What’s Wrong With My Business

What’s Wrong with My Business?

How to Get Your Business Profitable Again!

Business was good for many small businesses, however, many of these once great businesses have fallen on very tough times. The economy is not at fault, most often the problem is that the business has become worn, tired and stale not only the customers and employees but more importantly to the owners themselves. Why has this happened and why is this important to fix?

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First let’s explore why this is important to the owners to fix. The good news is when owners take a fresh look at their business and fix the areas that are worn, tired or stale, the business starts to flourish once again. As the business flourishes the owner creates more… More what? More money, more time, more interest from customers and employees and more freedom to do what they want regarding hobbies, family, community and spiritually. Conversely, if the business is allowed to continue to age and stagnate, the customers quit coming back, employees will leave starting with the best ones first and then the next tier and finally only the ones who can not leave go down with your sinking business ship.

What do business owners need to know about this topic? First and foremost, your employees are your business. As the owner, you need to re-activate the employees to take a concerted interest in growing your business for you. You have a long way to go here depending on how far your business has slipped. Most employees are used to the “do as I say, not as I do” example of owners and will need to be shown consistent and measurable changes in the business. Clients and customers will take even longer to prove the “new you” to. Stick with it though, change is hard work and it must start with your attitude. Try to remember what your attitude was when you first started the business. Next is the fact that there’s a physical and emotional side to your business. I visited a business not long ago where all the plants outside the building were dead, no leaves, no green, nothing. Only 2 cars were in the huge parking lot. As I walked up to the two double doors at the entrance there were cob webs hanging all over the entire entrance. When I walked in the door the person behind the desk was totally astonished that someone had actually walked through the door. Her attitude and demeanor was obviously influenced by the physical environment and added to my emotional unrest regarding the entire business. The carpets were worn and dirty, the paint was dirty and dingy, and there were stacks of paper all over the back of a huge room that once held many sales reps in their cubicles. These stacks were 6 to 8 feet tall, not the normal 6 to 8 inches tall. The funny part was, the owner was blaming the past employees, the suppliers, and the clients for not understanding what THEY were doing. The thing that escaped this owner, is that clients and employees can get most any product or service from anyone, what they are looking for is an “EXPERIENCE” while getting that product or service.

So how do you actually bring the life back into your company? First, recognize that you must re-examine your own feelings. Can you and will you commit to making changes in your business? If not, stop now, sell and move on with something else. Don’t become the walking dead in your business. Second, Don’t allow yourself to get mired down into the everyday work of the business. You must plan your work and plan the changes you want to make. Third, take a new look at your business both physically and emotionally from your customer’s point of view as well as your employee’s. You may want to consider hiring a temp from a temp agency to be a “secret shopper” of your business. Make sure they engage your business in all the same ways your typical customer does, telephone, walk-in, Online, catalogue, etc. Don’t forget to have them shop your competitors the same way also. This will give you a guideline as to what the standard is. You wouldn’t want to make a change just to discover you are still not meeting customer expectations. Fourth, set out a plan and road-map to make the changes necessary in the business to make measurable and consistent change. Last, take action on the list. Make sure that you start with some easy quick changes that are obvious to employees and customers. Get some traction before investing lots of money on the big ideas that may not catch the eye of customers who need to fund future changes.

So what’s next? Don’t be complacent. Take action, as the leader you need to set (or reset) the standard for your business. Don’t let anyone compromise your standards including clients and employees. Be committed to the changes and give them time to take effect. You didn’t lose your business overnight and you definitely won’t get it back over night either. Customers have to re-discover your business and why they should do business with you.

Next week, we’ll discuss the balance between Sales, Operations and Finance so stay tuned to Hawk’s Eye radio and watch for the update here. Past Shows on Business topics can be heard on http://HawksEyeOnBusiness.com/radio-show

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