Do you run a business that seems to run you? It does not have to be this way. There are 7 keys that can improve your business results and help you achieve success with much less stress.
1 Take Charge
The first key is to realise that success will not just happen, it is up to you to make it happen. Successful people claim to be in control. They refuse to be victims. They accept responsibility for the results their business achieves and take the blame themselves if things go wrong. When we are in control we can choose what to do. We can't always control the situation but there are two things we can control - our attitude and our skills. We can get stronger, we can get smarter, we can get better at all the skills we need to run our business. We can take charge of ourselves and our business and change the results we are achieving.
2 Know Where You Are Going
Without having specific goals, business owners often find working in the business becomes an endless drudgery. If being in business is not exciting, enjoyable and rewarding, then why be in it? It is exciting and rewarding for the few who are really successful. The difference is that they have a clear idea of where they are going and each day they can see their business making progress towards their clearly defined goals.
If our goals are not clearly defined it is easy to become like the mouse on the treadmill. We can expend a lot of effort going nowhere. All we can do is react to the pressures the business creates. The second key is to decide where you are going. When you know where you want your business to go, you can determine what needs to be done to get there. Doing these things creates excitement and enjoyment. Instead of struggling on with meagre rewards, we can make progress towards success in a steadily growing and entirely planned way.
3 Spread The Word
You will never succeed by keeping your business a secret. You need to spread the word to let people know about your unique products or services. With many small businesses, there is a tendency to be reactive. If sales slow down, you decide to advertise to address the situation. When work picks up, advertising is stopped. The result of this approach is haphazard advertising which produces haphazard results. Rather than haphazard advertising, a planned advertising and promotion strategy can be applied to address specific goals.
Instead of one broad objective of "getting more sales", strategies can be developed in three areas. Firstly strategies should be developed to actively encourage word of mouth and a system for generating referred leads. Secondly, planned advertising approaches are needed to generate a steady flow of new enquiries. Thirdly, strategies can be developed to increase the value and frequency of purchases from existing customers. Marketing must not be left to chance. The third key is to spread the word, by developing planned, consistent and effective advertising and promotional systems and strategies.
4 Do What You Do So Well They'll Come Back And Bring Their Friends
The difference between the truly successful business and the average business is that successful business' leaders live, breathe and preach quality, where the average business' leader only pays lip service to it. There are many companies that have built their reputation on the quality of the service they provide as much as the product they sell. Even if we haven't been, I'm sure we all know the reputation Disneyland has for the quality of the experience of a visit there. The title of this key is a quote (paraphrased) from Walt Disney. This man lived and breathed this attitude and accepted nothing less from his employees. The outworking is that standards and procedures are established so that employees know what is expected of them in every situation, particularly in an interaction with a customer. Delighted customers come back with their friends.
5 Train Your People To Do It Better Than You
When we start a business based on our own unique skills, we have a difficult choice when we get too busy to cope with all the work our expertise has created. We need to spread the load by employing others to do some of the work. This is the critical point in the business' development. If the business owner gets this right, the future of the business is assured, but if it goes wrong, the business is doomed.
Many business owners wish they could clone themselves. They are unable to find anyone who can work as well as they do. Usually there has been some resistance to this move, but eventually the need becomes obvious. Business growth is always stifled by the owner hanging on to the work they enjoy. Having made the choice to grow, the key to unlocking this potential is to train the new people to be better than yourself.
6 Keep The Score
The greatest danger in a growing business is for the owner to lose control. This fear causes many to choose to stay small because they do not want the worries of growing too big.
WHAT YOU MEASURE YOU CAN IMPROVE!
A business' performance needs to be managed and controlled. So many business owners worry about getting the work done, but they don't measure results, they don't keep score. Keeping the score indicates how well the business is going towards achieving its goals. If performance is behind expectations, steps can be taken to improve. If the score was not kept, no one would ever know that performance was substandard, and the goals would quite likely never be reached.
7 Celebrate Your Victories
Regeneration of our physical and emotional resources comes when we celebrate victories. One of the problems we have in small business is that we think we are too busy to take time off to celebrate. Even if we just get away from the business and relax, we come back rejuvenated and are usually able to tackle our work with a renewed vigour. Imagine how inefficient it becomes, using a battery powered machine, if we keep on working harder and harder to get the work done and never stop to recharge the batteries. If we don't stop at times to recharge our batteries we keep working hard but become totally ineffective.
When we plan our future and set goals it is easy to determine when to celebrate. Without goals to achieve, we can keep on working until it becomes a drudgery. Celebrations put excitement into what we do.
Implementing the 7 keys to unlock the profit potential in your business could be what you need to end the frustration you feel from trying to build your business but seeming to take one step forward and two steps back. These are the keys to freedom from the daily grind of business pressure, the keys to gaining the rewards you deserve from the efforts you put in. It is up to you to take hold of the keys and unlock the hidden profit and excitement that is the potential your business holds.
Greg Roworth is a business consultant and author of "The 7 Keys to Unlock Your Business Profit Potential." With over 25 years practical experience in business ownership and management, Greg has, over the last 12 years, worked with hundreds of small and medium size enterprises, assisting the owners to grow their business profitably and at the same time reduce their stress levels. His successful business development program results in development of a business that works so well that the owner doesn't have to.
Buy "The 7 Keys" book online at www.progressivebusinesssolutions.co.nz">http://www.progressivebusinesssolutions.co.nz or check out the list of free resources and quality business building articles on our Free Resources page.
Iran‚Äôs foreign minister has said his country will not only survive newly reimposed US sanctions but it will thrive.
The Trump administration announced sanctions this month covering banking, oil exports and shipping, aimed at forcing Tehran to stop what the US described as its ‚Äúdestabilising activities‚ÄĚ in the Middle East.
The White House has backed down in its fight with CNN over correspondent Jim Acosta‚Äôs press pass, ending a legal fight over press freedom and the US constitution that has roiled the political and media landscape.
In a letter to the network the White House laid out several new rules for journalists covering presidential press conferences, including limiting questions to one per journalist, with a follow-up at the discretion of the president or other White House officials.
Wildlife documentary experts defend crew‚Äôs decision to help trapped birds
Leading wildlife camera operators and film-makers have defended the film crew on David Attenborough‚Äôs latest BBC series over their decision to break with convention and intervene to save a group of penguins that had become trapped in a ravine.
Nature film-makers are discouraged from intervening in the events they are attempting to capture on film. While the general principle is to avoid interfering with the natural course of events, the crew on the Dynasties series stepped in when they saw the birds‚Äô predicament.
Former army captain has made no secret of his admiration for the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985
Brazil‚Äôs president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro, has prompted outrage and disbelief after he said the people of Brazil ‚Äď which was ruled by the military for two decades ‚Äď ‚Äústill don‚Äôt know what dictatorship is‚ÄĚ.
The former army captain ‚Äď who has made no secret of his admiration for the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964-1985 ‚Äď was speaking after phone talks with Hungary‚Äôs conservative and fiercely anti-migrant prime minister, Viktor Orban.
One of several cables holding elevator broke and car fell rapidly
Six people including pregnant woman rescued by firefighters
Six people, including a pregnant woman, have plummeted 84 floors in an elevator inside one of Chicago‚Äôs tallest skyscrapers, only learning afterwards how far they had fallen.
The Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that the group got into the elevator early on Friday after leaving a restaurant on the 95th floor of the 875 North Michigan Avenue building, formerly the John Hancock Center. They heard noises and experienced a faster and bumpier than expected ride.
Ban covering 26-nation Schengen zone was coordinated with France and UK, Germany says
Germany has imposed European travel bans on 18 Saudi nationals suspected of involvement in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and confirmed its arms embargo against the regime in Riyadh.
The measures were announced by the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, who told reporters in Brussels that the travel ban covered the 26-nation Schengen zone and had been issued in close coordination with France, which is part of the Schengen area, and the UK, which is not.
US response to UK push for ceasefire in port city of Hodeidah remains unclear
The UK has put forward a UN security council resolution that calls for an immediate truce in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah and guarantees of safe delivery of food and medicine.
The draft resolution is opposed by Saudi Arabia, which is leading airstrikes against Houthi rebels, and it is unclear how much effort the US is prepared to make to push it to a vote at the security council. A parallel peace effort being led by the UN also hangs in the balance as negotiations continue over safe passage of Houthi rebels to peace talks in Sweden.
Architectural photographer Cody Ellingham takes to the streets of Tokyo and Shanghai to reveal secrets old and new
With his moody night-time shots of urban environments, New Zealand-born photographer Cody Ellingham tries to tap into the current of a city, to travel forward into its future or retreat into the past.
Ellingham, a creative based in Tokyo, came to photography while travelling through northern Japan shortly after it was devastated by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Volunteering in the town of Otsuchi-Cho in Iwate, he was moved to capture on camera the foundations of buildings and towns that had been exposed in the disaster and streets that no longer existed. Shooting with a Sony a7RII camera fitted with specialist architectural lenses, he began sharing his work on Instagram as @cbje_tokyo in earnest in 2016.
On Sunday, Romans will vote in a referendum to address a failing transport system that lags behind virtually all European capitals
The images were dramatic: a packed escalator giving way, hurtling dozens of passengers violently downward at Rome‚Äôs Repubblica metro station.
To many of the city‚Äôs residents, however, the 23 October accident was hardly shocking. The explosion of a bus in May on the central shopping street Via del Tritone was no less than the 10th bus to blow up in Rome this year. And although there were no reported injuries, there were 22 bus blasts last year and 14 in 2016, most of which were blamed on short circuits.
Due to its unparalleled exposure to natural disasters, Manizales in central Colombia is globally recognised for its innovative approach to prevention and response
On the evening of 13 November 1985, Luz Estrella Ar√≠as was at home with her young daughter in Rio Claro, a hamlet in Caldas in the heart of Colombia‚Äôs coffee region. When she heard the roar, at first she thought it was a truck overturning. Then she heard the screams.
‚ÄúMy first instinct was to stay in the house,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúMy husband had a prize cockerel that we couldn‚Äôt afford to lose. But then the water started coming in, so I grabbed my daughter and stepped outside. The water swept me off my feet, but I managed to grab a coffee plant and hang on.‚ÄĚ She swings from one of the pillars of her porch, recreating the gesture.
With a new ‚ā¨2m fishing quay due to open in Senegal‚Äôs capital in February, has modernity finally come for the Soumbedioune fishmongers?
Photographs by Xaume Olleros for the Guardian
It is not the large-eyed dentex‚Äôs lucky day. But it is Yelli Diop‚Äôs.
The Senegalese fisherman has had a very successful haul, and arrives back on Dakar‚Äôs shores with several boxes of fish in the hull. His brightly painted pirogue ‚Äď a long, narrow canoe used by the fishermen here ‚Äď is pulled up on the beach, a length of pipe wedged under it to keep it on the sand, and the orangey-pink fish unceremoniously dumped with dozens of its kin into a crate.
The US and its would-be allies lack a coherent, joined-up plan to counter Beijing‚Äôs growing sway
The unusually rumbustious Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit that shuddered to an ill-tempered halt at the weekend proved one thing beyond any doubt: the US and China are intent on doing to the Indo-Pacific region in the 21st century what the US and the Soviet Union did to Europe in the last. Namely, use it as the primary battleground in a global turf war for power and influence.
The jousting superpowers ‚Äď described by Peter O‚ÄôNeill, Papua New Guinea‚Äôs prime minister and Apec host, as the the ‚Äútwo big giants‚ÄĚ in the room ‚Äď managed to turn what is supposed to be a peaceable platform for advancing multilateral cooperation into a noisy reprise of Captain America versus the Evil Empire. This is not what Bob Hawke and Paul Keating had in mind when Apec was launched in Canberra in 1989.
Sir John Gillen‚Äôs interim report also recommends limiting public access to courtrooms
A retired senior judge has called for an overhaul of the way rape is dealt with by the criminal justice system in Northern Ireland, in a move that could have profound implications for the rest of the UK.
In an interim report, Sir John Gillen has called for a series of measures likely to be viewed as controversial by some, including limiting public access to court in rape trials and providing complainants with legal representation.
Party fails to support government in apparent protest over Brexit deal
The future of Theresa May‚Äôs government has been thrown into further doubt after the Democratic Unionist party, whose 10 votes she relies on for a majority in parliament, abstained or backed Labour in a series of votes on the budget.
The DUP is furious about the prime minister‚Äôs Brexit deal, and its decision to withhold support from the finance bill raised doubts about the future of the confidence and supply arrangement on which May‚Äôs ability to secure a majority is based.
Kenneth Macharia‚Äôs claim for asylum was rejected and he faces removal to Kenya
Rugby players in Bristol are fighting to prevent a clubmate whose claim for asylum has been rejected from being deported to Kenya because they fear he will face persecution there for being gay.
Kenneth Macharia, a member of Bristol Bisons, a gay and inclusive rugby club, is being detained at Colnbrook immigration centre near Heathrow airport. He texted members of the club for help, and they are calling on the home secretary, Sajid Javid, to intervene.
Independent inquiry finds serious failure of management over Ga√ętan Mootoo, who felt ‚Äėabandoned‚Äô by the organisation
Amnesty International failed to support a researcher who killed himself in his Paris office after feeling ‚Äúabandoned and neglected‚ÄĚ by the organisation, according to an investigation.
The independent inquiry commissioned by Amnesty into the death of Ga√ętan Mootoo concluded that multiple failings to support the employee of three decades amounted to ‚Äúa serious failure of management‚ÄĚ.
With Venezuela in turmoil, more than 250,000 people have fled to Colombia‚Äôs first migrant camp, in Bogot√°. But with scant food and no heating or sanitation, their hardship is unrelenting
The feet of Estilita L√≥pez, 78 years old, are bloodied and bruised from the arduous journey from Yaracuy, in northern Venezuela, to Bogot√°, the Colombian capital. Together with 460 fellow compatriots, she now lives in a new, city-funded migrant camp that has just sprung up on a football pitch near the airport.
Group aims to create jobs and reduce tensions on Greek island bearing brunt of migrant arrivals
An air of optimism hovers over the olive grove. Men from Africa, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq are busy building a wooden structure that will serve as a new shelter. There is quiet concentration, banter and even a bit of laughter as they bang nails into the beams.
The scene is a far cry from the chaos of the adjacent refugee camp, a place so congested it has earned the Greek island of Lesbos the unenviable reputation of being home to the worst migrant facility in Europe. ‚ÄúWhen people live in a structured environment, they behave in a structured way,‚ÄĚ says Adil Izemrane matter-of-factly.
The president claims the US should have ‚Äėcaught‚Äô the al-Qaida leader earlier, but that ignores basic details of the raid
Donald Trump has repeated his claim that Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US Navy Seals in May 2011, should have been captured much earlier, seeking once again to blame Pakistan and his political rivals at home.
Of course we should have captured Osama Bin Laden long before we did. I pointed him out in my book just BEFORE the attack on the World Trade Center. President Clinton famously missed his shot. We paid Pakistan Billions of Dollars & they never told us he was living there. Fools!..
Are those who compare the president to anti-democratic strongmen overreacting or should we already be worrying?
With disorienting speed over the past two weeks, the US has spun from facing a fake migrant invasion, to a blue-wave election, to an attack on that election by the president. Then it was on to the appointment of a lackey attorney general, a fiasco at a first world war memorial event in Paris, and the White House disseminating a doctored video to justify silencing a CNN reporter.
In one sense, it does not matter what political ideology Donald Trump partakes in ‚Äď which label is applied to it, what historians later might call it. To summarize the views of philosophers, historians and analysts: the currents of history are flowing, and all of America is paddling; we can debate what all that was about when, and if, we make shore.
French president‚Äôs progressive global ambitions come up against reality of nationalism and authoritarian regimes
Emmanuel Macron‚Äôs domestic difficulties and plunging approval ratings present a sharp contrast with his rising international profile. In a Europe lacking strong leaders ready or able to stand up to hard-right, populist nationalists at home and authoritarian regimes abroad, the French president cuts an exceptional figure. Or, at least, that is how he would prefer to be seen.
As last weekend‚Äôs gathering of more than 60 foreign leaders at armistice services and a ‚Äúpeace forum‚ÄĚ in Paris showed, Macron ‚Äď France‚Äôs youngest leader since Napoleon ‚Äď is not without ambition on the world stage. Le Figaro suggested the elaborate ceremonies marked the start of an ‚Äúintense‚ÄĚ French global diplomatic offensive in support of democratic, humanitarian and multilateralist values.
About 4,000 residents have been evacuated from Guatemala's Volcano of Fire after red-hot lava spewed down its side when it erupted on Monday, threatening the communities below. The Fuego volcano is one of the most active in Central America. An eruption in June killed 194 people
The US president has visited the devastated sites of California's deadliest wildfire, again blaming forest mismanagement, which has drawn criticism from some residents. The blaze has incinerated Paradise, population 27,000, and damaged the outlying communities of Magalia and Concow ‚Äď the death toll is now 76
A female protester has died after being hit by a motorist as demonstrators angry at fuel tax hikes gridlocked parts of France on Saturday. Police said 47 other protesters had also been injured, three critically, as France's newest people's movement, the "gilets jaunes" (yellow vests), staged a day of action
People have descended on central London for 'a day of rebellion' in protest over the looming climate crisis. They began massing on five bridges over the River Thames from 10am on Saturday. By 11.30am organisers said all five target bridges had been occupied.
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