6 (Six) Key Principles to Take your Small Business to the Next Level; from Ordinary to Extraordinary
How would I take my business from the ordinary to the extraordinary? A lot of entrepreneurs out there ask this same question every day. There’s too much to keep track of and this makes it difficult to have an extraordinary business. It’s possible actually and the transition phase from startup to a successful business can be extremely exciting.
At a time when your customer base grows and your bottom line goes from strength to strength, that’s the perfect opportunity to gather more speed and move. These 5 (five) key principles to take your small business to the next level; from ordinary to extraordinary will help you get started.
1. Go Back to your Business Plan
When things are going well, it’s easy to become complacent – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? To an extent, this statement is true, but constantly going over your business strategies on a regular basis will help you keep the growth flow in check. As your company grows and evolves, so should your business plan.
Reflect on what factors have helped you to achieve success so far, and focus on how you can continue to play on these strengths. Equally, weed out the elements that have been less dynamic and look at improving or replacing them. A burgeoning startup will quickly outgrow its original blueprint, so frequently update your vision and set new objectives. Base your new goals on what you have already been able to achieve so far, and ultimately focus on enhancing your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses.
2. Run Lean
By “lean” I mean cutting out what you don’t need or doesn’t provide you with a return on your investment. Take a good hard look at your last three months of expenses. Are there lead generation expenses, memberships or other things that you are paying for that are not adding to your bottom line, causing you to work more hours to pay for them or causing you stress?
Maybe you even have expenses that are creating stress or guilt because you are not putting those resources to good use? You need to decide what to stop doing and what to stop spending money on so that you can regain focus and control over your pocketbook. Make a list of what those things are and then make a decision to cut them out.
3. Discipline is an Essential Ingredient
Now that you have cut some of your unnecessary expenses and systems, it’s time to think about discipline. Imagine waking up in the middle of Las Vegas Boulevard at night. All the lights are on and each casino is trying to lure you in. It is easy to look back and forth, weighing the possible benefits that lie within. However, if you walk up the boulevard with blinders, you won’t be tempted by all the bright shiny objects to the left and right. You need to run your business the same way. Stay focused on your goal and don’t get pulled in different directions.
4. Surround Yourself with the Right People
This is essential in your business. You are supported by assistants, team members, transaction coordinators, photographers, stagers, marketing folks, lenders, inspectors, title and escrow and more. Take a look around. Are these the right people for your business? Do they operate from day to day with a positive outlook, strive to get the job done and always have the clients’ best interest in mind? Are they proficient and passionate about the job at hand?
When the wrong people are around you, it drains your energy. It can impact your attitude and efficiency. Getting the right people not only helps things run smoother, but it can also challenge you to do a better job because you are working with inspirational people who hold each other accountable.
5. Work More on Social Media
Social media no doubt played a starring role in your launch strategy. As your business progresses from startup to success story, it’s extremely important not to lose sight of just how valuable these online platforms are. The same channels that helped to build your customer base are keys to maintaining and growing it.
A tool like HootSuite enables you to manage all of your social media accounts via one single platform. You can schedule multiple posts in advance and consistently measure the performance of all your social media campaigns, ideal for streamlining the process whilst keeping it in-house.
6. Stay Committed to Customer Service
Customers are the heartbeat of every business, and the most successful entrepreneurs never stop looking for ways to win them over. As your audience grows, be careful not to spread yourself too thinly. If you cannot continue to provide exceptional customer service, your business will fall as quickly as it rose.
Increase the channels through which customers can reach you, for example by adding live chat to your website or integrating a contact form. Providing the opportunity to leave feedback is also a great way to show your commitment to improving the customer experience. Additionally, social media is a highly effective tool for resolving customer issues; foster open communication and be sure to respond promptly and proactively.
There is no magic to moving from ordinary to extraordinary in business. It just takes discipline and the ability to cut out what you don’t need. Once you trim, stay focused. Keep your business lean and mean. Any time you consider adding or buying something, ask yourself, “Does this get me closer or further away from my goal?” Remember, everything you buy or sign up for requires your money and your energy. Make sure it is worth it. Surround yourself with the right people. This will bring energy to your business. The wrong people will pull that energy away! It takes simplicity to have an extraordinary business. Share your thoughts with me on this in the comments and don’t forget to share this with your friends on social media.