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  • Advice for Business Owners: 5 Tips You Need to Know

    Whether you’re running an established business or just starting out as an entrepreneur, you’re probably always on the hunt for new ways to grow your company and improve revenue. That’s certainly what we see in our work as the outsourced CFO and/or certified financial planner for numerous business owners. And while our blog has numerous articles offering advice for business owners, we found these tips from around the Web helpful as well.

     

    CNBC
    These 4 tips will help small business owners drastically boost their earnings this year
    This article lists four tips and they’re all solid: find a mentor, go grassroots, fail fast and pivot often, and this one:

    Be opportunistic

    Oftentimes, small businesses stick to what they know when it comes to running their business. It’s not that they are reluctant to modernize, they’re just so busy managing day-to-day financials and tasks, they have little time to educate themselves on new ways of doing things. By dedicating time to learning about new technologies, business owners can ultimately benefit from tools that automate tasks and streamline processes, and that help save time and reduce operating costs. This allows SBOs to focus on what matters most: growing their business.

    One emerging technology businesses are adopting is mobile payments, and there’s a good reason why. According to a recent report, 46 percent of SBOs currently offering mobile payments say sales have increased over the past six months, compared to 35 percent who do not use the technology.

    Learning from those who have paved the way can help entrepreneurs avoid mistakes. In this article, almost 30 small business owners share advice they wish someone had told them before they began life as an entrepreneur. The list touches a range of topics including online marketing, business partners, employees, timing, funding, business processes, and this gem:

    P is for Process (among other things)

    When I started my business, I wish I had known to build system processes right from the start. It took us nearly five years of doing tasks repeatedly before we documented processes. Since then, we’ve created checklists for nearly every business process, from hiring, on-boarding, marketing, problem resolution, and client communication. Beyond the obvious cost and time savings, the systematized processes let us present a uniform impression to our clients. That perception gives our clients comfort about our stability as a business partner—a critical element in earning their business and keeping it for the long term.

    —Ivan Mladenović, president and CEO, Preemo

    INC.
    5 Leadership Communication Tips for New Business Owners
    As this article points out, leadership communication is one of the most critical skills to have when owning a business, as employees, clients and colleagues rely on you for direction and advice. The article the outlines a few strategies including:

    Adapt to Different Communication Styles

    We each have our own communication style. There are lots of different personalities in business, some people like to be direct and to the point while others prefer a warmer, more relaxed environment. It’s important to first understand your own personal style and then adapt to those of your employees and colleagues. Behavior assessments are a great tool for you to learn more about your employees’ communication styles and how to best communicate with them. By adapting to other types of behaviors, you are making other people feel like you understand them. This is a great way to build trust and rapport with the people you work with.

    With consumers becoming more demanding and the underlying threat of negative reviews shaping business decisions, small business owners must consistently deliver a superior customer experience. This recommendation, in particular, got our attention:

    Avoid the ‘But’

    Imagine your customers describing their experience to others and then do what you can to avoid the “but” patterns that signal an issue with customer experience. For example: “My doctor is really good, but…” or “The food at the restaurant was awesome, but…” If you are averaging 3 star reviews, you can probably see some a pattern.

    If you have a substandard product or service, no matter how you dress it up, your customers will have not have a superior experience. Similarly you need to be in business to give a positive experience, so avoid adopting practices that drive your business into the ground.

    A superior customer experience is deliberately shaped and adjusted over time. There’s a difference between working to avoid negative feedback and committing to a customer-centric culture.

    Small businesses owners have more direct control over their operations and are uniquely able to engage with customers and create a superior customer experience. Don’t squander this opportunity.

    And finally, while this article may seem targeted to women, the advice applies regardless of gender. For example:

    Without a marketing plan, you’re just throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping something sticks. Don’t leave your marketing to chance! Take a few hours and create a simple marketing plan.

    • Identify and research your target audience so you know who they are and where to reach them.
    • Set some goals so you can create a roadmap to get where you want to be.
    • Determine your budget – and remember that it will need to be spread across multiple channels (traditional and digital media) and used for both new customer acquisition and customer retention.
    • Develop a timeframe, and give your marketing six months to generate success.
    • Define metrics to measure success.

    I can’t guarantee these steps will lead to market domination but I can promise they will increase the likelihood that you aren’t wasting money on marketing efforts that don’t work.

    Kim Cayce
    President, Adzi Agency

     

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    Everyone’s situation is different; what it takes for you to be financially independent is unique to you. If you’d like to discuss any questions or concerns you have your financial life, please contact us for a no obligation consultation to see how we can help.

     

    Resources

  • Resources business
    your business plan is not your financial plan
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    Always Be Changing
    ON-DEMAND SEMINAR
    Always Be Changing: Driving Growth Through Change
    Whether you experienced a year of growth or endured a year of just getting by, repeating what you did last year is not a strategy. What can you do differently to make this your best year ever? This seminar focuses on driving growth through change including financial strategies, cultural change, accounting and tax considerations, and sales and marketing ideas.
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    Advice for Business Owners: 5 Tips You Need to Know

    by IRC Wealth time to read: 4 min
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