Business is OK, but not great. For some reason, you’re not where you want to be. Maybe you’re not getting enough customers. Maybe your ads aren’t on-point. Maybe you’re just not giving people what they want. Before you go looking for complicated problems (and solutions), try getting back to basics first. Most of the time, you can improve sales just by focusing on doing a few things better.
Be Passionate About What You Do
It should go without saying, but you need to be passionate about what you’re doing. Try to find that passion – that thing that you would do even if you never received a pay check for it. Is that passion part of your business? If not, you may be in the wrong industry. Passion – and lack of it – will shine through in everything you do. How do you discover (or rediscover) your passion?
Think long and hard about what drives you to get up in the morning. We all want to make the world a better place to live – for us, for our families, and for our friends. How do you want to improve the world? What can you offer? What can you improve? What can you change? As an entrepreneur, you can do whatever you want.
Have a Plan
It’s not enough to have a good idea, or to be passionate. You have to have a written business plan. How will you achieve your goals? Business plans aren’t just for banks. A good plan will take you from concept to sales – outlining each step of the process along the way.
Your plan should include your company’s vision statement (i.e. its purpose), its marketing plan, budget, and projected revenue, as well as profits. It will include projected sales figures and a marketing initiative that spells out exactly and specifically what you intend to do to make sales (i.e. direct marketing, direct response, branding, etc.).
You should also formulate some kind of product or service offering, pricing scheme, and fulfilment plan.
Get Professional Advice
If this is your first time out, get professional business advice. Even if it’s not your first time, getting advice can help you clarify your vision, learn from past mistakes, and learn new business strategies. Most of the time, there are areas in business that you don’t even know that you don’t know – we call this concept “unconscious incompetence.”
Seek out business professionals and coaches that have been in business longer than you, that have experience buying and selling companies, and that (preferably) have experience in your industry.
Business often requires that you do some travelling. Companies, such as Freedom Travel, allow you to network with business owners at conventions, learn new strategies, and make friends in the industry. Networking is invaluable because you’re not an island. Other people have come before you – there are other people you can learn from. Side-step common mistakes through networking – it will keep you from becoming another statistic.
Callum Stephenson is a business consultant. He enjoys sharing his insights and expertise online through blogging.