Jan 252011

Top 10 Steps to take today to make 2011 a great year.

1. Set profit goals. Don’t just set goals, set profit goals. Example: Increase Gross Profit Margin by 3%. Increase Sales by 15%.  Then write it down, put it in a plan.  A goal NOT written down is just a wish.

2. Trim the fat. If you haven’t already done so. Go through your variable and fixed expenses with a fine tooth comb. Ask yourself  if each expense is necessary. And what would you do if you eliminated the expense or reduced it in some capacity. This can be a difficult part about being a business owner. You may need to make some difficult decisions. Word of caution here. Cutting some expense’s may end up hurting your company in the long run. The last thing you want to do is eliminate a expense that would affect your ability to generate revenue. Review these with caution with a trusted advisor.

3. Test and Measure, everything. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Business is a game, how do you know if you are winning or loosing if you aren’t keeping score?

4. Know thy Customer. The first step to knowing your customer is to grade your customer. I encourage my clients to go into their database and put an A, B, C, or D in front of their names. Then fire your C & D customers and raise the bar for your B customers. Then make sure you spend real time with your A customers. At a minimum make sure you send them a thank you or birthday card every now and then.  Let them know you care.

5. Guard your time like it’s the Holy Grail. We only have so much time available. Our time is  a non-renewable resource. And when it is gone, it is gone forever.

6. Spend time instead of money. Depending on your financial health, this may be a great option. Most likely at one point you used to be more hands on than you are now. However, over time we get “lazy” and gradually start hiring people or out sourcing things that maybe we shouldn’t be. I am a firm believer in leverage and investing my time wisely. By going through this exercise you will find out what responsibilities are the most value to you. Which responsibilities make sense to delegate and which responsibilities you need to perform yourself. Example: Paint the porch? No. Sales? Yes.

7. Get organize. Being unorganized wastes your time. Use checklist, spreadsheets, and operation manuals for organizing your production. Use industry specific software and embrace technology. It is your friend. Examples: computers, software, GPS’s, the internet, and social media.

8. Have the right attitude. If you don’t want to be in business or in this business then don’t. Everything in life is a choice. If you choose to be in business, then commit to it 100%. Set goals, focus, and take action. Look at running a business as a way to give back to the community. Where the community pays you for it.

9. Leadership. Be the leader that your company needs you to be. Your team looks up to you for guidance and reassurance that everything is going to be ok. Share with them your vision and your goals for the company. You don’t have a documented vision to share with your team ? Get one.

10. Have fun. Business is supposed to be fun. Celebrate when you achieve even the simplest goals.

 January 25, 2011  Posted by at 3:48 PM Leadership Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »