Having problems keeping your company afloat? This blog post is for you!
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are now about 4 million businesses in the United States with less than 20 employees. That’s a lot of competition for everyone’s share of the profits!
We’ve pulled together some pointers on how to successfully navigate this competitive world and make sure your company is profitable year after year.
1) You’re not giving yourself enough time to plan ahead
Too many startups prematurely give up on their project because they didn’t see any change in company profits soon enough. Successful companies take careful planning and consideration before they launch. Planning takes time, but it pays off.
You have a lot to think about when you’re planning for a new business. You need to know how much money you have for startup costs, raise capital, attract investors and partners, plan the launch of your product or service and craft a well-written business plan. You also need to make sure you have a logical strategy for attracting customers from the start.
2) You’re not staying focused on what you do best
What can your company do better than anyone else? Do that better than everyone else! This is the best way to build a solid reputation as an expert in your field–and that’s a reputation that can bring in profits for years to come.
Of course, it takes a lot of work to build your reputation as an expert. If you’re just starting out, you have to find all the time in your schedule to go to trade shows and networking events. You also need to build a loyal customer base by continuously crafting new content to share with them. Then there’s the ongoing process of developing and testing new products and services for customers.
3) You’re not sticking with your industry plan
Successful companies make sure they stay on track with their sales strategy and their marketing plan no matter what obstacles they encounter along the way. It’s easy to put your company on hold after a certain project or sales spike. Successful companies stick with their plans no matter what obstacles they encounter.
If you’re not following through on your own industry plan, there’s a good chance that you’ll be out-competed and out-marketed by other companies in the sector who are doing it correctly! You’ll also lose customers to competitors who have better relationships with customers and more thoughtful marketing plans.
4) You’re not getting permission from customers before taking action
Maybe you think nobody cares what you’re doing as long as the project works as designed. A mistake entrepreneurs often make is just jumping into action without getting permission from customers first. This means that you’re not taking into account their real needs and concerns. You’ll end up causing confusion and frustration for customers and harming your company’s image.
One thing that customers really like is complete transparency and honesty from the people selling to them. They like to know what you’re doing and why, and they also want to know that you’re taking their needs into account while you’re working on the project.
5) You’re not selling the benefits of your products or services
Businesses can’t grow without offering their products or services for sale. That means you need to spend time making sure your customers are aware of the advantages of what you have to offer. The way to do this is through marketing efforts, but also by demonstrating how your product or service will make their lives better.
Without knowing there’s a benefit for them, customers won’t buy. You’ll end up causing confusion and frustration if you’re not spending time selling the benefits of your product or service to customers. This attitude can lead to weak sales numbers, which can ultimately lead to less profits for your company.
6) You’re not being thankful enough for what you have
Companies that are constantly trying to make more and more profits often forget to thank their customers and employees for what they already do. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on what is working in your company if you’re constantly hearing complaints from staff and customers about everything else.
Thanksgiving is a great time for businesses to reflect on anything they may be taking for granted. It’s also a great time to remind your team of appreciation for the work that they do every day, whether they like the job or not.
7) You’re not surrounding yourself with people who have been there before
It can be easy to get into a “lone wolf” mindset when you’re running your own business. Even CEOs that have been around for a while can fall victim to this mindset. It’s important to remember that nobody really has a crystal ball for the future.
Sometimes the most profitable thing you can do is surround yourself with people who have been there before and have advice for you on how to handle situations that could potentially damage your company’s reputation or income. Sometimes it’s good for company profits to take a step back and let other people work with customers, test products, or find new sources of funding.
8) You’re not having regular reviews of your goals vs. your progress
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that businesses can’t operate without goals. These goals could be based on sales, profit, or the overall health of your company. They should be specific and measurable.
You can’t always look at how profitable you are in the short term. Sometimes the best way to improve profits is to work to build name recognition for clients, build new products or services that could grow in popularity, or increase customer loyalty for client companies.
Being able to see clear goals for your business is an important trait for successful entrepreneurs because it keeps them motivated all year long. It’s easy to get distracted by other jobs or projects, so it can be helpful to write down the goals for your company every day. Having goals will keep you focused on the most important parts of your company.
9) You’re not asking yourself questions about customer needs
You’ll never be an expert in marketing until you become an expert in understanding what your customers want and need! This means asking yourself questions like: “Why did they buy from my company instead of another?” “How can I improve their satisfaction with my products and services?” and “Are there ways I could improve the shopping experience for them?”
These questions can help you understand where your strengths as a marketer really lie. It can also help you find new sources of business or find ways to better serve your current customers.
10) You’re not learning the lessons of other companies
Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from other successful entrepreneurs about how to run their own companies. Every time you hear about another business that’s run into obstacles or problems, try to figure out what happened and how they got out of the situation.
Sometimes you’ll find that there are common elements in companies that run into issues. For example, an entrepreneur may hear about another company that ruined their reputation by lying to customers or grossly overcharging for services.
After reading about other businesses in this way, it can be easier to focus on the company’s strengths and weaknesses when planning your next steps in business. You’ll also be able to avoid repeating the mistakes of other companies in your sector when you start up your own business.