In order to foster a steady rate of growth and to ensure profitability is running at maximum, entrepreneurs should take a holistic look at their operations every few months. In addition to examining your own successes and failures, you should also look at those of your chief rivals. Try to consider what someone else would do if they had access to your resources and client list. It is important for entrepreneurs to be open-minded when looking for small business improvements and growth.
Consider the value of your relationships
When considering the strengths and weaknesses of your company, it’s a good idea to examine your business relationships with an unsentimental eye. In some instances, a company will maintain a relationship with a client even after it becomes clear that it’s no longer a profitable one. It could be that a long-term customer has come to believe that they deserve less than wholesale rates for the products and services your company provides, simply because they’ve been a consistent purchaser. They could also be the kind of customer whose constant demands for attention has caused your staff’s ability to cultivate new accounts to be impaired. As the owner of the business, it’s your responsibility to do everything you can to cut costs and maximize profitability, even if that means ending a long-term relationship.
Because starting and growing a business is such an incredibly demanding endeavor, many founders often find themselves in the position of disliking internal conflict. While there’s no benefit to employing someone who is insubordinate, good leaders know that getting feedback from the people under them will only increase their probability for success. If you can’t remember the last time one of your workers or partners disagreed with you about something, it may be that they don’t feel safe offering up a dissenting opinion. If that’s the case, you should take immediate steps to remedy the situation. It’s only through hammering that steel grows stronger.
Get some outside advice
Through no fault of their own, even the most forward thinking entrepreneur can become locked into a particular mindset as a result of working within the same industry for an extended period of time. One effective way to break through that stagnation is to start a conversation with other entrepreneurs working in completely different fields. Get in contact with founders of companies that are similar in size to your own and set up an in person meeting where you can compare and contrast how you operate. You may pick up some useful tips on how to streamline your operation or, even better, you may discover a lucrative parallel market opportunity.
This article was written by Mario McKellop for Small Business Pulse