Is Your Business A “Fixer-Upper”?

A lot of the time we blame our business failures on lack of time, money, resources and knowledge about the industry and market.   And it makes sense.  Maybe we started our business too early.  The customers were there yet, they didn’t see what we saw and weren’t ready to make shift.  Maybe we didn’t have enough money to get our business off the ground or sustain it in its first year.   Maybe we didn’t have the right suppliers or vendors to work with, or we were outsourcing too much of our tasks and not tackling what could be done in-house. We fail to understand, however,  that no matter how good the idea is, if we’re not flexible to make changes along the way, our businesses will never go anywhere.

Is Your Business in Need of Repair?

Is Your Business in Need of Repair?

Companies will always need some fixing up.  In the early stage, when things aren’t so pinned down and concrete, making changes is easy.  After all, we’re still bouncing around ideas and getting a feel for what to expect.  But what happens when we’ve launched our business, or it’s been in business for a few years, but we’re still struggling to see a return of our investment?  Despite what we’ve been told or heard, the majority of changes a company will need to make in its lifetime will be after it’s up and running.  How will we know which changes to make and when?  We can rely on trial and error, but that takes time and often, a lot money.  A better way –ask for feedback from our customers and staff members.  That seems to work the best.  Customers know what they want and what they’re willing to pay for it.  And more often than not, they’re willing to tell us in one fashion or another — angry/poor reviews, 1 or 2 star ratings, or dissing comments on social media platforms.

Is it all about ratings and reviews?  Is it all about customer service with a smile?  What signs do we look for to know it’s time for some changes to be made?:

  • Do we offer a way for customers/ clients to leave feedback with a call-to-action on our websites?
  • Do we take time to personalize service to each customer?  If not each customer, how about repeat or loyal customers?
  • Do we ever ask employees what they feel could improve their productivity?
  • Have we not change a single thing about your business — website, logo, philosophy, design, products, reception of customers —  since we’ve opened your doors?
  • Do we put off responding to any feedback till the following day only to forget?
  • How often do we say or show thanks to our customers?
  • How often do you reinvest money back into the company?
  • How high is our retention rate among our staff?   If  we’ve had about 5-6 employees leave in a 3 month period…NOT GOOD!
  • Do we ever do quarterly or monthly analysis on where our company is and where we’d like it to be by a deadline?

Stop and think about some of these questions.  If you answered ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’ to 3 or more of these, then you are in need some fixing up, my friend.  It’s nothing to be ashamed of, but don’t go out of business because you refused to budge on what you think is right.   Turn off the TV and get out a note pad.  It’s time to see where the most work is needed in your company and begin brainstorming on how to get there.  Will you repair it or let it crumble to the ground?

{photo credit: Ladyheart via morguefile.com}

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