Taking Your Business from Unhealthy to Healthy in 10 Steps
As we reach the end of another year, you’re probably already focused on the resolutions that you’re going to be making for the new year. One of the most common resolutions getting, and staying, fit and healthy.
While your personal health is vital for the success of your business, you also should be concerned about getting your actual business in tip-top shape for the new year. And, you can make sure that you can achieve that by following these 10 steps.
1. Have Regular Checkups
You wouldn’t skip your annual physical, would you? So, why wouldn’t do the same for your business?
A year-end check-up is one the best ways to make sure that your business is healthy since it can answer the following questions; ‘Where does your business stand now?;’’Where do you want it to go?’; and ‘How will you achieve that success?’
Bloomberg suggests that when you perform your checkup, you focus on the following areas:
- Financials. You should run “a broad-based diagnostic test on your business that includes an informal valuation, financial projections for the next year, and a forecast for your industry as a whole.”
- Risks. Keep an eye on trouble areas like tax payments and human resource policies.
- Inventory and Operations. Get creative and find ways to streamline and cut expenses.
- Strategy. Begin working on long-term strategies like business growth.
2. Are You Getting Results?
If you’ve been on a new diet and exercising, but haven’t seen the desired results, let’s say using a certain amount of weight, then why keep the same regiment? The same is true for your business. Instead of continuing to invest in a failing business, you may have to admit that it’s time to either change course or potentially shut down.
When examining your budget and crunching the numbers, also look for signs that your business is failing like not being able to pay your bills on time, having a high turnover rate, or realizing that no one is talking about your business. If you notice these problems early enough, you should have enough time to change directions and get yourself back on the track to success.
3. Work on Your Flexibility
This is somewhat a continuation of the previous step, but if you notice that your business isn’t getting the desired results that you want, maybe it’s time to shake things up a bit by becoming more adaptable and agile.
Business 2 Community recommends that your business can become more flexible by:
- Remote Working. Technology has allowed you to hire talented employees from anywhere in the world.
- Deploying New Solutions. Providing your staff with smartphones or tablets so that they’re also plugged in.
- Flexible Hours. Instead of the typical 9 to 5, you can give employees the chance to work hours that work best for them, such as leaving at 3 so that they can pick up their children from school.
- Cash Flow Options. Have an emergency fund to keep you business afloat during times of trouble. Additionally, you should always be on the lookout for new ways to increase cash flow, like introducing a new product or service that is complementary to the products/services you currently offer.
4. Trim the Fat
If you’re business is struggling, it’s imperative that you reduce expenses and lower your overhead. For example, you could reduce your office expenses by using free software or buying used equipment when starting out. Other ways to cut costs would be to outsource talent, keep track of your inventory, purchasing items in bulk, negotiating with vendors, and improving your efficiency by automating tasks like sending out recurring invoices.
5. Quit Unhealthy Habits
Overeating, not getting enough sleep, and smoking are all bad habits that you need to quit of your want to improve your health. The same is true for your business. Bad habits, like taking your anger out on employees or customers or continuing to use a failed business plan, can be detrimental for the overall health of your business.
Identify the bad habits that are holding back your business and work on replacing them with more productive and healthy habits.
6. Properly Train and Empower Employees
You just can’t walk into a gym and instantly know how to operate all of the machinery properly. You need a little bit of training beforehand. Your employees also need to be properly trained and empowered. Whether it’s by celebrating team wins, encouraging creative thinking, bringing in instructors or industry thought leaders, and simply saying ‘thank you’ you can make sure that your team has the knowledge and passion needed to make your business a success.
7. Focus On Customer Service, Not Just Sales
You may think that you can skip on the customer service because that’s not going to pay the bills. That’s definitely the wrong mentality to have. Your customers are the backbone of your business and providing them with top-notch customer service is essential. As mentioned by Kyle Wong in Forbes, “Customer service is not just a mechanism for ensuring customer satisfaction; we rely on it to help develop the vision and set the roadmap for the future of our business.”
Listen to the wants, needs, and feedback from your customers. And, respond to their questions or concerns in a timely and polite manner – even if they’re not always right.
8. Upgrade Your Equipment
Using a thirty-year old exercise bike probably isn’t as safe or effective as a newer bike. That’s also the case with your office equipment. If you’re relying on outdated hardware and software you’re probably not going to be as productive – especially when your competition has the latest gear. Stay up-to-date with the cutting edge technology that can give your business the edge.
And, if money is tight, you can always rent equipment from sites like Rentacomputer.com.
9. Find a Partner in Crime
Isn’t working out a whole lot easier if you have a workout buddy? They’ll be there to motivate and hold you accountable on those days when you’re just not feeling it. Whether it’s through a coach, advisory board, partner, or employees, you also need to be accountable when it comes to your business and these individuals will help keep you focused, determined, and motivated to meet deadlines and complete goals.
10. Find Time to Relax
Just like with exercising, you need time to heal after an exhausting workout. This may not exactly seem business related, but it is crucial for the success of your business. Make time for yourself, and don’t forget to give your employees some much needed time-off as well, to relax and recharge the batteries. If not, you’re going to be overworked, stressed out, and just burnt out.