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8 Ways To Spring Clean Your Business For Success

Each year your business needs to undergo a checkup. No matter how large or small your operation is, you need to gauge its effectiveness and analyze changes you’ve made.

Here are 8 questions to get you started:

1. How do your year-to-date sales compare to the last couple of years? 

You want to make sure you're observing growth. If sales stayed the same then you’ve achieved zero growth. With inflation, this flat growth line is a warning sign for more trouble down the road.

What percentage of your business is from repeat customers? This is important to know because if it’s too low, then it needs to be improved. 

The estimated cost of getting a new customer versus retaining an existing one can be as much as five to one in terms of dollars spent. Keeping customers is more cost-effective than constantly seeking new ones.

How long has it been since you offered a new product or service? Loyal customers like to see you changing and progressing with the times. If you’re stuck for an idea, ask your customers what they need.

2. What are your marketing and advertising expenses or investments? How you look at the money spent in these areas affects your willingness to spend money at all. 

Marketing is really investing in your vision and your company. Would you look at prescriptions as a waste of money?  The old adage that you must spend money to make money is true, but you must spend it wisely. Analyze those areas in which you used your marketing and advertising budget. Are those ads creating engagement, pulling in responses, and producing sales. If they’re not, it's time to make changes and develop a new marketing strategy.

3. Do you know what PR is and how to use it to positively position your business in the media? 

Nearly every mention of a company or business in the newspapers and magazines is a direct result of publicity efforts. Being quoted or featured in an article speaks volumes to your clients and readers who are your potential prospects. 

A good PR consultant can do that for you and show you ways to extend the shelf life of that article beyond its publication. So consider developing a PR strategy or hiring someone to do it for you.

4. Are you listed in business directories? 

Listing your business in directories are critical for SEO and even more essential when local SEO apart of your business model. Make sure you have a listing in the top 10 major directories and that your information is listed the same across the board.

5. Do your customers feel special and valued? regular customers better than your drop-ins? 

Do you provide your regular customers with VIP services? You should. 
If your customers don’t feel special when coming to you for products or services, why should they remain loyal to you? 

Have a customer appreciation day or a special invitation only sale for your regulars. Create a mailing list of your regulars. Send occasional post cards or greeting cards for special events or just to keep in touch. 

Learn to recognize them on sight and greet them by name when they visit you.

6. How long has it been since you really talked to one of your customers? 

Just as you appreciate when a business you patron takes time to talk to you, your customers will appreciate you if you take an interest in their needs. 

If you have a service business, have lunch or coffee periodically with some regulars – even if they only contact you once or twice a year. The personal touch in an impersonal world will be remembered.

7. How is your business doing compared to your competition? 

Every company, no matter what the size, has competition – even home-based businesses. Is their business growing or downsizing? 

Is their pricing or service better than yours? If so, what can you tell potential customers about the price difference? Think about how you can improve your service to meet or exceed your customer’s expectations.

8 Are your employees happy? 

Don’t ask them directly, but observe them throughout the day. Watch, listen and learn. And possibly create an anonymous survey and be open to their feedback.

Employees who like their jobs don’t watch the clock for quitting time, aren’t habitually late, don’t have poor body language, don’t spend time on personal phone calls, and don’t look like they never smiled. 

Observe how they interact with customers. Not everyone is a match for direct contact with the public, so make sure you don’t have an employee who is driving business away. Encourage them to use customer service both in-person and on the phone. Encourage them to smile while on the phone with the customer. When you smile as you talk on the phone, the exchange with the client becomes more pleasant and more productive

In addition, you want great employees to stay and be happy with the company. Great employees are the cornerstone of your company.
If you can complete everything, then focus on one or two things than will really help your business operations. While nice it doesn't have to all be complete by spring. You should always be analyzing and making the needed changes to improve business.

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