7 tips to help boost your business
Business owners face many challenges in today’s tough economic climate. With many people working at least 44 hours in a typical week, implementing effective strategies can be a great way to reduce the toil, boost business and enjoy life a little more.
If you’re like me and love your coffee, you’ll enjoy the following ideas and opportunities for a business ‘boost’ or growth, served with a caffeine twist.
Tip 1: Espresso (short and intense) – commit to business goals now
Over a 10-minute coffee break, write three goals to be achieved in next 3 months, to give you direction. Break them into manageable chunks – you will have more chance of success – and make sure each goal is measurable. If you are part of a larger team, share the goals with the others, or better still, restrict a team meeting to 30 minutes instead of the usual hour, and discuss them together so that the whole group feels motivated and valued.
Examples could be:
- Review the most profitable segments of the business by 21 March and create a 5-point strategy to further develop that portion of the business by 28 March.
- Have 3 staff phone 2 clients each day for a week and ask them 3 questions to provide insight into our services – by the end of the week, you’ll have 30 responses. Develop the questions you’ll ask by this Friday.
Tip 2: Cappuccino (froth and a sprinkle of chocolate) – branding
All coffees aren’t the same so you should stand out too – branding is everything! You need to brand yourself throughout all services, outputs and marketing so that the story is the same, no matter what the customer comes into contact with. It is all about your Unique Selling Point – what is your specialty and what should customers remember about your business?
This includes ensuring that your Capability Statement or Business Profile reflects your brand. These types of documents can be really helpful for potential clients to download as a snapshot about what you offer. To keep it simple, you could create an effective info-graphic to provide a summary of your key features and have this displayed on your Home page or in A4 brochures. They can be updated regularly as prices, trends or services change.
Tip 3: Long black (no fat / easy to duplicate) – business productivity
This tip is all about productivity. It can range from creating standard templates and documenting regular processes, through to hiring a ‘lean’ expert. There are always ways to trim and put efficient processes in place that are also likely to make things more enjoyable for everyone – a double shot! In today’s economic climate, it is important to ensure customers are happy and that administration costs are kept in check. Customers appreciate a clear process so they know what to expect – it’s a great way to stand out.
Cutting the fat is about keeping emails at bay. These days, people seem to spend way too much time dealing with them. Create effective email folders and sort them the last 15 minutes of the day so that you can get stuck into important things first up in the morning without being sidelined by non-urgent communications. For example, I have folders called ‘Action this week’ and ‘Response expected’ so that I can immediately get them out of my Inbox.
Tip 4: Latte (what are the layers?) – a critical review of your business
Critically review your business – get someone in to do it, or pretend you’re a customer and do it yourself. This will include your Web page and any social media outlets, external documents, marketing material, your shop infrastructure and the experience clients would have with staff. Think about the customer’s journey and the ‘touch points’. Some of these will be critical moments where the experience dictates a major decision or feeling for the customer. Improvements can always be made and will result in repeat business and happy customers.
Tip 5: The Nespresso pod (ready to go) – package your products or services
Work out how to package your goods/services in ways that provides great value for clients and benefits you at the same time. Combined with the Long Black (duplication) you will have an efficient and proven formula that provides you with continuity and keeps your clients regularly thinking of you. The tourism industry does this a lot by grouping experiences/services together into one price – bed and breakfast. Get creative and come up with ways to provide great value to attract new customers and keep your existing ones.
Tip 6: Flat white (a blend of black and white) – newsworthy communication
Once upon a time, the only news was a black and white printed newspaper. Things have progressed significantly since Great Grandma’s days, but the effect still has to be newsworthy. Your message has to be updated and effective via regular newsletters, blogs and current, well written Web and social media content – very important marketing elements.
You want to:
- Solve the customer’s need
- Ensure customers remember you and feel connected to what you offer
- Provide helpful information, special deals etc
- Ensure the information is directed at the customer “enjoy the quick check-out facilities that will have you on your way in under two minutes ” rather than “we have installed new reception software”.
People love to hear about stories, so consider developing case studies or providing a ‘before and after’ example and feature them in your promotions or flyers. Don’t forget to ask clients for testimonials that can be included on your Website or in social media posts – people are often motivated by the experiences of others.
Tip 7: Mochachino – sip back and enjoy!
It’s important to have some fun, so make sure you do a ‘Mochachino’ now and then.