there are missed opportunities. What products and services are you NOT providing that you could be providing? What is your business doing, but not doing well? One of the best things you could do in 2014 is survey your customers and ask them “what types of additional products and services would you like my business to sell or provide?” Or, ask them “what are we not doing that we should be doing?” If you ask your customers, you will get some great ideas.
10. Work On Your Exit Plan
All entrepreneurs should have an exit plan, so they can one day leave their business or sell it. Start thinking of ways that you could replace yourself in your business. Work on systems and procedures. Create some short-term or long-term goals for your business, so you have something to look forward to. If you build your business the right way, you won’t have to shut it down when you want to retire or move on to something else. Instead, you will be able to sell it for a big profit, or let it run on auto-pilot. That is the purpose of owning a business as I see it.
In summary, these are my best business tips for 2015 and beyond. I hope you will take the time to do these things in your business. If you do, good things will happen. If you don’t, you will keep getting more of the same.
What are your thoughts? What is your best business advice for 2014? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.