The A to Z of Business Success

Every business owner aspires for their business to be successful. In order to do this, every business owner needs to challenge the status quo and develop new strategies to move their business forward. This article will give you a few ideas to develop and grow your business.

ATTAINABLE – The goals that you have for your business must be attainable, you must be able to achieve them. If the goal is unrealistic then you will never feel that you have achieved anything at all. Set a goal with a certain time frame that you believe is attainable and then work towards achieving them. Create a 90 Action plan for your attainable goals and put it up on the wall to remind you of what you want to achieve and by when.

ADVERTISE products and/or services you have on offer to current and new customers. If you can’t see it, you can’t sell it. Don’t assume that your customers and the general public know about your complete range of goods and services. However – be warned not everybody will be interested in your complete range. Get to know them, find out what they need. Ask them what they would buy from you and then work out how you are going to advertise your products and services.

BUDGET – Always measure your business revenue and expenses against your budget. Are revenue and expenses higher or lower than expected? Why? Every business needs a benchmark to measure performance against and the best way to measure performance is through Sales and Profitability. You need to have a guideline as to what you expect from your business, and a budget will provide a financial baseline for that.

CREDIBLE – All business dealings must be honest. Bad news travels faster than good news. If you swindle someone, it is bound to come back to you and reflect badly on your business. Your products and services must do what you claim they do, and your customers will recommend them to others.

CREATE the business that you want. Does your business meet your expectations? In what areas can you improve your business? This is probably the hardest thing that you will ever do; however, in order for your business to survive, you must be able to look at what it does objectively and make honest assessments about it. You need to ascertain areas that you can improve on in your business in order to create the business you want.

DELIVER the best quality service possible. This is not an old fashioned folk-lore. People still do appreciate good quality service, however these days some customers don’t expect it. So surprise them and make a good impression and exceed their expectations by delivering the best quality service possible. You will be surprised on the response and the referrals you will get.

DELEGATE all the tasks that someone else can do for you and free up your time to do the tasks that only you can do.

Your staff need to become less dependent on you, they need to make basic decisions on their own. If you do everything for them, they will come to expect it, and they will ask for your advice on absolutely everything. So, sit back and allow them to do their jobs while you complete the tasks that only you can do. Use a task manager to help manage and delegate tasks. At the end of the day you should reflect on what you have done and ascertain how effective you have been.

ENCOURAGE your staff to ensure they perform at their best. Encouragement will provide your staff with motivation to achieve their best. Why not reward them for fulfilling business goals and encourage them to assist in building the business. They need to feel like they are a part of the decision making process in order to build the business.

EAT healthy food and exercise regularly in order to keep yourself well and motivated and therefore better able to handle all the challenges that may come forward. You must look after yourself first and foremost before you are able to look after your business. If you work yourself too hard, your business, family and health may suffer.

FREE – Give away something for free, your customers will love it and they won’t be expecting it. It doesn’t have to cost you a lot, but appreciating your customers will go a long way. Start sending Christmas cards or birthday cards, your customers will certainly remember your thoughtfulness.

GRATITUDE – Be grateful for what you do have. How would you manage without it? We are all striving to succeed and fulfil our goals, but in the process we must appreciate what we do have and how far we have gone to achieve it.

HELP your staff only when they need it. What would they do if you were not available? Trust your staff to make the right decision or to come up with a solution. Your staff have been chosen by you to do their job. They have experience in their role and they have common sense, so give them enough room to perform their job, but be close enough so that can ask you for assistance if they require it.

IRRESISTIBLE – Ensure that irresistible products and services are always on offer for your customers. Make sure they can’t say no. Make your products and services better than everyone else’s to be sure that your customers come back for more.

JUST IN TIME SOLUTIONS for your business challenges can be devised through Business and/or Executive Coaching. Together with you, a business coach can help you to work out solutions to your challenges that can be used instantly to help your business move forward. Having an external point of view to your business will bring new ideas and concepts to the table. Have someone that can hold you accountable for your tasks, so that you do what is needed to be done. There should be no excuses. Why not get a business coach and have a trial session to see if they can help you unleash your business potential. Visit www.yoursuccess.com.au for more information about Business and Executive Coaching. 

JOB DESCRIPTIONS must be written for all your staff. This will ensure that they all know what is required of them, and also you will know what duties they have agreed to. This will allow them to perform at their best because everyone will know what is required of them. Develop the job descriptions together, your staff are more likely to agree to the job descriptions and you can better utilise their core competencies in your business.

KEEP it simple. Keep a journal of all your business processes, so that if the regular person isn’t available, someone else can perform some relief work. A simple set of business processes that can be referenced when needed is an excellent way to recover from a potentially challenging day. This can be completed by each of your employees and it will also ensure that they are performing what is required of them. Why not start documenting your common tasks today and put them where you can easily reference them.

LISTEN to your customers. What goods and/or services do they want? How do they value your goods and/or services?

If you are unsure about what goods and/or services to stock, then ask your customers as they are the best source of this information, then you can be assured that you will have the correct amount stock. Ask the next customer what they think of your store, your products, etc.

MARKETING PLANS are the ways your business is going to develop and how you are going to achieve them. Your business requires direction in order for it to grow and your marketing plan is the starting point for providing goods and services that your customers will want at a price that they are prepared to pay for. Make this a proactive session with your staff as they will have ideas as well. Once you have written the plan don’t put it on the shelf to gather dust; create action plans to achieve what you have decided. Remember to review your plan on a regular basis to ensure you are on track and your marketing is working.

NEGOTIATE with your suppliers for a better deal. If you are not happy with what they have on offer, can you get it from someone else? If you don’t ask, you don’t get. If your supplier is out of stock, are other suppliers out of stock?

Don’t just rely on one supplier; they may swindle you and what will happen if they are out of stock of your top selling items? Make sure that you have everything that you need from that supplier including any details about out of stock items or stock specials.

OPPORTUNITY – Assess every opportunity to see if it will make a profit. Will it cover your wages and your overheads?

Not every opportunity that presents itself to your business may be good for your business. So, each opportunity must be assessed on its own merits. If you do lose out on what seems to be a good opportunity, just learn from it and move on, there is an even better opportunity waiting for you just around the corner. Create a checklist of the main points an opportunity should cover before you spend the time and effort in it, and then use it when an opportunity arises.

Eventually it will become second nature to you and you will be able to identify the good from the bad opportunities quickly.

PROFITS – What is your Gross Profit? What is your Net Profit? Do you know how much money your business is making?

If you don’t know how much money your business is making then now is the right time to find out. If you are not capable of doing the book-keeping yourself, then employ someone to do it for you. After all obtaining profits is what you are in business for and you need to make sure that your business is making profits. Check your books today and find out how much profit you are making.

PRODUCTS/SERVICES DIFFERENTIATION – How are your products/services different to every one else’s? Why do your customers buy from you? It is a very competitive world out there and you need to entice customers to buy from you, so advertise your point of difference. What makes your products and services better? You may need to ask your customers these pertinent questions in order to obtain the answers. Your staff may have an idea also why your products and services are selling. Why not develop a short survey that your customers can quickly and easily response too. This is a great way of getting this information.

QUICK SALE – Will that Sale make a profit? Not every sale will make a profit. But you need to know which items are profitable and which items are not profitable. Where are these items situated in your store? Are complementary items (items that are used together) available? A customer may have come into your store for a quick sale, but what other items have they purchased too? Be sure to put goods that are used together next to each other in your store in order to obtain a quick sale. For example, put batteries near your torches. Check your layout today. Whether it is a store or a website, the way you present the products you sell can affect your sales. You could be missing out on more sales.

REVENUE – How much Revenue do your need per week/month to break even? This is imperative as you will need to know if sales are a bit slow so that you can organise strategies to increase them. But if you don’t know what your revenue is, how can you improve on it? How can you pay your expenses? Work out all of your monthly expenses to ascertain how much revenue you need per month. Utilise the Business Builder to work out what your break-even point is.

SAVE time by planning ahead what you would like to achieve during a specific time. A business needs to plan to succeed and a business owner needs to plan his/her time in order to succeed. Good time management skills enable you to achieve your most critical tasks first and make you feel more successful. Use a Weekly Planner tool to help you to delegate your time more efficiently.

TIMELINE – Are your goals set to a time-line or are they merely wishes? You need to approximate how long it will take you to complete a goal or when the results are required by in order to achieve them. An open ended goal with no time attached to it is merely a wish that you would like to complete. To ensure its completion, attach a time that you are willing to commit to.

TARGET MARKET – Is a group of individuals or businesses that would use your products and services. You need to be sure of whom you are selling to so that you can design your products, services and advertising to meet their needs.

Pick specific groups of people or businesses to market your products and services to and you will be sure of better results.

UNBELIEVABLE EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE – Treat your customers how you like to be treated. If the service is that good, you will be sure that customers will come back for more. They will also tell their family and friends about your service too. However, if you give poor service they will also remember and they will complain to their friends and family. Just remember to treat customers how you like to be treated. Reward every customer with a smile and thank them because without them you don’t have a business.

UPSELL your products and/or services; what other products and/or services could accompany the sale? Why not stock those products together? Ask customers when they are making the purchase if they have the associated product/service for that item. You will be amazed at how much the sales will increase if you employ this tactic alone.

Take note of what people buy and which products work well together. Your customers will tell you want they want.

Utilize this information in your sales techniques, advertising and customer relations.

VIRTUALISE your ideas – What would be the likely result? Ask your friends, relatives or your business coach what they think may happen? Draw a picture or find a picture of the result you want. A picture says a thousand words and people around you can share your vision too! Put it up on the wall to remind you and your staff of the overall goal.

WHEN is it the right time to make business improvements? Now – ask your staff – have they got more efficient ways for achieving objectives or goals? Why wait? The world is full of indecisive people whom stand on the fence when it comes to making decisions. Why not use a decision making tool like the Decision Matrix to help you with your decision.

WHAT do your customers want? Have you asked them what they want from your business? They are the first people you should be asking about what products and services to supply them. Just ask – they could come up with some really great ideas. Do this every time you have contact with one of your customers.

EXAMINE procedures as though you are looking at them for the first time – do they make sense? Will someone filling in be able to follow these procedures? All procedures need to be clear and concise so that someone reading them for the very first time that knows nothing about your business can understand and follow them. Get someone who doesn’t normally do the task to follow the procedure. They will identify any gaps that you may have neglected to specify because the procedure is second nature to you.

YOU can do it. Plan what you want to achieve, write it down, write down the steps to completion. You can achieve that goal. Let people that are close to you know about your plans, then you are more likely to achieve them. Develop some S.M.A.R.T. goals and work towards them today.

ZEALOUS NATURE – Enjoy what you are doing – people will see it and recognize your efforts. Your customers and staff will be happier too! When people do what they love and enjoy it is obvious to all around and it will draw potential customers to you.