For a lot of small businesses, mid-year can be a slow season, but for entrepreneurs, it’s a time of opportunity and to find more customers fast. Now is the time you can really position your business to get ahead of the game. How? By planning how you will move from where you are now to the place you want to be in 6 months’ time.
Here’s the strategy I use when I’m planning for the future. By following these 10 Business turnaround tips, you can start right here and now to bring a positive turnaround in your business.
Hit play on the video now, or read the transcript below. Enjoy!
1 This is No Time for Sugar Coating.
Firstly, let’s make sure you don’t have your head stuck in the sand by taking a close look at your profits. Zero in on your businesses honest and current situation and don’t make excuses! Look at your outgoings, your sales revenue, your inventory, your net profit and then take a look at what’s available in your industry. Once you’ve done that, take a look at some industry standards as well as your competitors and how their business is performing. How do your results compare? If the comparison goes against you, it’s not time to panic, you’ve just taken the first step to changing those results by acknowledging them and recognising them as an opportunity to change.
2 Take a Look Over Your Business and Change What You Don’t Want to See
Go back to your goals for the year, the quarter and your overall business to see how on track you are. Look at the difference between this time last year and now and see what percentage of growth (if any) you’ve had. If you’re not doing as well as you intended, get some help. Look to guidance and inspiration from those that have been there before.
Many of my clients, such as Connie and Wayne, have been in this exact situation before and turned their businesses around by looking for some help and then getting on with the activities they needed to do straight away to bring in some money.
This is also the time to really look at your brand and your core message as well. Not knowing who your business is and what it stands for makes it harder for your customers to build that relationship with you. If you’re struggling with this idea check out Carrie Green’s article on How to Develop Your Brand Strategy.
3 Know Your Industry and Competitors
How long has it been since you looked at your industry to keep up to date with what your competitors are doing? What are the changes they are making to the industry, or the ways that they are creating sales and clients? Understanding your competitors and the marketplace is a vital part of any businesses success. If you’re not watching what’s happening around you, how are you going to keep up?
4 Grow Your Knowledge, Grow Your Business
When was the last time you invested in learning? Are there areas of your business where you can up-skill or invest in a team member’s up-skilling? You’ve probably been so focused on running your business that you’ve forgotten how important you are to its success. If you want to be at the cutting edge, you’ve got to have cutting edge skills and knowledge. If you’re not sure where to start on your entrepreneurial learning journey, here are 8 Skills Every Entrepreneur Should Have. Go get ‘em!
5 Get to Know Your Customer
Who are your clients and what are their pains? Do you know what your customers want? Have you ever asked them?
Look at your client’s needs and wants and see where you can add value to them and we’re not talking about what you can sell them… (just yet). Once you know this, you can speak directly to them in all of your marketing material as well as providing solutions to these pains, wants and needs by offering blog posts, videos or answering their questions on social media.
It’s about connection, but it’s also about positioning yourself as an expert and making sure you really understand what your clients want. Also, understand what you are currently providing for them and what else you could be providing them.
Remember to get your customers involved as well. Ask their opinions on what they really need and want from you, then create an action plan based on their responses. Survey Monkey is a great tool to connect with your customers as well as these 5 Best Ways to get Feedback from Your Customers. Letting your customers know that you care and that you’re guided by what they’re asking for can have massive impacts to a business.
6 There’s a Brain-Storm on the Horizon
Now, if you’ve taken all the actions I’ve discussed so far, you will no doubt have a brain full of new knowledge and ideas to turn your business around, excite your customers and increase sales. Your reality assessment, industry research and new learnings will have given you new ideas on how to tap into your market and potential earnings. Now it’s time to sit down and brainstorm these ideas. Don’t question them, don’t dismiss anything that comes to mind; just get them all down on paper and out of your head. No matter how big, daunting or crazy they sound, write them all down, I can assure you there will be some gems in there.
7 Get Your Name Out There & Know How You’ll Do It.
I think about the recent ad with Hamish and Andy “secretly coming back a week early.” A secret does nobody any favours; if your product or service is a secret, start sharing it. Don’t be afraid to start seeking some major publicity, if people don’t know who you are and what you stand for, how are they going to buy what you have to offer? Marketing activities can increase your brand awareness, your position in the market, your sales and your client’s experience with your business (it’s really the basis of all your revenue)!
Sit down and map out your marketing activities for the next month, quarter or the whole year even and start now. Entrepreneur.com has an excellent video around how to create a marketing plan. There is nothing standing in the way of you having a really thorough and well thought out plan of attack. With the right planning and structure in place you will be feeling more in control and focused.
8 Get Laser Like Focus on Your Plan.
With you marketing plan now mapped out, now we get get into the nitty-gritty. What are the action points? Who in the team is responsible for them? What are the time frames and returns you’re hoping for? You know as well as I do that unless you make someone accountable for a task, it won’t get done. Despite all the best intentions, daily work will get in the way and you can’t afford to let that happen. When making changes in your business it’s also easy to get distracted, or succumb to ‘bright shiny object’ syndrome. So Narrow Your Focus to Get More Done.
9 Don’t Be Afraid to Try Something New
If you feel you have exhausted your existing and potential clients and all of your current products and services, then think about whether there are other sections of your industry you can move into and create growth around. Plan ways to Unlock New Sources of Growth.
And last but not least…. Your Mindset is Critical
Think about why you are in business and what are you hoping to achieve. Are your current actions and goals living up to this vision? Do you need to reset your mindset and create some momentum within yourself to achieve your goals? If you do, then be sure to set aside time to do this. The Small Business Trends website has a blog post around the 10 Mindsets of Successful Entrepreneurs that is definitely worth checking out.
Remember, you are the driver of your business and if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there and your bank account will soon be sitting on empty. Pick a destination, plan your route, fuel up on knowledge and be sure to enjoy the journey.
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