Fundamentals of Building Your Business Successfully

There is more to building a successful business than your business cards or the
filling out the right paperwork. If you are just starting out or have been around
for a while you need to have a savvy business plan that includes some of the
strategy included here.

Community

Be a part of your community. Share your knowledge base with anyone that you can. By
sharing with others in your community you will pick up leads just because most will
like your sharing nature. Also helps other to get to know you. Identify your
customers is kind of a duh, as this offers insight as to what your customers need
and are willing to purchase. You can do some market research on your own just like
the big boys or you can ask your current customers what they are looking for and
why they shopped your store. Another way is to go online and see what people that
buy your type of products also purchase; this will give you some complementary
products to offer your customers.

Encourage

Encourage a good office environment as acquiring new employees and training them
can be a costly endeavor and keeping good people is an advantage. It is good for
your customers as well, that way they become familiar with your staff of friendly
helpful people.

Invest

Invest in the basics which differs depending on the type of business that you have.
Don’t go without some of the basics, good phone system, Website including a mobile
friendly site as well. These should be connected to any advertising that you have
running currently. Think about getting new employees before you need them so that
you are not training them when business gets busy. That means if you need people
for the summer months don’t wait until June to hire and train them.

Listen

Listen, even when you disagree, actually that is the most important time to listen.
The opinion of your Customers, employees and purveyors is always important; you
never know what you are likely to learn from them. It might be a new product coming
up that your purveyor didn’t know or tell you about. It could be one of your
employees that are giving extra good customer service (that should be rewarded) or
that an employee gave a customer too much discount. You just never know what you
are going to learn by Listening. One of my favorite sayings is “God gave you 2 ears
and 1 mouth, what do you think that He was trying to tell you? Listen twice as much
as you talk.”

Plan

Plan conservatively by setting realistic goals while you are looking toward the
future. This one idea can help you make it or break it each year. Aiming for a
lofty goal can derail your business in a heartbeat as your net profit falls short
of what you have planned for.

Mentor

Have a mentor help and encourage you at every step of your planning process. He /
she will be one of the cheapest expenses that you will have as they can bring
insight where you may not understand what is happening when sales fall off and it
may be as simple as the time of year when your customers leave town for spring
break. If you didn’t know this you might lay off employees and all that you needed
to do was to give them a day or two off.
This person can also be a guide for finding new products, services that you can
offer. Or it can be as simple as how to handle difficult customers. Or where to
find the hard to find customers. Where you can cut corners and where it would not
be a good idea to try and save money. Help keep you motivated even when times are
tough, and maybe even find a new customer that you never thought of asking.

Professional bookkeeper

Have a professional keeping the books. You might say, but I can do that. Sure you
can but you need to focus on other aspects of your business. I will tell you just
like I was once told about this. Would you have a Photographer tell you what you
need to fix on your car if you heard a clicking coming from your frontend? Would
you ask a Florist if you need a tooth filled or replaced with a crown? If you
answered no to either of these then you do not need to be keeping you own books.