There is a lot of attention directed at small businesses this year. President Obama talked about the need to help and support small businesses in his State of the Union address. And one outcome was the launch of Startup America. Also, states are talking about easing regulations and the tax burden on small businesses in their quest to reduce unemployment.
This is all good news. However, it is not a good strategy to hope that the federal and/or state governments will pass the right legislation and write regulations to help you succeed.
Furthermore, be wary of generalizations about how the economy is doing, and who is and isn’t doing well. It’s distracting and oftentimes filled with conflicting information.
Yes, we’ll admit that the economy is showing signs of recovery, but the real question is whether it’s showing signs of recovery for you and your business. To answer this question you need to stop thinking like a small business owner and start thinking that you are running a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Here are seven questions to think about and respond to when planning for business growth.
1. Do you have a strategic vision that outlines your business direction for the next year or two? And if you have employees, do they know it?
2. What is your stated mission (or purpose) statement? How is it communicated to your employees, and how does it help drive business decisions?
3. Do you have stated, written and practiced company values to align how you and your employees work together and serve your customers?
4. Do you have a branding strategy that promotes how you want to be seen by prospects and clients and articulates your competitive advantage or differentiation from your competitors?
5. Do you have standard monthly financial reports to track the financial health of your business and to help drive your decisions?
6. Do you have outstanding customer service? If you can’t answer based on your customer’s feedback, loyalty, references and testimonials, your answer is “not yet”.
7. Do you have an exit strategy for your business? Every business needs to have a sense of what the end game will look like. It drives growth and helps focus business decisions.
Visit visabusinessnetwork.com for other great small business marketing and management tips such as these.