10 Simple Business Strategies for Boosting Profitability

Practical business growth strategies can be hard to come by in the ever-changing market of today’s tech based business world.

Never ever stop learning.

If you stop learning you’re going to fall so far behind you risk never catching up! Seeking help from fellow entrepreneurs is probably the most sound advice anyone can follow in the business world. It may take some sweat equity and time investment, but it’s imperative that you are utilizing the most accurate info you can get your hands on. Integrating a new idea, product or software can sometimes be more challenging than finding said business growth tool!

Surviving the startup phase is, perhaps, the most challenging part of owning a business and if you’re at that stage I’d like to congratulate you!
Now let’s get you moving toward the next phase in business. If you’ve been in business for any length of time you know that information overload rears its ugly head often so let’s narrow down our field of possibilities to just the top 10 strategies you can run with today. Some of the best business decisions have been made by thinking outside the normal parameters of business and our challenge to you is to do the same with this list.

You may not see the immediate applicability of these ideas, but take some time to see how creative you can be in trying to work a new strategy into your business. The action takers in life are the success stories in life and we’re always super pumped to work with those that are ready and willing to take that leap in business (and in life, for that matter!).

1. Branch off to service another area.

If you’re bursting at the seams then it’s probably time to think about taking the next step in business expansion, be it physical or virtual (aha – did you catch that?!). Having a limited vision will simply keep your business limited as well. Your business (and your life) will only grow as big as your visions and aspirations are.

2. Stay in the black, stay in the black, stay in the black.

A lot of business owners lose sight of making a profit when thinking of growth and expansion. Keep sight of the purpose of your business – to make money!

3. Keep an eye on the market and have plans to take proactive measures.

Never become lackadaisical in keeping your finger on the pulse of your market, always be prepared to take the next step to stay in the game!

4. Staff your business with the best you can afford.

Your business is nothing without the foundation of its staffing.

5. Create a long and short term business plan.

As my Nana used to say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And it’s true in every aspect of life and business.

6. Keep ‘out of reach’ plans in a folder to call up when something shifts in your business.

While some of these strategies may not be possible at this point in your business there will typically come a time when they may prove highly profitable so make sure you keep them in your pocket to pull out when the timing is spot on.

7. Along the same lines as number 4 up there you need to evaluate your current staff.

Are they weighing you down? Are they weighing down your other employees or your clients? Just because a staff member is good at what they do that doesn’t mean you need to keep them on if they are inhibiting your company vision!

8. Duplicate your current winning strategies.

This may seem a bit remedial, but often times we can lose sight of the good things we do by focusing on plugging the ‘holes’ in weak areas. If you base your business practices on your strengths your weaknesses will eventually sort themselves out or become so minuscule they become irrelevant.

9. Implement systems to automate whatever doesn’t require immediate human attention.

This is not to say you need to take the connection (human connection that is) out of your business, but to redirect that human connection and interaction to profit producing activities versus repeating the same conversation fifteen times a day.

10. Ditch your company if it’s dragging you down.

What?! Yup you heard me – if you’ve got a parent company that is keeping your business from growing profitably then find a new one. There are very few (by few I really mean none) companies that cannot be replaced with a similar counterpart. So if you can’t work out a mutually beneficial relationship then move on baby!

 

Taking any or all of these steps in your business will shed light on the areas you can improve on and the areas that may need some attention. Just make sure you take one step at a time, evaluate your progress and make small changes if needed. Keeping in mind to work from your company’s strengths versus focusing on mitigating weaknesses will ensure that your company goal and vision remain at the forefront (where they belong) which will ultimately result in happy (and paying) customers.

Business growth through evolution is our trade. We empower small business growth by providing owners with the tools and practical steps to expand profits as fast and easy as possible. Constant evolution is the only effective business growth strategy in today’s market.

 

By Elizabeth Carbonaro

http://www.EliteBusinessEvolution.com

 

Starting your own business: 10 Truths Experts Wont Tell You

I want you to know something. Starting your own business is wonderful. You wake up when you want, work from where you want and never have to sit through a boring-ass ‘weekly planning meeting’ EVER AGAIN. Rocking.

However. This freedom does not come on a platter. You don’t wake up one and go ‘oh I seem to have stumbled on the perfect life. Ho ho. Tea and toast, Jeeves’.

(Because that’s just what my mornings look like. Ahem)

So let’s take a down-and-dirty look at what really goes on in a fledgling business. This isn’t a negative article, it’s just the less sexy bits that get left out of the ‘how I made it stories’. I think you deserve to know it all so today I’m sharing these 10 truths with you.

The below is your psychic ball to know what’s up ahead so you can be ready to ride through this messy, beautiful journey and make your free range life happen.

Let’s get to it:

 

1. The business you start with won’t be the one you end up with.

The first version of your idea will be wrong. People won’t want it, or you won’t want to do it. More than likely:

Your first website won’t be your last

Neither will your first brand name

And that’s a good thing.

Your business is a living creature, not a statue. Until you’re in the field it’s hard to know what it’s really like to live with, and when you get there you’ll soon learn what you need to change. Sometimes the answer is ‘almost everything’.

So don’t spend too much on that first logo.

 

2. You will want to quit

More than once you will think you have made a huge mistake even starting this.

You will think you were crazy for even contemplating that you could run a business.

You’ll think you’re an imposter.

That’s when you know you’re on to something good.

 

3. Your family and friends won’t get it

Start your business and more than likely:

Aunt Maude will think you made a mistake.

Your buddy Sam won’t hold back letting you know how many businesses fail.

Others in your life will be ‘supportive’ but never actually understand what you do.

Many will miss the days they could put you into a box and say “she’s a lawyer”.

At least some of your friendship groups will change.

Honey let’s get real here. What is more important: your happiness every day, or someone else’s mild discomfort at introducing you at weddings? Sticking with the friends who count or the ones who only empathise because you both hate what you do? Following the beige army’s footsteps or living your real life? (you only get the one, you know)

Isn’t escaping from a box that doesn’t fit precisely the reason you are here?

 

4. There’s no such thing as an overnight success

You will work your butt off to get your first 10 clients. They will be the hardest ones to get.

You might look at a successful person in your field and say “I want what they have… but without doing the graft that let them achieve that”. They will look back at you and say “good luck, and if you find that easy button let us know”.

What counts is DOING (smartly). You can learn all the strategies in the world but unless you DO them they are worth nothing.

Are there overnight successes out there?

I admit it, the successes, they were ‘made overnight’: over many, many nights of late toil. With coffee and the company of streetlights.

They wanted to quit, they thought they made a mistake but they kept going and going until one day someone said “hey you’re an overnight success, I wish I could be as lucky as you!” (you can be, by the way. Just do the above.)

 

5. Your number of Twitter followers doesn’t count

There are a lot of things you can buy to look like  a business: you can rent an office, get good business cards, have a nice website made up by a hot designer, and yes you can even ‘buy’ Twitter followers and Facebook fans.

There might be good reasons for you to do all of these things. I’m not judging. However. None of these are enough on their own. You can easily sit in your office with nice cards, 10,000 followers and a cutting edge website… with no clients and no money.

A business ‘shell’ is not a business.

It is one thing to build something that looks like a business. It is another to build that moment of magic where people love what you do, get it, and hand you money to do it some more.

Know the difference.

 

6. No one owes you a paycheque

I once heard someone say “no one is buying my ebook. I wrote it and created a website but no one is buying. I put so much time and effort into it already, I shouldn’t have to put any more into promoting it!”

Yes, you should. You are not an employee.

No one owes you a paycheque. No one owes you their money. No one owes you their attention.

It’s up to you to make your offer worth their attention, work their money and work a paycheque.

Showing up to work is not enough.

The value you bring is not just the content or the service. A huge whack of your value is presenting what you offer so GET IT. Don’t set yourself up to be ignored as one of the shouting hordes, but create an environment so people WANT what you have on the table. Desperately. Enough to pay for it, now.

Learning how to sell is 50% of the journey (so don’t waste all your start up time on creating a product you have no idea how to communicate and waiting for a paycheque). Instead, live in your clients’ heads. Learn how to show them the value of what you do so that they want it, really want it, and pay to prove it too.

 

7. It’s not all cocktail parties and CEO moments. 

In the early days you will do it all. Forget the glamour of ‘having your own business’. For the first few months that just means “I sweep the floors, as well as meet the clients”.

Later you can (and should) outsource the parts you don’t love. But if you outsource something before you understand it, you’ll find it slide to a halt all too soon.

The only way to understand something? Do it yourself, first time round. Keep notes on how you did it and the mistakes you made and what you learnt. Then pass it on. Of course, by then you’ll be taking control and acting like a free range human.

You will also be handy with a broom.

 

8. Your dream life does not come with your dream business

You’re not doing this just to ‘be an entrepreneur’ (you’d be reading another blog if you were).

You’re doing this for a reason: to build a life that you love. To spend time with the people and places that mean something to you. You have a vision of what you want to contribute to the world, of doing something that makes you come alive every day, and your business is your vehicle to get it.

Never lose sight of that. That groundwork, knowing what you’re in this for, is crucial.

If you just ‘build a business’ without considering ‘you’, then you’ll end up in a cage of your own making. This time there will be no boss to blame.

Getting free is a conscious decision, not a gift that comes with self employment or a job title.

More important than just “I have a business” is sticking true to what you want and crafting each element of your business to suit you and your life.

That takes guts.

You’re not building a business, you’re creating a life. And that, my dear, starts with you.

 

9. You wouldn’t give this up for the world

Once you get into the free range life, you’ll know two things

1) the above is true

and

2) you wouldn’t give this up for the world.

The payoff of being your own boss is bigger than a paycheque.

I read some research recently showing that self employed humans are happier than employed humans, and it clicked instantly.

When you are self employed, you get validated every time someone likes you enough to hand over money and buy from you (when did you ever feel that praised by your boss?).You get to do every part of the business you want to (see that chicken logo at the top? I drew him, cause I wanted to). And you get to be YOU every day.

It’s like becoming a grown up for the first time.

You’ll get addicted to this life. And that’s when you know you’ve made it.

 

10. You get to make your own rules.

Hey you’re a free range human! Want to include 10 points when the article asks for 9? Do it. Like this 🙂

Seriously. I want you to know this honey: the hardest part is understanding, truly understanding, that you make up your own rules. And then grasping that opportunity with both hands.

With no boss to hold you back, and no boss to blame, it’s down to you to make magic happen on your own terms.

To me that is the most wonderful thing in the world.

 

About the Author: Marianne Cantwell runs Free Range Humans. She helps women create and tweak their business to fit their personality and lifestyle, while growing their profits. A self confessed geek on both marketing and happiness, Marianne is combining these two usually very different topics into a book about free range businesses, (to be published in 2012). For more tips on breaking the rules and making your business work for you (not the other way around), subscribe to her blog and Friday ‘love letter’ at http://www.free-range-humans.com (and follow her on Twitter @freerangehumans)

 

Fear Revisited: How to overcome the F word

When we feel fear it is our minds way of warning us that we are about to embark on something that could harm us either emotionally, physically or both. Fear is a learned survival system which typically evokes the infamous fight or flight response in us. However fears can be unnecessary and so it is important to challenge those that we feel are getting in the way of us achieving our business and personal goals. Is fear getting in your way? Well you can overcome this brick wall by Continue reading “Fear Revisited: How to overcome the F word”

The art of handling criticism gracefully

 

‘Conventional people are roused to fury by departure from convention, largely because they regard such departure as a criticism of themselves.’
~Bertrand Russell

If you’re going to do anything interesting in the world, criticism is an unavoidable fact.

You’ll be criticized, because you’ll make mistakes, because some will be jealous, because people have opinions about anything interesting, because people want to help you, because some want to drag down those doing anything different.

The trick to navigating the icebergs of criticism is to figure out which are helpful, and Continue reading “The art of handling criticism gracefully”

How not to be your business’s worst enemy

When it comes to running a Business and how successful that Business ultimately turns out to be, can we in fact be our own worst enemy, getting in our own way of developing, progressing and growing?

Gremlins in The Cogs

At first glance you might dismiss the above question as ridiculous – perhaps you feel that you’ve an entirely open mind when it comes to planning the route that your particular Business will take throughout it’s ‘lifetime’ indeed you might, but as you begin to let the question sink in, are you starting to ask yourself some probing questions?  Do you Continue reading “How not to be your business’s worst enemy”

Web therapy: things to remember when launching a new website.

We had a request for a web therapy session for a website that was having a revamp and went live just last month.

I stopped by to have a poke around and wrote this advice based on what you need to think about when you’re launching a new website.

www.kidz4mation is a company that runs workshops to help children overcome and deal with issues such as confidence bullying, anxiety and low self esteem. It is aimed at primary school children. Their workshops can be run either during or after school hours.

First impressions

The colours are Continue reading “Web therapy: things to remember when launching a new website.”