Many entrepreneurs start a business with gusto and carefully planned goals. Whether the goals are to be their own boss, grow the company or just to do work that they love, some business owners employ strategies that eventually no longer work, or worse, prevent the business from moving forward. Let’s take a look at 5 things that may be keeping you from reaching your business goals.
Doing it All – When a business first starts out, many times the business owner does it all – sales, marketing, accounting, and customer service. This is usually manageable while the business is small, but as things progress and the business grows, trying to manage everything by yourself can be a major detriment to moving forward and growing. Ask your self, are there tasks I can delegate to others while I concentrate on other things? Resist the feeling that you are taking a risk in hiring outside help – in order to grow a business, it does take a village, so to speak.
Relying on Referral Business Only – While word-of-mouth is often a great way to garner new business, don’t rely on it as your sole source of marketing. It might be tempting to not spend much on marketing efforts, but in the end, it isn’t the best strategy. If you are unsure of where to spend your marketing budget or even how much you should spend on marketing, find a local marketing expert to help you. They will be able to assess your business and where you want to go with it, and then advise you on where to spend those precious marketing dollars.
Pricing Your Products and Services Too Low – All product a retailer sells will have a certain markup that needs to be in place to make a profit, so if you don’t understand the mechanics of retail markup, get yourself educated immediately. There are many resources available online to help you with this – just search “retail markup” for a wealth of information. As for services, you will need to assess what your time and the time of your employees is worth. Some services can be rolled into the markup of products so you don’t need to charge separately for them, like mixing and tinting paint. The bottom line is, don’t short-change yourself for your time! Also, be prepared to defend your prices. When you sell premium paint at a premium price, let your customers know why they are better off buying from you!
Not Investing in the Right Tools – Using free resources can be a great strategy to keep overhead low in the beginning stages of a business. But as you grow, investing in the proper professional tools can make all the difference in your continued growth. For a paint & decorating retailer, these tools range from the latest POS software, top-notch mixing and tinting equipment, color matching equipment and technology, professional marketing resources and professional accounting services and/or software. The investment you make in these tools and services will not only pay for themselves in the long run, they will help you reach your goals more quickly and efficiently.
Taking Your Staff for Granted – Once you make the jump and get help with the day-to-day operation of your business, don’t completely distance yourself from those who are doing that daily work. Your staff is crucial to your continued success so treat them like gold! Always be available to talk to them and more importantly, be available to LISTEN to your staff. Make sure they have the tools they need to be successful in their work – this includes making sure they are well-trained for the type of work they will be expected to do. Many young employees who don’t feel that their employer is invested in their success will quickly move on, costing you money for re-hiring and re-training someone new.
Train your staff the easy way! Use PDRA’s free training, available here: Train the Trainer and Trainer’s Toolbox