With 30 years’ experience and many years coaching and consulting, I frequently get asked what my top tips for Healthy Business are … so I’m sharing them with you now:
- Debt collection. Cash isn’t just “King”, it’s the whole royal family. This is why it’s so important that someone in your business is ringing up your delinquent customers every week. Yes, weekly. It’s also important they keep good notes as unfulfilled promises can be pursued. It’s a statistical fact that only 25% of businesses follow up outstanding accounts – I know people out there who bank on that.
- Review your figures. Not only should you review your main reports (Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, Debtors, Creditors) but also take a quick look at other reports, such as your payroll. I was looking at a new client’s payroll summary and noticed they were overpaying staff super. They didn’t love their staff so much it was intended.
- Market when you are busy. Marketing takes time to come into effect, and that delay factor often means it’s ideal to be marketing when you are busy. Sadly I see business owners get a bit of work in, decide to cancel their marketing and then stress that their leads have dried up. Marketing is an activity I believe should always be happening, whether it’s quiet or busy.
- Vary your marketing. We all have heard the expression “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” and I believe in this strongly when it comes to marketing. Imagine you get in only business from your website, and Google bring out a new algorithm (sounds familiar?) and suddenly the enquiries dry up. By having a strategy with a variety of lead generation sources, you’ll be getting better results overall.
- Learn every day! I’m a great believer in education. Whether it’s magazine articles, blogs, YouTube clips or articles on LinkedIn, I subscribe that knowledge and education is vital. Make your learning something which happens every day, not just when you ‘get time’. For me, it’s at breakfast time, when I’m eating, I take 15 minutes out to feed my brain as well.
- Be a leader. If you have staff (or contractors) then you are a boss and leader. Please lead by example. I knew a business owner who used to do the wrong thing by his clients – then was shocked when his staff did the wrong thing by him. They witnessed his behaviour and perceived it was acceptable by his standards. Lead well, do what is right and you will attract the team that will help take your business to the next level.
- Say thanks! Particularly to staff, but also suppliers and customers – thank them. Whether it’s a staff member doing a great job, a supplier who bent over backwards to meet a deadline, or a client who paid promptly, express your thanks. Saying ‘thank you’ costs nothing, but is invaluable.
- Seek help. I see it frequently in small business that owners are wanting to save a dollar. They will do their own employment agreements, or try to do their own bookkeeping, or won’t call their business advisor or accountant for help, from fear of being charged. Often, that perceived ‘saving’ is taken up with disasters, mistakes, law suits or massive time correcting errors. Using a business broker is another example. Remember that your business is probably one of your two largest assets (along with your home). With a great business broker (and I’m blatantly endorsing Link Business Brokers who sold my business) you will get more money for your business, sell it quicker, save time and reduce your stress. Despite my extensive business experience, having used Link, I would never consider selling a business myself.
- Be a healthier person. I strongly believe that the health of a business owner aligns closely with the health of a business. If the owner is unwell, sick, overweight, not sleeping, unfit and generally eating poorly and not getting suitable exercise, then how can they be operating at optimum capacity? How can they keep up, perform, stay sharp and be on task?
I hope these tips can help you get on the right track to a healthy business. A business coach can get you further onto business excellence.