At 59 years old I have had 25 years plus in the small business environment, I have been successful in building from a start up and also buying a going concern and developing the business to succesful profitable levels. These tips are based on my own journey between the age of 40-50. My aim in choosing this subject will hopefully help any small business to succeed and miss the pit falls of failure.
5 steps to creating more
When I planned yearly and wrote down the following basic questions see how I drilled down deeper:
1) How many new customers have we attained ?
I would look at how many live customers I had the year before, by live I mean active at least once in a quarter. I would then look at what they were spending and ask can I increase my business with them? Then I would look at this years stats and see how many new ones I had obtained. The next step would be to look at their average spend, this result indicates how many new customers I would need to increase my business say by 10% .
2) How many customers have we lost ?
This one is really important, firstly why have we lost them ? were we not giving value are they purchasing elsewhere ? if so why ? this needs to be addressed as we may be getting something wrong. If we correct an error then take action contact them and explain you have corrected the situation you may get them back !! Finally you need to take these out of your stats say you lost 3% of your customer base and you want to grow by 10% the following financial year. THE 3% NEED TO BE FACTORED IN AND REPLACED before you start to grow the 10% needed in your plan.
3) Are any products slow moving ?
simple answer to this one , but "easy not to do " CLEAR them out ! cut your losses write down and CLEAR slow moving and non profitable lines.
4 ) Has profit increased ?
The easiest way to grow a business is to increase margins , can you increase prices by 2-4 % ? can you buy better if you are selling a product ? Can you cut transport cost etc look at your costs. Business is about profit not just sales.
5) Who are my key staff and who are the weak ones ?
Staff in my opinion , ( if you have them ) can make or break a business. Are your staff loyal ? and motivated ? knowledgable and keen to learn ? if the answer to this question is yes then value them tell them ! If you have staff that are not with this mind set then train them and explain why they need to be like this, work on them every day until they start to improve.
I at 58 I closed down my business, due to market conditions at that time ( retail) was having a massive mind shift ie the internet, discount stores and market dilution. I wanted to start another business , I looked at the power of the internet and found it, because I knew I am capable of succeeding in any thing I put my mind to. WHY ? because I read " the slight edge" by Jeff Olson . Are you in a similar position to me ? do you know your potential ? My next challenge was Limited capital As my main capital that I had created was tied up earning me a living. But only a living ! Are you retired or near retirement and need more ? Are you wanting to start a business with no or limited capital ? If any of these questions fit your situation click the link below and see for FREE !! YES FOR FREE what I am now doing. BUT only do so if you seriously want more !
I will be posting further blogs to follow on with this information to look at where we go from the questions posed today. Blogging is my new passion, I have fun coupled with happiness and fulfilment.
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