Anybody can run a business, but running a successful remodeling business that is profitable and has many happy, satisfied customers who come back, again and again, is more difficult.
The problem with many businesses is that they only look at a single portion of the business, not the overall big picture. This is especially true for business school graduates and corporate executives. They will look at a particular piece of data – for example, a profit and loss statement or a customer service survey – and use it to make decisions that can have a negative effect on other aspects of the business.
To run a successful business – one that not only makes money but will still be around a decade from now – requires a more holistic approach.
Here, then, are six things to do to increase the success, profitability, and longevity of your business.
Don’t Chase Profits
This may sound counter-instinctual to the success of a business, but it’s not always a good idea only to chase profits. This is especially true for new businesses.
For most businesses, the couple of years – or at least the first year – you can expect to lose money. That’s because new businesses are going to have a lot of pre-opening expenses and not a lot of income, in most cases.
Most business owners have to be prepared to take a loss during the initial stages so that they can set the business up for long-term success. That’s why it’s always a good idea to have enough money in the bank – or at least investors – to fund the first 12 to 24 months of business without taking any profits.
Take Care of Your Employees
Just about any business needs its employees more than its employees need it. The reason is simple: Your employees are the ones dealing with your customers. They are, in effect, the ambassadors for your business.
So when you treat your employees poorly, pay them low wages, or otherwise, don’t take care of them, you can guess what is going to happen: Your customers are going to get a bad impression of your business because your employees don’t care about your success.
Happy employees are the easiest way to guarantee happy customers. Pay fair, competitive wages, reward and recognize workers for a job well done, be open to recommendations from front line employees on how to improve operations, and treat every employee as if they were a beloved member of your own family and you will never have to worry about what your customers think of your business.
Lead by Example
A lot of business owners think that because they are in charge, they can do whatever they want: Show up late, leave early, not be fully engaged when on the job. The problem is that when you are the boss, everybody is watching everything you do.
Recognize that as the leader you are living your life in a fishbowl. That means you have lead by example on the job and off. Want your employees to work hard? Then be the first person to show up to work and the last one to leave and work your hardest every minute and every day.
Trust No One
It’s a business fact of life that people are going to steal from you. Not just criminals, but your most trusted, long-time employees, even your family.
Put systems in place that make it difficult for people to steal money, products and time. Check and double check everything and keep your eyes and ears open. This will make people think twice about stealing from you and also will make it easier to catch them when they do.
Prioritize Customer Service
One of the most common things business owners forget is that the consumer has a lot of different options. They don’t need to choose from you, especially today when they can compare shopping for various things online.
But the number one thing that will bring in more customers to your business compared to your competitors isn’t prices, isn’t selection, and isn’t flashy marketing and promotions. It’s customer service. People still value high-quality, one on one interactions in which they are recognized and made to feel important.
Prioritize customer service before anything else and your customers will keep choosing you over your competitors time and time again.
Establish Realistic Goals
How do you measure the success of your business? If you can’t answer that question, how do you know when you’ve succeeded?
Every successful business needs goals, both short-term and long-term. They help keep your business on track, give your employees something to work towards and tell you when you are falling short or exceeding your expectations.
Realistic goals will help define your business and give you the motivation to keep pushing further and further with the success of your business.