“A business should perform like a championship sports team,” writes the Seattle management consultant (http://www.bizcoachinfo.com). “That means protecting your turf while aggressively pursuing new opportunities.”
For new or existing businesses, here’s The Biz Coach checklist of strategies:
1. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats -- including yours, key employees and the mission of your business. Consider a SWOT analysis at every level. You need to understand your talents, and your special niche.
2. Study your marketplace. Your customers want to anticipate how your products and services will work for them.
3. Develop a new marketing approach to differentiate your business from your competitors. Design a unique message with a minimum of five value propositions, a branding slogan and logo that demonstrates value. Use the right verbiage. Increasingly, customers favorably respond to words that connote security, convenience, good, new, proven, results, community involvement and green or environmentally safe.
4. Write a vision plan, strategic action plan or a business plan, which is even better. Determine clear, pragmatic goals and how you will achieve them for the short and long term.
5. Get the right advice. At the least, get a mentor who is successful and understands your business. Additionally, a network of business advisors will work.
6. Monitor your expense and eliminate unnecessary costs.
7. Leverage the insights of financial, legal and insurance professional, whom you can trust.
8. Determine where your most profitable customers are. Get to know and understand their concerns and needs. Provide exemplary service.
9. Recruit and hire the best talent. Look for attitude, education and soft skills. Pay them well. Be mindful of their lifestyles and family concerns.
10. Continually look for multiple revenue streams and new product lines that make sense for your business.
11. Don’t become a low-price leader. Be careful in using loss-leader pricing, and remember coupons only attract price-conscious customers. They will not be loyal and become repeat customers.
12. Be pro-active, which means doing the footwork, and making old-fashioned cold calls.
13. Nurture your relationships by sending greeting cards, thank you notes, special offer notifications, and an occasional visit or phone call to just chat and not sell.
14. Make certain your small business voice is heard – vote, and make your business concerns known to lawmakers.
15. Develop a succession plan and exit strategy, especially if you’re approaching retirement.
For marketing essentials on a shoestring budget, see: http://www.bizcoachinfo.com/
As a business performance consultant, Mr. Corbell provides a myriad of management services: http://www.bizcoachinfo.com/
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Seattle Biz Coach Terry Corbell is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. As a columnist, he authors performance-