10 “Business fit gym tips”
1. Management Information
Ensure you have some and that you understand what it means. At the very least ensure that you know what cash you have in the bank, your debtors and your creditors at any point in time. Employ a bookkeeper if necessary that can provide these figures to you on a weekly basis.
2. Sales and marketing
Without sales you have nothing. Different marketing techniques work for different business types. Understand what works for your business and ensure that you (or one of your team) allocate an appropriate amount of time to marketing every week. Ensure that your business is seen.
3. Manage Time and Delegate
If it’s not beneficial to your business – don’t do it! Focus and don’t be distracted. Block out time in your diary to undertake specific tasks i.e. spend time on marketing. Stick to it!
4. Plan and Communicate
Probably you have a plan for your business but writing it down will help make it happen and ensure that you don’t just drift along. Review your plan regularly, revise it if necessary. Communicate your plan to your team, share your vision and ensure that you are all working towards the same goal.
5. Get a good team to support you
Investment in a good team will far outweigh the cost of a bad one. Delegate to your team. This will empower them and free up your time.
6. Processes and procedures
Ensure that there are systems and procedures in place wherever possible and that these are communicated to staff in an operations manual. This will help them to operate the business and not be dependant upon your input. Again, this frees up your time!
7. Know Your Competitors
Its always good to know what your competitors are up to. How they “sell” themselves, their pricing structure and any offers they may be making. What are their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to your own? Can you exploit their weaknesses?
8. Retain Satisfied Customers
The 80/20 Rule – the Law of the Vital Few. 80% of your sales are likely to come from 20% of your clients. Look after them and show your appreciation.
Not only is this a matter of ensuring that your costs are controlled but refers also to time spent for both you and your staff. See points 3 and 6 above.
10. Cash Flow
Cash flow is crucial to the lifeblood of the business but can be a tricky thing to manage. A sale is worthless until you have cash in your bank. Ensure that you collect what is due to you in a timely manner. The Institute of Credit Management have issued some useful guides in this respect. http://www.icm.org.uk/resources/cashflow-guides/