In business, you are growing or you are dying. When you stop growing, you are on your way to dying. If you observe that you are stagnating, you must improve your business. This article will give you the 15 actionable points to improve your business.
1. Get Your Business Numbers
If you want to improve your business, assess where you are now. You need to understand where to improve and how much improvement you need to undertake.
How do you do this?
You do this by getting your current business numbers. You need the numbers on cash flow, net profit, profit and loss, sales, price point, gross profit and total inventory. If numbers are not your interest, hire a good bookkeeper and accountant to provide you with the essential numbers.
Regarding financial statistics, embrace digital technology. Invest in the best software applications you can afford on the point of sale (POS), accounting, billing, payroll, database, and asset management. Retrieving statistics is faster with digital technology.
2. Do Some Business Numbers Analysis
Business analytics is a specialized field of statistics. However, it does not imply that you cannot do your own analysis.
Use a simple business budget spreadsheet template which is downloadable from the internet. There are many templates like this. Some are for free to download and some are free to try. Tailor the spreadsheet template according to your operations. Input the numbers and it automatically provides you with printable reports and graphs to make your analysis easy.
For more professional analysis, use several softwares that are solely for this work. Some are free but some you have to buy. Or hire a professional business analyst.
This exercise is useful in forecasting and decision-making.
3. Review Your Business Plan
Now, go to your business plan. Remember that a business plan is like a roadmap to your success in business. In case you have started your business without it, you need to write one.
In your business plan, you have your marketing goals and strategies. Review them. Understand them with the analytics that you just did.
4. Revise Your Business Plan
After doing some analysis and business plan review, revise your business plan. In your revision, do:
- Revise or set new goals
- Identify the strategies needed to hit the goals
- Create a plan for implementing your strategies
- Create a plan to measure the results
To improve your business, it is advisable to review and revise your business plan on a regular basis. Make adjustments to your goals and strategies when necessary.
5. Boost Your Online Presence
The pandemic has made your online presence a necessity because of restricted travel and in-person interaction. Thus, it is important to boost your internet presence by having a website and social media pages.
Here are four benefits that an online presence provides:
Customers get to know your business and what you are offering.
Customers engage with you on a personal level. You and your customers can communicate directly through chat and email.
Your online presence boosts your business’ brand. Your business will get exposure that is beyond the traditional branding means.
Your online presence boosts your credibility. People trust businesses with websites and social media pages. Post updates regularly to show your customers that you are active in business.
6. Go Digital
Get this idea from different Indian businesses. Many have entered e-commerce especially during the pandemic. E-commerce solves the problem of restricted travel and personal interaction.
There are four ways to get into e-commerce:
- Use your website for e-commerce. If you check fast-food stores, convenience stores, and supermarkets, you notice that they have converted their homepages into an ordering page. One example is Smokin’ Joe's Pizza.
- If you do not have a website, use your social media pages. Remember that they are free. Many businesses in India take their orders from their Facebook account. Check Wow! Momo’s Facebook page.
- Sell your products through online shopping platforms like Amazon India, Flipkart and similar platforms..
- Tie up with online ordering and delivery service companies like Swiggy, Zomato, Food Panda and others. These companies have their own websites and apps. When you subscribe to them they will post your products so your customers can order.
7. Have a Delivery System
If you go into e-commerce, delivery service is one necessity. There are two ways to do this:
Start your delivery service. One good thing about this is that you control the time and handling of the items.
Avail of the services offered by the different online ordering and delivery service companies. This is a good option if you cannot afford to run your own delivery service.
8. Go into Online Marketing
Use your website and social media pages to market your business. Online marketing is low-cost but high-impact. Through online marketing, you can reach millions of people at a meager cost.
As to social media, market through your own page. This does not cost you anything. However, you can pay the social media platform to do the advertising for you for more reach. Facebook, for example, can post your advertisements on people’s timeline. It can even narrow down the advertising to a certain age group and location.
Another option is to use Google Ads. Google Ads offer a plethora of ways to advertise on different Google platforms. It has different pricing for different advertising. Start with the affordable ones.
9. Improve Your Customer Service
Give importance to customer reviews on your website, social media accounts, and other platforms. Respond appropriately to negative reviews. Remember that these platforms are public.
Ask those who give positive reviews to share their experience on your website and social media page. More important is to share on online business guides and booking sites like, for example, Zomato for restaurants and Agoda and Trivago for hotels and similar sites. Give them some incentives for giving you the favor.
10. Reward Your Loyal Customers
You should give loyal customers perks for patronizing your business. This will send a message to them that you recognize their patronage. This will make them keep coming back and promote your business.
Here are some examples of how to reward your loyal customers:
- Buy One, Get One Free
- Free Delivery
- Gift Vouchers
- 10% Off Discount
- Student Discounts
- Loyalty Points
- Random Rewards
- Cash Back
- Package Deals
- Provide a Guarantee
11. Get the Right People
Improving your business is not only setting sales targets. Surround yourself with the right people who can help you hit sales targets.
What are the things to look for in the people you want to hire?
- Skilled people. They should have the skills for the job.
- Dependable people. You need people that you can trust with the work given to them. And, they should also be people who can work with minimal supervision.
- Trustworthy people. Get people you can trust with money, especially the cashier.
- Warm, friendly people. You want to build relationships with your customers. Customers will probably return if your staff is cordial and courteous.
12. Train Your Staff
Not only should you hire the right people, you also have to train them. Ensure that they remember and understand the training. Check if they know the standard operating procedures.
Well-trained staff know their goals in work thus reducing constant supervision. They also work efficiently.
13. Monitor Trends
Keep yourself abreast with the latest trends in your business. Do this so that you can address any new trends. Aside from that, you can see new opportunities.
How do you monitor business trends?
- Read marketing research reports from India Brand Equity Foundation, Entrepreneur India, Euromonitor, Mintel and others.
- Follow industry influencers. These influencers have their own social media accounts. Subscribe or follow them.
- Listen to your customers. Chat with them or do a survey to provide you with some insights.
- Research the competition. They can also provide you with an idea of where your industry is heading.
14. Implement Effective Processes
Implement effective processes to run your business. Write these processes to help in efficient operations. It also lessens miscommunication among the staff.
Streamline processes if needed. Streamlining in business is to simplify or discard unnecessary or complex processes to improve efficiency.
Streamlining has several benefits to the company and they are:
- Increased cost efficiency
- Improved productivity
- Improved communication
- Better time management
- Minimize mistakes and lapses
Learn also from others by having a mentor, reading books and following industry influencers for more effective processes.
15. Sharpen Your Selling Skills
Constantly review your selling skills. The key is to evolve and adapt to changing customer behavior and marketing trends.
Here are some tips to sharpen your selling skills:
- Communicate people-first mentality. People will patronize your business if they get the impression that you care for them. Communicate that you are in business to meet their needs and not just for sales.
- Get the right timing. Know when to promote a new product and when to offer discounted prices on old inventory. This needs calendar planning.
- Offer value-adds. By having add-ons, you are telling your customers that you are thinking about them. You may do this by offering another product for free if they buy a certain product or products. You may also do this by extending the warranty for a certain product.
- Know your products. Be an expert on your products so that you can answer questions customers may ask. Let them see the purpose and the benefits of the product. Customers are more likely to buy the product if someone explains to them what the product is all about.
The need to improve in business is always there. If you stop improving after reaching a certain height, your business will plateau and then will slowly slide downhill.
Improving your business means regularly assessing your status by getting the current numbers. Analyze these numbers so that you can revise or set new goals. From there, find marketing strategies that will help you achieve your goals.
The call to go digital is louder this time than even before. Boost your online presence. Have a website and social media accounts. Use these platforms to market your products and to connect with your customers.
Have an online shopping and delivery service. You do not have to create your own. You can connect with online shopping and delivery services companies. They would be happy to accommodate you.
Put value on your customers. Partner with them. Engage with them. Get their insights to improve your business. Reward loyal customers.
Getting the right people is important. They will help you lighten your load in business. But for this to happen, you must also train them properly.
One important word in business improvement is adaptation. You must learn to adapt to current trends, processes and selling methods. The reason for this is that the market is constantly changing in their buying habits and choices.
Are you ready to improve your business? Do you see a point where you need to improve?Back to Blog