If your company is chugging along and you can afford to make a few improvements this year, here are a few smart ways to reinvest in your company.
How To Improve Your Business
Streamline Your Office
- Go through all of your business contacts and update any changes. Failing to keep up with clients and business contacts when they change physical locations and get new contact numbers, etc can lead to lost sales in the future. Make an effort to do this every year.
- Update any office equipment that is worn, broken, or not functioning in a way that is reliable. That malfunctioning printer is doing nothing but wasting your employees’ time.
- If you use any kind of software that causes complaints from customers with scheduling, point of sale issues, marketing, or any other major issue, try out a new app or program that has better ratings and has a good reputation. Automated scheduling/payment/marketing software is all highly competitive areas of software/web design, so it shouldn’t be hard to find something that suits your business better. Take the time to properly train staff on any new apps or programs prior to switching over, so the transition to the new system is smooth.
- Pin down your overhead costs: In order to be able to accurately bill clients, the actual overhead costs must be figured out accurately. If it has been a while since you have sat down to calculate the cost of everything you need to perform your service to every client, then it is prudent that you do so. This will help you to justify costs to anyone who has lots of questions about how you reach the price you charge.
Get Those Beautiful Business Cards You Have Always Wanted
If you are still using the plain, uninteresting business cards that you picked up for 10,000 for $50 three years ago, that were made in a sweatshop and printed on flimsy, uninteresting paper stock, devote a day to get some gorgeous new cards like you have dreamed of since you were a kid.
There are some absolutely amazing business cards that are out there, with clever designs, made from alternative, unusual materials that will catch the eye of those clients out there who have an eye for an appreciation of details and a love of well-designed marketing tools.
If you have never employed a professional to market anything for your business, and you have been doing it all yourself so far — even though you did not know a thing about design and marketing when you began, and you still know very little, other than the bare-bones basics still — it’s time to splurge on a bit of professional design or even an investment into a professional marketing campaign for your growing company.
Start the search for some companies that make the best small business cards around, and let them help you design professional-looking cards.
Don’t limit yourself to a simple paper card. People really love gifts; find a company that can make some branded marketing on a give-away item that is pertinent to your business.
A flourishing industry exists around branded giveaway items, and it’s always a nice touch to have a small token item to give to prospective or current customers to set your company apart slightly. Interesting and useful branded items include:
- Memory sticks for any company in tech or business
- Flexible drinking straws for a yoga, chiropractic or beverage company
- Key fobs for any kind of automotive related company
- Money clips for banking related or VC Fund m13
- Mirrored compact for cosmetics related
- Seed packets for agribusiness, plant based foods or Earth friendly related companies
- Rolling papers for legalized marijuana industry
- Chopsticks for any industry in China, Korea, or Japan
- Wine corker for foodservice or beverage industry
Brainstorm with your team to come up with the perfect premium giveaway items to have branded with your name and logo.
Reiterate Your Dreams and Aspirations
You’ve been at it for a while, and things are going well. Your original team has evolved, and some of the people you started out with to hear the original hopes and dreams that your company had when you launched have moved on to different paths, making room for new people. Hopefully, there has been a need to expand and hire new personnel, as well.
For the sake of the whole company, having a sit-down meeting to go over the long-term and short-term goals of the company… your company.
Even if your “big picture” goals are clear in your mind, it probably isn’t in other people’s minds. Make it a laid-back meeting with snacks, and let each employee know how important their role is in the big picture of making the company successful.
Make a brief presentation that “pitches” your company to the team you have put together; express to all of them at least ten well-illustrated reasons why your business should exist.
Use the same large amount of devotion and love that you have for making your company work to sell your business plan to your employees.
Let them know why you think they should back you up and support the company as much as you do. Give every one of your employees the inspiration that they need from you, as their employer, to give the sort of effort it will take from everyone in the room to make their business a winner in the global marketplace.
Cut Out a Crucial Piece of Dead Wood
As much as you want your team to know how essential they all are, and how vital they are individually in order to build a company that is successful and well run, it is also up to you to make the difficult decisions it takes to protect your company from the occasional person who might tank the whole ship.
If there is a person that you stress over regularly, who keeps you up at night with concerns for the future of your business when left to the devices of that person’s lack of effort (or whatever problems exist that are not able to continue and still make for a healthy company culture with strong role models all around), you need to bite the bullet and fire that person.
If you feel as if you did everything in your power to give an employee the tools they need to fulfill their function at work, based upon what they presented themselves as able to bring to the table when they were hired, then in order to maintain healthy company culture, the person needs to be fired.
Not removing someone from the company that brings negativity to the mix, or allowing repeated incompetence without an adequate effort to improve upon weak points will give your staff an impression that your company will tolerate all of the negative qualities that have been exhibited by this person who keeps you up nights with worry and dread.
Allowing someone to drag down the core values of a company, or tolerating consistent mediocrity without any attempts to grow or improve, will quickly begin to attract other applicants with a bad work ethic, or a bad attitude, or whatever qualities keep you up nights.
Nobody likes firing someone, but unfortunately, it falls on you — so do it with professionalism. Let them know the reasons they are being let go, so they can hopefully learn from the experience, and improve upon some qualities that they might not realize are problematic.
Keep On Doing Things Right
By staying on top of problems, and being conscientious, managing your team and your business well, you’re still afloat. Keep on doing what you are doing.