When starting or reviewing your small business, use the following six steps to steer it in the right direction and maximise your potential for success.
1. Know where your vision lies.
Define your values and beliefs, align these with your vision, and keep this front of mind in every decision you make. If you are pushing your business in a direction that goes against what you value you will never be happy.
2. Check the existing position of the business
The industry it operates in and the niche it fills. Is your business achieving all it can in its niche, or is there an additional niche that could be explored? Is there any potential for organic or acquisitive growth?
3. Surround yourself with your champions
Have a look at your business’s structure, the existing people you have, and the skills and experience they possess. If they are not benefitting your business, either train them up, or ship them out. It’s also worth considering whether you should keep those bad vendors or customers. Could it be time to cut ties? Finally, have a look at your own motivation, positivity and organisational skills. Are you being your own champion, or could something be done to improve your outlook?
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4. Check your own required level of financial comfort.
There are many personal values that business owners need to take into account when considering this – the desire for affluence, propensity for risk, attitude toward debt and personal budgeting. Once you have identified your own beliefs and needs, look at the financial position of the business, and whether it needs to be maintained as is, improved, or even downgraded.
5. Examine all potential marketing avenues
to see whether changing, increasing or decreasing marketing might have a beneficial effect to small business success. Many businesses (especially micro ones) get by without a comprehensive marketing plan; however, even if there is only going to be a small marketing effort, it should still be well considered and effectively executed.
6. Is the business as efficient and effective as it can be
in areas such as cost management, quality of product or service, speed, steadiness and flexibility? Again, many of these matters relate back to your own values and beliefs – so those must be taken into account when looking at operations.
Again, many of these matters relate back to your own values and beliefs – so those must be taken into account when looking at operations.
What other key steps would you suggest that help lead to small business success?