Business confidence ticked up in April. A net six per cent of businesses are optimistic about prospects over the coming year, according to ANZ Business Outlook. The level is hardly anything to crow about, but a lift is a lift; we’ll take it.
Gains were evident in retail, construction and services sentiment. Business confidence in agriculture improved, but remains weak. Now is the time of year to set your plans. This is the year to lift your business performance and work on your business.
I am completing a business coaching project with a client and the opportunities that have presented themselves are exciting, profitable and possible. Could this work for you?
How to go about improving your business?
1. Analyse your finances
• Do a full financial analysis to establish your current situation.
• Benchmark your business compared with the top achievers.
• Use our extensive travel and tourism benchmarking figures.
• Identify your strengths, weaknesses and opportunities and threats.
2. Set your marketing, financial and business plans.
• Plan your work
• Work your plan
• Review progress
• Revise your plans
3. Your vision
- Create a vision statement for your business, based on what your business is about and how it will achieve its objectives.
- Create your vision statement with your team and your customers, ensuring they fully understand and buy into it.
- Incorporate your vision statement into all internal and external communications.
4. Your advantage
• Define what it is that your business does differently from all your competitors.
• What makes it unique? Is there a demand for this?
• Ask your customers – customer survey.
• Identify who / what / where your target market is.
• Incorporate your unique selling proposition (USP) into all internal and external communications.
5. Your image
- Does your image reflect your business objectives?
- How does your target market perceive your business?
- Create the image you want your customers to consistently see and experience when they visit your office, or web site, or read your advertising, your brochure or your stationery.
6. Your team
- Implement a fully inclusive pricing / service policy – Our price / our service.
- Create systems and procedures for every role, with checklists.
- Implement performance targets, regular appraisals and incentive programmes – increase productivity through accountability.
- Establish a regime of weekly sales meetings, incorporating product knowledge updates and performance reviews.
- Complete training on USP, service standards, pricing policy and all procedures.
7. Your communication
- Implement a sales and marketing system.
- Develop a sales brochure for your business, consistent with your image, to help build credibility and promote your USP.
- Consistent advertising must always feature product and your USP.