By TWD Australia

February 8, 2016 | News

3 Essential Goals for Proactive Small-Business Owners

It’s Often The Same Focus Points Across Work And Life That We Make Goals Around Year In Year Out.

These typically include improving health, finances and the elusive work-life balance in some way.

For small business owners there are 3 goals that should be front of mind in the first quarter of the year. Making time to work on and review these goals on an annual basis allows for the continuous improvement that moves your business forward.

So, let’s dig in:

Put the Time into Your Company Culture

Employees are your most valuable asset. More often than not they will be the ones that are the face of your organisation and interacting with customers and clients at different touchpoints. It makes sense not only to take care of your employees to create a better work environment for everyone in your business, but for the financial benefits that follow. When your employees enjoy coming to work and team morale is high, they are more productive and effective when collaborating. What’s more is that if they feel looked after, they are often more invested in their work.

This can be as simple as a quick sit-down with each staff member to see how they are doing and if they are currently experiencing any issues or see areas for improvement in your systems and processes or products and services. Ask them where they see themselves in 2 years and 5 years down the track. By raising any concerns now, you have a forum to address them openly and directly before these escalate, which will help with staff retention.

Learn More About Your Customers

You may think have a very solid understanding of who your customer is, as it relates to your business right now. But, it’s important to remember that the needs, wants, desires, hopes, dreams, issues and problems your customer has are always changing and evolving. Your product or service needs to evolve with your customers’ demands to stay on their radar and maintain a competitive advantage.

Depending on the type of business you run, learning more about your customer takes the form of face-to-face conversations, focus groups, or surveys. Surveys can be distributed via email campaigns, on your website or at the point of purchase. Another great strategy is to get the executive and marketing teams periodically involved in customer services activities to gain an insight into recurring problems, issues and opportunities. You should never stop collecting feedback to improve your products and services. It’s this constant dance that keeps you at the forefront from working out what your customers want and how you can provide it to them.

Plan & Evaluate Your Finances

It goes without saying that you should be on top of your numbers when running a business. Often business owners get dragged into the day-to-day operations, dramas and bushfires, resulting in the process of tracking and measuring getting pushed to the side. It’s important to have a small set of daily metrics you can refer to gauge if you are on track for your goals budget and forecast.

These will inform your benchmarks, which should be set along the way and keep your team motivated and provide yourself and managers peace of mind. If the figures are bad news, it’s better to be aware early so these can be addressed and fixed. Making small pivots along the way so you don’t run too far off course is just part of running a business in our fast-paced world.

Getting some external help to look at your business with fresh eyes in any of these areas can also uncover gems that can make a massive difference to you staff culture, marketing, sales and financial position. Don’t be afraid to get help.

Do you feel that as a small business owner you need to get your goals in check for the first quarter of the year? Send us an email at info@twd.com.au or give us a call on 1300 893 000 to discuss.

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Words by TWD Australia.