18 Workable Ways To Improve Your Business Performance
Business is the powerhouse of every nation’s economy. I love business because it has a strong aura of risk, motive, passion, patience and endurance. Many have delved into the unpredictable world of business, and while business has dished out the worst results to some, it has also beamed a wide smile at others.
A business might be unpredictable, but there are certain strings you could pull to turn the odds in your favour. There are workable ways to improve your business performance by far, and that’s what I will share with you today.
Whether you are a small entrepreneur by the roadside or you own warehouses up in the city, running a business without regular ideas can make your business static and boring. Sometimes, this could even cost you your customers.
Focusing your energy on a singular way of business can be the norm for many entrepreneurs.
However, when you have tunnel vision, it can bring you success in areas you never imagined.
The company producing televisions was unable to predict the change from black & white TV to coloured TV in the mid-’60s. This put them in a very awkward situation when coloured television eventually took over the market.
They struggled to catch up but unfortunately, they couldn’t and fell behind as a leading brand in Television production. One of the lessons I learnt from this story is that while the market is an unpredictable world, you can do a few things to help improve your performance and plan for certain changes in the market.
Every good businessman needs to know how to shift their focus from time to time. When changes in the market occur it needs to trigger something in your mind straight away.
If you have always steered clear from change, then now might be the time to embrace it for once. Think about some of the following methods you could adopt for your business and you will see positive improvements right away.
1. Say “Yes” To More Opportunities
Understandably, you’re going to be extremely busy as a business owner, however, you can’t let this hold you back from certain opportunities. When something new pops up on the horizon, you can’t just walk away without giving it some careful consideration.
Perhaps a new investor is looking to collaborate or there has been a recent breakthrough in your product manufacturing process. To increase your business performance, you need to keep your eyes open for new openings at all times.
Make a conscious effort to focus on new opportunities from this day forward and your business will benefit greatly.
2. Monitor Your Resources
Many start-ups fail in the market due to poor financial management. Out of ten new businesses, roughly six go out of business within the first 7-11 months due to mismanagement of resources.
If you know you cannot manage your accounts yourself, it is best you hire a professional accountant. This could be an independent contract accountant or could be a full-time staff member. I would advise you to get an independent accountant if your business is just starting.
It is a cheaper and more trustworthy option than having to pay a full-time worker salary when the company isn’t performing any major accounts or audits. Managing your resources should be your top priority when doing business.
Avoid anything that seems too extra or wasteful, however, never substitute quality in your production process because customers will go for better quality when they eventually get the money and are able to afford it.
3. Monitor Trends
Inability to monitor trends and a little bit of complacency were the two main reasons the television company I discussed earlier collapsed. As a small business, you must be able to turn trends into a production or service idea.
As a business owner, I usually make use of the internet to search for what people want and find a way to turn the trend into profit. This is one of the oldest marketing strategies which is still very effective.
As an established brand, you must monitor both the internal and external environment if you want to remain in the market. The internal environment could include new government policies such as taxes and tariffs on imports e.t.c.
However, the external environment can be quite difficult to monitor as changes could happen in a split second. Trends could start in a day and you must have a team ready to turn that particular trend to profit.
Sometimes, you could even influence a trend and have your products and services ready to support the movement. Whatever you do, just make sure you are not caught off guard when something new is introduced to the market as delay might mean a loss.
4. Bring in a Partner
It is natural to want to do everything on your own as an entrepreneur and there is nothing wrong with that. But hey, have you ever considered sharing the load with a/some trusted business partner(s)?
If you are worried about relinquishing control, you need to think about how you would delegate your work. The partnership doesn’t necessarily have to be 50/50. You could offer someone else a proportion of your business, so speak to a legal advisor and explore your options of partnership.
5. Set Achievable Goals
Another major problem of businesses is stagnancy. It’s normal for a company to get too comfortable in their position after a while. They simply just relax and allow the ocean-like waves of the market to take them anywhere.
The funny thing is, even sailors know they must check their positions while sailing because they could veer off course if they leave their fate at the mercy of the ocean waves.
This is practically the same thing in business. As a business owner, you must keep your staff motivated at all times by setting attainable goals every now and then. Studies have shown that companies that usually set short term goals have a higher productivity rate than companies that set long term goals that seem blurry.
Setting goals allows your business to grow organically whilst giving your employees something to look forward to. Trust me when I say you don’t want stagnancy in your business, it is like a hard drug that feels good but kills you slowly.
6. Manage resources when starting up
If you’re just starting, make sure you pay attention to how your resources are being used. If your staff are going for a presentation elsewhere and need transportation, you could get them to go by road if it’s not urgent instead of flying business class and lodging in a five-star hotel.
They are on a business trip, not a Caribbean vacation. You would be surprised how much money your company can save when resources are managed properly. So if you want to improve the general performance of your business, I suggest that you take a long look at the general expenditure file when next it is brought to your table.
Go for an affordable option if you can and use the extra money to invest more in your production process.
7. Improve Your Marketing
If Apple had slowed down their marketing after the success of the iPhone 6, maybe Samsung would have swept the market going forward with their A series. When you have reached a certain level in business, one of the departments you should pay close attention to isn’t only the payroll, but the marketing department as well.
Marketing goes far beyond selling items to customers. It involves everything from understanding what customers want and maintaining them. It is all about the process involved in selling a product and rendering added services.
8. Sharpen Your Selling Skills
Your selling skills need to improve if you want to remain relevant in the market. No matter how long you have been a major player or how influential you are, if you don’t know how to pitch professionally, you may find it hard to win contracts.
Once you start getting too comfortable in your field while your competition is working extra hard to meet up, they may eventually catch up and overtake you. Once you have attained a reasonable position in the market, it is important that you set your eyes on bigger clients and also sell to them.
Your ability to up your game and compete with the bigger boys, not forgetting your smaller clientele is one of the ways to increase business performance. In business, there is no stagnancy. You’re either going up or down, you definitely can’t stay in the middle for long.
If you see your company as the biggest in your industry, you have to keep raising the bar for yourself because that’s the only way to stay focused and remain on top.
9. Improve Your Overall Service
Depending on what attracted customers to your brand, I will suggest you keep on building that foundation. If quality is what attracted those faithful customers to your outlet every day, I suggest you improve this service rather than reducing it for any cause.
Nowadays, small businesses are fond of cutting costs in production whenever expenditure is beginning to outweigh income. This is a suicidal move in the market. There are certainly other ways for you to cut costs than reducing the quality of your service or cutting vital production materials.
Imagine a tire company known to produce quality tires that last 3 to 5 years without a single case of an accident decides to reduce quality. The rubber price probably increased and they decided to buy a cheaper rubber from another source. The company makes the first batch of tires with this material and in less than a year, over two hundred tire-related accidents occurred on the highway.
The consequences – Investigations begin, the company has to compensate the families of the victims, they have to issue a public apology. Years later, quality is improved. Do you think after hearing of these past accidents, people will be willing to buy the quality tires? It is safe to say that this particular company would close down in a few years or struggle for a while no matter how big they were prior to the accidents.
This goes to show that quality should never be substituted in your business. It hasn’t worked for anyone in the long run and it won’t start with you. So, just stick to the normal process or even try to improve it.
10. Motivate Your Workers
I will give another example – Let’s assume there are two companies – company A and company B. They are both in competition and have the same capabilities as well as the same resources. However, at the end of every business year, company A sent a note of thanks to their workers and wished them a blissful holiday.
Whereas company B went the extra mile. They did not only give out gifts to their workers but also gave them holiday bonuses. The management also organised a small office party to celebrate the holidays.
Now, whose staff do you think will be more productive between the two companies? Company B right? Absolutely! Experts have successfully linked the success of many companies to the happiness and productivity of its workers. When workers aren’t getting promotions or bonuses, it is common for productivity to reduce.
Make sure you keep your employees happy. If the business did well by the end of the year, make provisions for a bonus to be added to your workers’ salary. It is a common practice in some companies to give their workers food items during the Christmas holidays.
Federal institutions including the University where my father currently works, give out food items at the end of the year. So you too can do the same. It doesn’t matter how small the bonus is, it will indefinitely show your workers that you care.
11. Discover Innovative Alternatives
When you have a lot of people on your payroll, it can be very difficult to keep track of everything. With CloudPay you could experience a single platform for international payroll, which will bring automation and integration for your company.
Instead of sticking to your old ways, it might be time to try something new for increased performance. You will experience true efficiency for your business when you step out of your comfort zone.
12. Spice Up Your Online Presence
In order to improve your online presence, you need to think creatively. Instead of rehashing the same old content on Twitter and Facebook, why not try something new?
Use infographics, YouTube demonstrations, and Pinterest boards to engage your target audience. There is bound to be a social media platform that relates closely to your demographic, so seek it out and try something new.
Social media is fast becoming a cheaper and effective means to disseminate information to the masses. Social media platforms like twitter and facebook give you the opportunity to reach a specific type of audience at a particular time and for your special purpose.
This is very different from the days when you had to run to advertising agencies to get your brand on the television or radio stations at mind-blowing fees. Now, you can reach over 10,000 people on facebook with just $10 or less. Building and improving marketing strategies is very important if you are trying to increase your business performance.
13. Always Have Support Available
When a customer has feedback to give or a question to ask, they should be able to do so right away. They don’t want to jump through hoops to get ahold of you and definitely shouldn’t have to.
While some businesses hide marketing materials and their contact information, you should have yours clearly written on your website. It’s crucial that you have multiple contact methods too.
14. Hire The Best Employees
Although you would probably like to speak to all of your customers yourself, that just isn’t possible.
With everything else that you have to get done each day, you don’t have the time to deal with the sheer number of queries.
This is what you employ customer service staff for. Make sure that you always hire the right people for the job or your customer relationships will suffer.
15. Share Your Human Side
There is much more to your business than just the product you sell.
To truly connect with your customers, you have to show them the hardworking people behind your brand. This can be done by writing an About Us section on your website.
You could even include headshots of your staff, taken by a professional studio, like Blue Tree Studios. Doing this will humanize your business.
16. Ask For Customer Feedback
No entrepreneur likes to read a bad review about a brand they’ve worked so hard to build.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should ignore your criticisms. As hard as they may be to read, bad reviews offer a lot of helpful information on areas within which you could improve.
Because of this, you should ask customers to give feedback and even offer incentives to do so.
17. Go That Extra Mile
Most customers expect a business only to do what they are paid for.
All companies exist to make money, after all. To build better relationships with your customers, you must show that you are willing to go that extra mile.
You won’t be able to give everything asked of you, but you can be a little more accommodating. Generally, it’s better to promise less but aim to deliver much more.
Why not open your brand up to an international audience? Sure, you don’t have to do this. But you can really maximise your market and your profits by doing so. Just make sure you have multi-currency accounts to accept international payments without charges and ensure that if you want to send money to the Philippines or any other country you may have been dealing with, you don’t get any further charges.
18. Treat Everyone The Same
Many companies treat new customers like VIPs. They give much better service, offer exclusive deals, and do everything in their power to keep them happy.
The only problem with this is that when new customers stop being new, and this treatment ends, they will become frustrated.
You need to specially treat all of your customers the same way, or you’ll eventually lose them.
No company can survive without customers, so build better relationships with yours using the advice above.
It’s common for a business owner to get uneasy and want new things for his business. You may want to know better ways to improve business practices and earn more profit.
This is why I decided to bring you this piece to successfully increase your business performance. You need to attract new customers and keep existing ones fixated on your brand.
Finally, it really does pay off to try something new when you’re running a business. When entrepreneurs become stuck in their own ways, it can prevent them from tapping into new and unexplored territories.
Whether you’re changing up the way you approach payroll or you’re spicing up your online presence, there are so many ways to bring improvements to your strategies today. Sometimes, it just takes a small leap to make a huge difference. So, shift your focus for a more fruitful business year.
What improvement strategy have you introduced to your business recently?