Here are 10 tips to improve your business and increase your profit!

1. Have a clear End Game;
If you imagine your perfect business scenario, what does it look like? Maybe you’re conducting business on your laptop in your backyard. Maybe it’s the competent retail staff at the shop-front while you’re relaxing on a beach working ON your business. Maybe you work part-time while delegating the heavy lifting to your team. Be specific. What do you need your business to look like for you? That’s your End Game and that’s what you can start planning towards.

2. Develop systems or strategies;
You’ll never take that holiday if you need to be there to answer questions every day. Develop AND document a system of steps for your staff to complete their tasks. Be specific. Now your staff know HOW you like things done and they have a reference manual to refer to when you’re not there.

3. Don’t BE the business;
You will never find someone who loves your business the way you do. Accept it, but if everything is done by you, because you are the only person who does it ‘right’, then you’ll never get to sip cocktails by the pool. You are not your business. You are You. Sometimes it can be hard to separate one from the other when you live and breathe your business ideas. Aim to have your day-to-day business as a system of procedures that ensure things are done the ‘right’ way (see point 2 above) and then you can relax … in that pool … knowing things are being done your way.

4. Know your Dollar$;
Don’t assume because there’s sales being made and some money in your bank, that your business must be OK. Find yourself an online accounting software program, such as Xero, where your business transactions are automatically imported overnight and check out your monthly Profit & Loss. Have a Budget – it gives you something to work towards. Call your accountant (I don’t bite!!) and have those conversations. Waiting until your tax return is done, once a year, is TOO long to wait to see how your business is performing for you.

5. Check your pricing;
It’s tempting to sell cheaply, just to get that sale. But that sale is no good if it didn’t result in a profit! This is where knowing your numbers is vital. You might have bought wholesale for $10 and sold it for $13 but after you factor in staff costs, rent, insurance, telephone, not to mention Your wage…you might have made a loss on that sale. And that’s not good.

6. Lack of customer relationships;
People spend money with their emotions. They like situations where they feel cared for and listened to. They don’t like situations where they feel unimportant and rushed. If you walked into your business as a customer, what experience would you look forward to? Maybe it’s the complimentary 2 mins neck massage before you get your haircut; maybe it’s that the receptionist already knows your favourite coffee order; maybe it’s the chocolate heart that’ll arrive in the mail with your online purchase. What is it that makes your customers feel cared for and valued when they spend money with you, rather than your competitors.

7. Attract your Target Market;
You can’t hang up a sign and wait for customers anymore. Mainly because you’ll be waiting a long time, not everyone has time these days to meander around the shops to find you. Define your target market. What does your ideal customer look like? Be specific. How old are they? Are they male or female? Do they have kids? What job do they have? Now you have a clear picture of them, where do they hang out? If your target market is mums with young kids, maybe they’re at the local playground. Maybe you could be there too…. handing out flyers and connecting with your target market.

8. Marketing for your customers;
What are your customers really buying when they spend money with you? As a woman, when I go to my hairdresser, I’m not just buying a haircut (OK, and a hair colour too), I’m buying time….alone….away from work and away from kids. Me Time. Show me, through your advertising material, HOW I’ll get that Me Time if I spend my money with you. My hairdresser also gives me a 2 min neck massage and a Tim Tam with my coffee (see point 6 above) ….. it’s wonderful!

9. Invest in you;
Nobody wants to admit this, but even as The Owner, we don’t know it all. And even if we used to know it all, the world changes so fast these days. Someone once said that the most dangerous phrase in business is “We’ve always done it this way” and they were right. Always look to learn new things, new ways, new efficiencies. Take that course, attend that seminar, meet with a mentor, read that book, make time with your accountant, INVEST in your knowledge. Not all investments need to cost money either, books can be borrowed from a library, free groups can be found on Facebook and free presentations can be found on YouTube.

10. Get Support;
Being in business can be a lonely road. Two heads are always better than one so find some other business owners to hang out with. To bounce ideas off. Just to have a coffee with to maintain some sanity! Find out when your local chamber of commerce meets, google some local networking groups, join a Facebook business group and shout-out for a catch up.

If you’d like more information on growing your business and how to implement any of the above tips, come and see us at Melissa Purnell Accountants.
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