10 ways to enhance running your business

The business world can be challenging, hectic and stressful. Whatever your trade here are some ideas for increasing profits, minimising stress and improving your business.

  1. Spend time working on, not in the business. Most small business owners spend all of their time working in the business and don’t consider where the business is heading. Take a few hours each week to step back and consider the big picture. Set goals over different timescales and plan. This will focus you on immediate actions which will have a positive effect.
  2. Use quality advisers. You can gain insight into your business and how you operate from your advisers. Good advisers as well as doing their job for you will be easily contactable when you need them and will give you ideas to help you increase profits.
  3. Outsource tasks. Everyone has tasks they hate doing, which means generally they are done not very well, often leading to errors. It may be cost effective to get help with these, thereby freeing up your time to do other, more productive tasks.
  4. Reduce levels of stock held. Different trades require different levels of stock, although fast paced life means products are available more quickly nowadays. Holding excess stock incurs costs of storage, insurance and risk of obsolescence, all costing the business. Review stocks regularly to see what you actually need to hold.
  5. Focus on profits, not turnover. This is the true measure of a great business. Consider ideas for spending money to make money. Consider ways to reduce costs and evaluate the cost of reducing costs. Consider ideas for selling new or complementary products and the methods of presenting them. Calculate the profit potential and plan how to incorporate these changes in your business.
  6. Know your results. Management information is easily available, from your accounting software or with help from your accountant, although it is amazing how many business owners don’t know day to day how the business is doing. By having regular up to date information, financial and other business decisions will become much easier.
  7. Embrace the online community and stay up to date with technology. This will keep you in the competition. Online sales are the highest growth area in recent years. An online presence will rapidly expand your potential customer base. This also may be a low cost effective means of advertising. In most businesses you have to be modern to stay ahead and get new custom.
  8. Join your local chamber of trade. By knowing other local entrepreneurs you will gain information on the local market conditions and may get other ideas from their experiences. There will be discounts from local suppliers you may be able to take advantage of.
  9. Manage your cashflow well. Cash is king and allows you take advantage of opportunities. Collect debts as quickly as possible and actively manage paying your suppliers. Simple ideas to reduce debt will reduce expensive finance costs.
  10. Keep staff happy. There are thousands of ways to make staff feel good at work, most of them costing you nothing. The way your business is viewed by others is from their communication with you and your staff. A positive experience and having great customer service will keep customers coming back again and again.

Glenn Clifford,
Corporate Director, Penrith

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