Your Business Can Do Better
The competition is abundant but weak. The market is weak but abundant. This spells big opportunity for your business if you do one thing.
Wait! Wow, I can hear the clicks—bye bye.
For those that read on, good for you. Your business will have a better chance of doing well.
Very few businesses, except for very, very large businesses have, let alone follow, any sort of business plan. No marketing plan. No product or service development plan. No website plan. No plans at all.
Even without a plan some businesses survive and some actually do very well. Luck plays a big role though it is usually ignored. When we do well, we pat ourselves on the back. When we don’t do so well, we blame the economy. Luck runs out.
A plan can improve your luck. A plan can make your business less dependent on luck. Because so few businesses actually plan anything, those that do always have an edge. Even bad plans are often better than no plan.
Right now, July, is the best time of the year to make plans. January is good too.
What to plan?
Let’s keep it simple. You probably aren’t looking for a big project. Fine, plan the basics.
Start with a review of your website. Is it current in its look or getting a little stale? Things change fast these days. Cutting edge and sharp from last year might be out of step for this year. Go through your site and make some notes. Plan to change some words, update images and freshen the overall look. Review your analytics. You should see some improvements after updating your website.
I understand about the whole time thing. I need to do a site update myself! I will.
Next, think about your marketing. Take a little time to review your competitor’s websites. What are they doing? You might be surprised—blush—you might have fallen behind. Are your offerings still current? Are your products up-to-date? Are you offering services that customers want? Don’t be afraid to make some serious changes in what you offer. Do you offer something that rarely sells? Dump it. Carrying a dud actually hurts your business. Let someone else have that dead end of the market. Focus your effort on what actually makes money.
Are you advertising? If so, is it producing? If not, shut it off until you can review and revise. Don’t keep paying Google if Adwords is not bringing in business. But don’t discontinue using Adwords permanently. Review, update and fix your campaigns. Then resume.
Does your facility need to be cleaned up? Are there little, nagging maintenance issues? Get on them. Make a plan to fix things up. This is very important if your customers see any part of your business that is not clean and well maintained.
Here’s something I simply cannot understand. Why do so many businesses have filthy restrooms? I don’t care if it’s a factory or a restaurant, the restroom’s condition reflects your standards. A filthy restroom at a restaurant means the kitchen is dirty. A factory with a dirty restroom means the quality control is horrible. Go ahead, roll your eyes. It’s true in every case. You know it too. This matters for every business.
Okay, see, no big business plan project. I’m not recommending some massive spreadsheet thing that you won’t follow anyway. I’m a practical guy. I want you to plan things that will help your business because you will actually do them.
And these things won’t cost much money. Your competitors won’t be as diligent. And the market is looking for these things.
Recap of what to do now to improve your business:
- Review your offerings and update.
- Review your website and update.
- Review your marketing. Suspend what isn’t working and fix. Drop what isn’t producing if you can’t fix it. (Monthly magazine ad?)
- Clean up the business and perform maintenance.
You can do these things in July.
Chris Reich, TeachU