Starting and growing a business can be tough. It can feel like you are juggling and trying to keep a whole bunch of balls in the air at once. If you lose your focus for just a moment, the whole thing seems like it can come crashing down. Then, in the midst of all that juggling, add in the need to improve your business and suddenly you may find yourself struggling to keep up.
So what can you do?
Fortunately, improving your business doesn’t have to disrupt your rhythm and you can make positive changes to your business without losing focus on everything else.
Here are some quick ways to help you:
- Make better decisions. It might surprise you to learn that one of the biggest drawbacks to an entrepreneur’s ability to grow their business is an inability to make decisions. They’re not sure what to focus on first. Avoid this problem by making a list of the things you want to change.
- Know what you want to change. Before you make any changes, make a note of the following things: What the current result is, what you’d like the result to be, and what compelled the change. These force you to think through your changes first, perhaps even forcing you to apply a simple metric so you know what’s going on. By asking these questions first, you might discover that something isn’t broken (or that something else is broken instead of the thing you thought). Keep these notes as a journal of your progress.
- Keep it simple! Don’t try to make sweeping changes to all of your business right now. You may be frustrated by what feels like an inefficient system but it will remain inefficient (or even get worse) if you try to change it all at once. Instead, take one small thing and make it better. Pick one small thing – as little as how you answer the phone or how quickly you respond to customer complaints – and change it. It doesn’t have to be big. But if you make one small change every day, you still make more changes than most businesses make.
- Measure, measure, measure. Measure everything and test it. When you make a change, don’t consider it a permanent change until you’ve seen improvements. Test the changes as you go and be willing to reverse the changes if you were wrong.
- Move in the other direction. When working on something that impacts your sales funnel, work backwards. Instead of starting at the top end of your sales funnel (your marketing) start at the bottom end of your sales funnel (the sale). Make adjustments to those efforts first. Then work backwards through the funnel. You’ll see better returns on your changes.
- Test drive your changes. Before introducing a sweeping change to your business, ask a customer to help you “test drive” the change (perhaps for a discount on their purchase). Get honest feedback from them and use that information to move forward.
- Learn to sell. Take courses and study diligently. The ability to sell will help you in nearly every facet of your business – from management to dealing with vendors to human resources to customer service and (of course) to marketing and selling your products or services.
Successful businesses are always improving. But it doesn’t mean you have to stop juggling to make those improvements. Try some of these quick tips to help.