Business Advice – Goal Setting for Long-Term Business Success

Goal Settings for Long Term Business Growth

One of the best ways to grow your small or medium-size company is to set and achieve business goals. Having a vision for the direction of your business is necessary for consistent and long-term growth. With business objectives firmly in place, a company can move forward.

The Importance of Business Goals

Without business goals, you may flounder and waste time, money, and resources as you try different things hoping some will prove profitable. The best approach is to carefully determine what your business is all about. Who are your ideal customers? What are your main services or products? Only after answering such questions can you accurately choose a plan of action that works for your business model.

The first step in goal setting is choosing long-term goals, usually three to five years into the future. Once you establish long-term goals, you break down all steps to create relevant short-term goals. These are small, manageable steps needed for accomplishing the long-term goals.

According to the Inc.com article, How to Set Business Goals, there are four main categories of business goals: service, social, growth, and profit. Service goals involve raising customer satisfaction levels with such ideas as using new technologies to become more efficient and productive. Social goals help the community with volunteer work or charitable giving. Growth goals are expanding the company in ways such as opening more stores or increasing service or product offerings. With profit goals the business owner wants to improve the bottom line. For example, you may want to increase sales five percent every quarter.

Tips for Achieving Goals

Here are a few tips to help your goal setting efforts.

Specificity

Be specific when goal setting by cleanly defining what you want. If you want to increase profits, how exactly will you achieve this?  Will you reduce expenses and/or raise prices?

Brainstorming

Identify all the steps required for achieving a goal and then brainstorm ideas and activities. Get your employees to participate to keep ideas flowing.

Deadlines

It’s important to set deadlines for each short-term (and long-term) goal. Reaching milestones keeps you moving in the right direction.

Focus

Once you have set goals and established a plan of action, you have to remain focused on each short-term goal.

Commitment

To achieve any goal, you have to stay committed. This means working on goals every day.

Celebration

When you reach a milestone, celebrate that small success. It will help keep you motivated.

Goal setting is an important component of every successful business. By choosing long-term objectives and working towards them, you can keep your company on track, leading it to the results you envision.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

 

Business Advice – How to Promote Growth & Success

how to promote growth and success for business owners

There are various components that make up a successful business. As business owners, we want to ensure we are conducting actions that promote growth and success for our businesses. For small businesses, the details seem to matter so much more. So what is it that leads to success? Continue below to discover two critical components that will promote growth and success for small business owners.

Building Rapport

Building a rapport, or establishing a positive relationship, with other individuals is so important in a business environment. Whether this is on a small scale or larger scale, building a rapport with others is crucial. Having a positive rapport with others can lead to referrals for your business or even free word-of-mouth advertising.

Who should you be building a rapport with?

It doesn’t matter if you are the owner of a small car lot, a cleaning business, or if you own a small diner. Rapport should be formed with everyone you are in contact with.  Build a rapport with your clients or customers to maintain trust and allow them to feel significant. Create positive relationships with vendors and your distributors. This may result in you receiving quicker service or better pricing on inventory.

Setting Goals

Again, it does not matter what type of industry your business falls under, setting goals is crucial for success.

Let’s first gain an understanding of why goals are so important.

  • Goals help us measure progression
  • Goals help us avoid procrastination and give us something to work towards
  • Goals promote growth and increase performance
  • Goals help to keep employees motivated

Now that you understand some of the reasons it is so important to set goals for your business, it is equally important for you to understand how to set your specific goals.

It is important to remain realistic and set attainable goals. If you are consistently setting goals that are out-of-reach, your team will continuously feel defeated and lose their motivation.

For example, if you are running a small fitness facility, you might consider setting a goal for your sales team to sign “X amount of people up each month”. In the month of January, you might make a goal of signing 50 new members up, which is realistic considering many individuals begin working out during the New Year. However, in the month of July, you will likely make a goal of signing up 20 new members, as many individuals are satisfied with being outside during the summer months.

Just remember that many different factors and components go into creating goals.  Creating attainable goals is the key objective of any business in order to promote growth and success and maintain financial stability.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

A Formula for Success

formula for success for owning a business

In business, we’re all trying to find the best way to flourish and prosper within our markets. Experimenting with the latest trends in marketing, taking cuts in corners, and the never-ending need to outshine, outsmart, outsell our competition seems to be creating more work; when the goal should be to work smarter and not harder. What we should do is start looking back at the core of business integrity. Read on to learn a formula for success. 

Build relationships

Connecting with others more personally can go a long way in any business. Relationships are the vehicle that will drive you to success. This doesn’t mean to get personal; it simply means to go out of your way to listen and truly understand the other person you’re working with. Whether it’s a co-worker, client, or the “go-to” company that caters the monthly meetings, the people we interact with are people. The rapport we build with them can bring more rewards to our ongoing interaction than any other strategy. Send a thank you note, give them a word of praise, do something extra that lets them know they’ve been acknowledged and appreciated.

Go the extra mile

No matter if we’re signing checks or sweeping floors, our position within a business is important. Every action we take has our name on it. Our success is dependent upon every detail that makes up the entire picture. Going the extra mile on even the smallest of tasks will stand out. Jim Rohn says, “Always go the extra mile, because most people won’t even go the first mile”. Before passing the buck, go the extra mile and you will see that opportunities are often waiting. If we’re driving towards success, doesn’t it just make sense to go the extra mile?

Persistence

The key to making all this work is persistence. One compliment isn’t going to bring the rewards of building a rapport. This requires time. Going the extra mile once isn’t going to get you noticed; you still need to cover some ground.  Creating a habit of these qualities brings a refinement to your character. Over time, these qualities will begin to compound and the effect will spill over into your success.  By simple observation, we can see the best formula for success uses principles we’ve been taught throughout our lives.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more interesting topics to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Three Fun and Creative Ways to Promote Customer Loyalty

Promote Customer Loyalty

Three Fun and Creative Ways to Promote Customer Loyalty

If you own a retail or service business you are most likely always on the look-out for ways to grow your customer base, repeat business, or word of mouth customers. Try one or all of these simple ways to promote customer loyalty and put smiles on your patron’s faces, while putting cash in your till.

#1:  Offer a gift card exchange.

Around the holidays many people receive gift cards. Sometimes, the cards are to places they just don’t care to patronize for one reason or another. Put a sign on your counter that states that you will exchange one of your gift cards (or a credit, if you don’t offer cards), for your customers’ unused gift cards to other establishments.

Your customers will appreciate the opportunity to exchange unwanted cards for yours and they might even spend more than the card value. You can sell the cards online for a small discount, so you won’t lose much by making an exchange.

Be sure to ask your customers to let their friends know about your exchange program and call the number on the backs of the cards to check the value before making an exchange.

#2:  VIP programs can boost sales and fortify customer engagement and retention.  A few ways to reward your most loyal customers are:

  • Have exclusive VIP sales.
  • Open doors early on the first day of a sale for your VIP customers.
  • Have a points system where customers accumulate points with each purchase. Once they’ve accumulated a certain number of points, they will receive a gift, gift card,  discount, or a store credit.
  • Give store credit of gift cards for VIP customers’ birthdays.
  • Offer benefits like free returns or free shipping to VIP customers.

#3.  Contests and giveaways are flexible and fun.

You can spend as much or as little as you want, both on contest prizes and on your marketing efforts. Before hosting a contest, make sure whatever you plan is legal in your state. Many states regulate raffles, bingo, and other games of chance. Contest prizes should always drive business. Award store gift cards, credit, discounts or a collectible that your business offers. Contests should encourage repeat business, provide you with contact information for future promotions and add to your bottom line. Get your creative juices flowing with these ideas:

  • Have customers submit photos showing how they use products or items purchased from you.
  • Have a naming contest for a temporary mascot, stuffed animal, or caricature.
  • Customers can pop balloons or spin wheels for discounts, or gift cards.
  • Hand out printed puzzle pieces with purchases. The first customer to complete a puzzle wins a prize. The completed puzzle might be a photo of your storefront.
  • Hand out letters of the alphabet, that can be used to complete a crossword puzzle made up of words relating to your business or promotions. Keep a supply of blank crossword puzzles on your counter.
  • Have a local soap or candle merchant create a unique scent just for you and let customers submit name suggestions. Award the winner with a store discount or gift card along with one of the special scented products.
  • Engage your customers by celebrating obscure holidays and events with customer discounts, prizes, or gift cards. If you can think of it, there is probably a day to commemorate it. Everything from Penguin Awareness Day to Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day can be turned into a fun way to broaden your reach and increase customer loyalty.

Contest ideas are only limited by your imagination. Remember that contests should be designed to allow you to collect email addresses or other customer information you can use in future promotions. If you are comfortable with using social media or cell phone apps to engage with your customers, there are a number of applications and formats designed expressly for creating contests that increase customer interactions.

Whatever means you use to increase your store traffic, promote customer loyalty, or to garner valuable marketing material, keep it simple. Nothing is more frustrating or discouraging than a complicated campaign that will confuse your customers and cost you more than it is worth.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your small business profitably, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com.