Friday, October 17, 2008

9 Growth Elements in Hard Times

9 Growth Elements in Hard Times

You as business owners though out the world are becoming increasingly anxious about what is happening out there in this little economic turmoil that we are seeing going on. The object you need to keep focused on is your business fundamentals. If you keep the important things in order you can actually grow right now!

You need to keep focused on 9 different essentials things for business success.

As you read them you might be ready to throw up your hands and say "This tuff again?" Hang in there and read. Then tell me, how are you doing in these 8 areas?

1: Product/Service and Operations: Have you examined the way your company delivers your product or service so that it's the absolute best it can be? Do you know what the best is? Look hard ask pointed questions to everyone including your drives, dock workers and janitors.

2: People: Do your employees, vendors and other service providers know exactly what they should be doing for you? Are you providing your people with the critical resources they need to excel in their job?

3: Sales: This one is very near and dear to my heart. Do you know what your sales system is? There are different kinds you know. Have you written down your sales plan? Does each of your reps have their own sales plan and goal? Have you transformed your customers into bird dogs for your company so they'll spread the word about you or send you leads? How full is your pipeline, how long is your sales cycle, are there long lost past customers you should be talking to?

4: Finance and Accounting: Do you know what the net margin is on each product/service you sell? You better! As times get rough and prices flexuaite on oil, raw materials etc, you need to know if you are making or loosing money. Too many business owners let finances and basic principles of business management go on a hunch or base their prices on their competition, only to find themselves in a big hole.

5: Product/Service Development: Are you thinking for the future? Are you spotting trends and making plans to act on them? What will you be selling when your present products or services have completed their sales cycle? They all do you know. Maybe in 3 months maybe in 30 years but it will happen.

6: Leadership: Have you crafted the long-term vision for your company? I have, and it’s written down. Are your people on the same page with your vision? Do they see you as a leader or as just another boss to discard in 1 or two years when they go get a new job? This is what great business leaders do. This is why great business leaders are paid the big bucks.

7: Marketing: Do you know how you will fill your sales pipeline next month? Nest quarter? Next year? Better get going, your competition is already is! Focus on your business growth through targeted marketing techniques. Understanding the basics of targeting, strategies, tactics and implementation will give you what you need to create your own powerful marketing plan. Another thing to write down.

8: Strategic Planning: How much money do you want to make How much profit do you want to achieve. How do you plan to get there? What is the road map to and for your success? Do you know what your 5 year business strategies are? All successful companies have strategic plans. I like to really break my planning down to 1 month, 3 month, 1 year and 5 year planning then launching into my lifetime plan. I have problems getting specific after 5 years.

9: Protect your good people: In hard times it is easy to put blinders on what will get your company growing. Some times it’s a good time to cut out some dead wood, yes been there done that, but the people who are important, keep the safe and secure. Keep them feeling good about you, themselves and the future of the company so they don’t dust off their resumes.

Larson note: You climb on these 9 essential ideas and you can grow starting today (ok maybe next week) If you are stating from scratch make a list pick them off one at a time advertsinging plan, marketing plan, business plan, people plan.

Just say “I refuse to participate in this recession!”

Howard Larson
Larson & Associates
Telesales & Target Marketing Professionals for new account acquisition
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better

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