Thanks for hanging in there. Or, if you missed part one, why not check it out before reading on? Click here for the first post. And now on with those helpful pointers that some of you may have been waiting for. I hope the business world has treated you kindly while you were waiting! We start off with number 8…
- Know thy Enemy! Understanding your market and knowing who it is that you are in competition with is vital, how much market share do you have? Are they gaining clients that you could be taking on? What are they doing that affects your business? Take some time to review these things and react to them as would be appropriate.
- Location, location, location… So goes the saying. If you’ve recently opened up a fishing tackle shop perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to take premises in central Birmingham, perhaps that little shop out on the country road to the reservoir would have been better? Often where we locate a business isn’t quite as black and white as this. But it is essential that you consider either where you have premises or where you are offering to provide service. This requires some in depth review in each case, your business will be different from the next.
- Are your sales enough to produce the income you require? Poor sales means poor income and if your sales are dropping it means it’s time to pay attention! Are your prices at the right mark? Has your competition done something? Has your advertising failed? There are many reasons why sales could drop, pay attention, drill down and find out why, then do something about it.
- If you keep inventory, stock or produce be sure to run a finely tuned inventory control, if you plan ahead and also try to account for the unseen then you won’t miss potential sales. Big game on Saturday? Stock the shelves with nibbles and drink look forward for what stock you will need, don’t buy excessively and be sure that if you do require it you can have rushed delivery to restock. If even one person leaves your store wanting a bottle of shampoo that you just didn’t have, that is a lost sale and could also affect that customers repeat custom.
- How much capital do you have, is there enough to fund the needs of your business? Have you invested in fixed assets, if so how much of your worth is tied up or inaccessible. This comes back to point number one – understand where your business is putting its money. It’s also essential to understand your capital and investments just for the simple act of bookkeeping and dealing with business tax.
- Planning: have you planned anything? Not to say that you must plan every little thing you are going to do, but it is worthwhile making plans for what you may have to do. Setting in place some pre-determined plans will help you meet events head on. Plan for when you have had to lay off staff, plan for when you take on staff, plan for when you’ve moved into new premises, if there is something which could cause your business to struggle or become uncontrolled for a given reason, make a plan to cope with it. If you need to fall back on those plans, stick to them.
- Trends change, so should your business. Every business needs to be flexible to bend itself to new challenges even something as simple as your printer ink supplier has gone bust, where do you now get toner? Have you got any stocked? Where should you now go for supplies? Shirley is pregnant? Well that great, but what happens while she’s on maternity leave who’s going to fill her role! Finding a way for your business to have some level of spontaneous reaction will help but remember point fourteen – planning ahead. These two go hand in hand. Planning for something can be a real time saver when dealing with an event, but if you have no plan for the fact that everyone is now buying blue shoes and not the green one’s you have in stock it’s time to adapt or risk failure.
Thanks for taking the time to read through, I hope there has been at the very least a small part of one of the points which you found to be of some help.Please remember;
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