Another year, another chance to grow your small business. So, do you want to know how to improve business? Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for achieving better business results. You can, however, set yourself up for success now and throughout the year.
6 Tips on how to improve business
For most, great business results come from trial and error. If you want to improve your business, you need to push the limits, get everyone on board, and be willing to fail.
Ready to achieve better business results and boost your company’s bottom line?
1. Set reachable stretch goals
Most people set goals in their individual lives. And, most businesses set annual business goals, whether it’s in their budget, small business plan, or a separate document. Do you?
If you’re used to setting business goals, great! If not, there’s no better time to start than the present.
When setting business goals, a good rule of thumb is to make them possible yet difficult to reach. You want to stretch yourself. Setting goals you know you’re going to reach may make your business look good, but they won’t propel you toward long-term success.
At Patriot Software, we recently established OKRs, which stands for objectives and key results. This strategy allows us to set a few company-wide objectives as well as measurable results under each objective.
Again, the key to achieving better results and improving your business is to really stretch yourself. For example, if you made 12,000 sales last year, you wouldn’t want to set an “easy” goal like making 12,500 sales this year. You would want to really stretch yourself (e.g., 20,000 in sales), even if reaching the goal seems light-years away.
When setting goals, think about what really would help your business improve. Some common business goals include:
- Increasing the number of customers
- Increasing sales
- Decreasing customer acquisition cost
- Improving your rating on review sites
- Improve employee retention
2. Measure your progress
Creating goals is just one part of the equation. After you come up with said goals, you need to measure them.
Measuring your progress can show you whether you’re on track to reach your goals. Not to mention, knowing where your business is at can help you make changes and achieve better results.
Consider measuring your efforts semi-regularly, like weekly or monthly. That way, you can attribute results to specific actions you’ve taken. And, you can determine if you need to change anything up.
For example, you could calculate employee turnover during a period if one of your goals is to improve employee retention/decrease turnover.
3. Pump up your team
If you have employees, you know how important they are to the success of your business. Disengaged employees can quickly turn your improvement efforts sour.
In short, you need to know how to improve performance if you want better results.
Of course, it’s not your responsibility to make your employees love their job. But, there are some things you can do to nudge them in the right direction.
Invest in your employees. A recent Patriot Software survey on how to keep your top talent found that employees value flexibility, development, and a well-laid-out career trajectory.
Employers can help boost engagement by listening to employees, offering top benefits, and recognizing workers.
In addition to giving your team desirable workplace benefits, help them see your business’s vision. The best way to pump up your team is to show them how their work fits into the bigger picture.
You can also give staff morale a boost by offering incentives for achieving goals (e.g., gift card drawing or pizza party).
4. Be willing to think outside the box
If you really want to know how to improve business, you need to be willing to think outside the box. Being creative and coming up with new ways to improve your business could help you achieve better results.
Of course, you can’t expect every new idea to be a smash. Some ideas and changes could set you back. You need to be ready to take some calculated risks—and accept the outcomes of those risks—if you want to shake up the status quo in business.
So, what are some things you can get creative with? Here are some areas you can fiddle with:
- Marketing efforts
- Product or service additions or changes
- Partnerships with other businesses
- Strategic pricing
5. Prioritize customer service
If you haven’t heard by now, good customer service is a big deal to consumers … yes, even in this digital age. When it comes to knowing how to improve your business, try prioritizing customer service.
Not only should you and your employees be courteous and friendly, but you should also offer personalized service.
Calling customers by their names and offering tailored products or services based on their preferences are just a couple of ways to prioritize customer service.
6. Improve interoffice communication
Now, back to the workplace. If you want better results, your team needs more than to get pumped up. They also need stellar interoffice communication.
Whether it’s using better communication or product management tools or boosting communication skills, improving interdepartmental communication can make all the difference.
When communication improves, overall business operations improve, too. Good communication means employees won’t be running around clueless. And, that means there’ll be less of a chance of customers getting frustrated and deadlines being missed.