Time to Give Your Business a Tune up
It's easy to get bogged down with day-to-day [activities/tasks] and forget to look at the big picture. Or maybe you take stock of things at the end of each year, but don't bother to check-in throughout the year to ensure you're on track towards achieving your company's goals.
Regardless of the reason, consider using this as an opportunity to evaluate the current state of your business and to determine what you need to do to get back on track to where you want it to be.
Rediscover Your Business Plan
Remember the plan you created when you started your business? You know, the one that outlined what you wanted to do with your company and how you would achieve your goals? It's time to blow the dust off your business plan and look at it with fresh eyes.
Business plans are often set aside after they are completed. Consider keeping your business plan accessible so that you can refer back to it frequently. Keeping your goals close-at-hand can help you stay on track towards achieving them.
And don't be afraid to update your business plan. It's not set in stone! As business strategies change, make sure to keep your plan updated.
Look at Goals
If you set sales and revenue goals each year, take a moment to review them. Over the past few years, have you met, exceeded, or fallen short of your goals? Have you noticed any trends? If you haven't met your goals, consider adjusting them to reflect more realistic thresholds or volumes. On the flip side, if you're consistently exceeding goals, consider challenging yourself by raising the bar and aiming even higher.
Also, consider what other goals you would like to achieve. For example, one of your goals may be to reach 10,000 followers on Twitter or Facebook. Don't forget to consider how your goals will translate into business growth. For instance, if you have 10,000 followers on Twitter, and have a 1% conversion rate, it means that you can expect 100 people to click a link through Twitter to make a purchase.
Another important component of goal setting is establishing accountability. Designate an individual as the owner of a particular goal and work with that individual to outline what is required to achieve that goal. For example, if your goal is to increase sales by 45% in a year, your plan might look like this:
Goal owner: Ted, VP of Sales
- Look at current client list and create marketing plan to upsell most popular products;
- Join industry group and attend weekly meetings to generate new leads;
- Follow up each sale with a personal call from customer service.
Assess Your Marketing Tools
Another document worth reviewing is your marketing plan. Given the frequency with which marketing tools change, and given all the new tools available, you should carefully assess which strategies are working, and which aren't.
Make adjustments as necessary. Shift resources into the tools that are leading to better results. Using web analytics and tracking can help you to figure out which lead sources are resulting in greater traffic and sales.
As you can see, the goal of increasing sales is now defined by specific steps to help make it a reality.
Talk to Your Staff
Another great way to gauge how your business is doing is to ask your staff. Employees should be included in the conversation: from accounting and sales to the warehouse. What do they see as your company's strengths? Where should you focus more attention? What are your customers saying? Seeking employee feedback can provide valuable insight.
Develop a Plan to Check-in on your Plan
Now that you're familiar with some of the things you can do to help evaluate the current state of your business, consider creating a plan to check-in more often. It can be as simple as reviewing and tracking your goals on a monthly-basis, assigning tasks to help achieve a goal to an employee, holding a meeting every quarter to assess your marketing strategy, or meeting informally with various departments to talk about your overall business strategy.
This article is for informational purposes only and it is not intended to provide you with any personalized financial, marketing, accounting or tax advice. Neither Moneris Solutions Corporation (Moneris) nor any of its affiliates shall be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising out of use of any of the information contained in this article. Neither Moneris nor any of its affiliates warrant or make any representation regarding the use or the results of the use of the information, content and materials contained in this article in terms of their correctness, accuracy, reliability or otherwise.
About the Author
Moneris processes more than 3 billion credit and debit card transactions a year, for over 350,000 merchant locations across North America. We have over 1,300 dedicated employees who understand transaction processing and know how to make it work for you.Follow on Twitter More Content by Moneris