What has worked so far? Build on the success!

shutterstock_244632910Once you have embarked on your journey in business it is important to regularly evaluate what you are doing, what
is being achieved and what can be done to further enhance and improve your business. If you want to be successful in business it is important to keep doing this so that you don’t miss opportunities for improvement and that you and your business don’t get tired and stale. There will be times when you are so busy that there seems little time for anything else so you need to constantly remind yourself to make time! If you don’t how will you make changes for the better?

Analyse what has and hasn’t worked

Evaluate what you have done to date. There are several ways to identify the good from the not so good. It will also help to keep your findings recorded so that you compare and contrast each time you do this exercise.

  1. How have your customers found you? Did you do a specific marketing promotion or a special offer? Did you advertise somewhere specifically? How are your customers finding you and which is the most popular method? Recognising how your customers found you will enable you to maximise on your marketing and stop you wasting money on advertising that doesn’t give you a reasonable return on investment (ROI).
  2. What products or services are more popular? If you sell a variety of products it will be a valuable exercise to identify your best sellers. If you have some stand out products that sell well then is it worth investing in more of these and marketing these products? The temptation for some businesses is to market the things that don’t do so well in order to boost sales however you would do far better to promote your best sellers.
  3. Who are your customers? It may be easy to identify at an early stage who your customers are. What you are looking for is a typical customer or an ideal customer. This isn’t always easy but if your find your customers are largely women between the age of 25 and 40 that have children, you can start to build a customer avatar. Having this valuable information helps you to market more effectively and target a specific market.
  4. What feedback have you had? This is a really effective form of business analysis. What do your customers think? Are they really impressed with everything you have to offer but wish you offered other things as well or do they think that your products are incorrectly priced? Gather this market research and feedback and use it to re-assess your products and services. Ask them to fill out a short survey with an incentive to do so or talk to each customer. You will be amazed at how much information you can find out which can then be put to good use.

These are just the obvious things – the things that make a difference. There are many more like analysing the cost of your supplies, looking at your stock inventory and working out if you have too little or too much. You can carry out a review of your costings and make sure they are competitive. You may just do these things one step at a time but by doing them you are going to help improve and grow your business.