Lori Isachsen, Online Rescuepreneur
In many areas of our lives we get a check up, such as going to the dentist or doctor, but do we give our business that same opportunity? No matter how large or small your business is, a yearly check up is an invaluable tool for getting your business into tip-top shape and positioned to grow. So what areas should you review in your business’s annual check-up?
Here are 7 steps to get you started:
- How do your year-to-date sales compare to the last couple of years? Don’t be satisfied if you managed to match them because if sales stayed the same then you’ve achieved zero growth. This flat growth line is a warning sign for more trouble down the road.
- What percentage of your business is from repeat clients? This is important to know because if it’s too low, then it needs to be improved. The estimated cost of getting a new client versus retaining an existing one can be as much as five to one in terms of dollars spent. Keeping clients is more cost-effective than constantly seeking new ones.
- How is your business doing compared to your competition? Every business, no matter what the size, has competition. Is their business growing or downsizing? Is their service better than yours? If so, what can you tell potential clients about the difference in your services? Loyal customers like to see you changing and progressing with the times. If you’re stuck for an idea, ask your clients what they need.
- Do you consider marketing and advertising expenses as investments? How you look at the money spent in these areas affects your willingness to spend money at all. Marketing is really investing in you, your vision, and your company. The old adage that you must spend money to make money is true, but you must spend it wisely. Spend it on ads that are pulling responses and if they’re not maybe you need to change your advertising tactics.
- Do you know what PR is and how to use it to positively position your business in the media? I’ll bet that your competition does. Nearly every mention of Affiliate Experts in the newspapers, magazines, and on the internet is a direct result of publicity efforts. Being quoted or featured in an article speaks volumes to your clients and readers who are your potential prospects.
- Do you have a website? If you don’t, you should consider having a presence on the internet. This is a great way to advertise your listings and your services. If you already have a website, make sure you spend time maintaining it and updating it regularly.
- How do you treat your clients? Just as you appreciate when your doctor takes time to talk to you, your clients will appreciate you if you take an interest in their needs. If your clients don’t feel special when coming to you for services, why should they remain loyal to you? Create a mailing list of your existing clients. Send occasional post cards or greeting cards for special events or just to keep in touch.
At any time of the year, it’s easy to let attention slip away from doing a regular check-up on the health of our business. When you take the time to do a yearly check up, you not only organize and reassess where your business is going, but you also stay motivated. Let these yearly check ups be your secret weapon to help your business grow and increase your profits.
|Lori Isachsen is driven by passion and desire to help business owners reach new heights – by taking leaps in their business. Not every business owner has the time or the fundamental skills to expand and grow their online business, and when she realized entrepreneurs were struggling, she wanted to share her online business manager expertise and support them. By taking care of tiny details and strategically using common online systems, she’s rescuing more entrepreneurs and contributing meaningfully by finding solutions to make a difference in other people’s business lives.|