Starting a business is easy. Staying in business is where the real hard work is done. Every entrepreneur faces a time when the business becomes stagnant. New customers become hard to acquire and finding the energy and resources to stay in business becomes more of a challenge. Here you will find some ideas to help turn the course of your business and make it profitable again.
During the course of building your business you will need to evaluate where you are at, how you are doing and what more can be done. These are the questions that will help you keep your business growing. You may look at adding on more products, or selling your services to a different type of clients, or getting help so you can continue doing what you love and more of it. Be sure to constantly get feedback from customers and supporters. Do your own evaluation to see where you are at and where there is room for improvements.
Tips for Staying In Business
1. Make the most of present customers, get repeat purchases through incentives, discounts for referrals; they say 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers.
2. When trying to penetrate the marketplace with little money, go places where your competitors are not. Try smaller venues, for example, if you want to get you sauce on the supermarket shelves, begin with local corner stores or trade shows, fairs and festivals, partnering with chefs and placing it one the menus or tables of restaurants.
3. Examine your process, prices, and product perception, then ask how can I make this better? What is one thing you could add that would really impress your customers?
4. Re-focus- often entrepreneurs will go from one product to 50 products to make sales, the problem with this is nothing stands out, it requires more time, money and energy to market so many products and none is given its proper attention. Trying focusing on the highest sellers and cutting back on the amount of service offerings or product lines.
5. Look at your current expenses and see where there are leaks in spending. Can you cut back on some of the flexible items? Call your vendors and ask about suggestions on cutting expenses, they want to keep your business and will help you to continue to pay your bills in order to maintain a good relationship.
6. Do not throw away the idea of strategic planning it is not only for big business. Get together mentors, people who have a variety of skills and perspective. Then ask questions, get ideas, make it easy for them to participate by keeping the questions brief and making the time flexible. As part of this strategic planning survey your customers ask them what improvements they want to see, what they like most and do not be afraid that you will not be able to meet the request. It may give you a whole new product line or additional services for your customers thus increasing your bottom line.
7. Go on a vacation. When you are in the midst of the busyness of work, selling, planning and moving forward it is easy to forget the principle of rest. If God rested on the seventh day so should you. Take time out to rejuvenate, re-examine, appreciate all you have and seek direction and guidance.
Gessy Nixon “The Entrepreneur and Achievement Coach”. Gessy Nixon is the author of The Weekend Entrepreneur: How To Start And Succeed With A Part Time Business. She is president and founder of Escarment Research and Planning a business and achievement coaching firm, for more information visit http://www.ernplanning.com