Today, I’d like to share my best business advice for 2018 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 2018 and beyond. The ideas are listed in no particular order. Enjoy.
Best Business Advice for 2018
# 1 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 2018, I challenge you to spend one 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. Evaluate your why and your vision. Spend more time on the strategic work in your business and less time on the tactical work.
# 2 Evaluate Your Marketing ROI
Spend some time and evaluate your marketing and advertising. Which methods are giving you the best return on your investment? Which methods are actually generating new leads and new customers, and which methods aren’t? Which methods should you keep and which methods should you ditch? Determine your cost to acquire a new customer with each method, and then take the time to determine how much a customer is worth to you. Eliminate the marketing and advertising methods where you can’t profitably acquire new customers. If you haven’t been tracking each type of advertising you do, start doing so immediately.
# 3 Look for Ways to Make More Money
In any business, there are only THREE ways to make more money. First off, you can focus on acquiring new customers. That’s what most businesses do. Next, you can make larger sales to your current customers. In other words, have some up-sells and additional products and services you can offer customers the first time they do business with you. The final method is to sell to your customers more often. The only way to increase this frequency is to stay in touch with your customers on a regular basis, and give them incentives to come back and do business with you. Identify one of two things you could do with each of these three ways to make more money in your business.
# 4 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 2018, 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. If possible, consider coming up with a referral program to reward loyal customers who refer your business to others.
# 5 Take Time to Assess What Is and What Isn’t Working
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 money and eliminate them. Find expenses that are too high and find ways to reduce them. Identify products and services that are not profitable and remove them from your product line. 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.
# 6 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 2018. Stay in touch with all of your past and former customers MINIMUM once a month, until they die or tell you not to contact them again. Send note cards, periodic phone calls, emails and direct mail. The fortune is in the follow up. This is the best business advice anyone has ever shared with me.
# 7 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 with someone else? Ideally, you want a one to two sentence unique selling proposition. Make sure it is on your business cards, stationary, website, signage, and all marketing materials.
# 8 Clearly Identify Your Best Customers
Look through all your sales figures from previous year and identify your best customers. If your business is like most businesses, you will quickly discover that 80% of your sales came from 20% of your customers. This is known as the 20/80 Rule. Do yourself a favor and study that 20%. Learn everything you can about your best customers and then go out and find more customers just like them! Remember, not all customers are created equal. Spend 80% of your time and marketing budget focusing on your 20% best customers.
# 9 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 the workplace. 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.
# 10 Start Outsourcing and Delegating 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 clearly 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. Remember, your most important job as the business owner is the strategic work of your business (making the cash register ring), not doing the tactical work of the business. Learning to delegate is some of the best business advice I can share with you.
# 11 Look for Missed Opportunities
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 2018 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.
# 12 Work On Your Exit Plan
All entrepreneurs should have an exit plan, so they can one day sell their business for a large profit. 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 without you. That is the purpose of owning a business, as I see it.
In summary, these are my best business tips for 2018 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 2018? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you. If you’d like to learn more about my favorite business, check this out.