So you’ve jumped into the sea of business and you suddenly discover you’re in treacherous water and your abilities to navigate your business ship begin to come into question. It doesn’t take long and you realize you could have been a little more prudent before launching your maiden voyage to have a handle on what lies ahead.
Nonetheless, wherever you are on your business journey, you can start taking steps to track your business, analyze our time and optimize the processes and procedures which yield the greatest return on your investment dollar, thereby maximizing your bottom line.
Let’s face it, the longer you can sustain your foray into business, the more time you will have to tweak your systems and increase your likelihood of success in your venture.
Here are some of the things you may be able to take a look at, which can make subtle differences yet yield positive impact and increasing cash flow while optimizing the operation of your business in real time.
1. Opt out of services that have no positive impact on your business
As burgeoning business people, we enthusiastically tend to join organizations, enroll in programs and manage a number of subscriptions to services with the best of intentions, thinking that this-or-that will help to bring potential clients or increase our value in the community.
You may be paying for a service that you’re not equipped to take advantage of at the moment. No need to pay for it while you wait for the planets to align.
Take this time to review these types of programs which consume your valuable resources but offer no return on your investment.
You can always opt back in when you’re in a better position to take action and reap the rewards, otherwise, cancel.
You may also be able to streamline processes by grouping them into one service which encompasses the features of many services you are presently using. This type of consolidation is in the best interest of your business while reducing administrative costs by reducing the number of accounts being managed and increasing your bottom line.
Though it may make you feel uneasy at first, because you have been led to believe that you need a particular product or service, letting go of the dead weight will yield a demonstrable benefit to your organization that can be measured in additional resources, production and/or cash flow.
Once you start paying attention to the details of your business, you will be on the lookout for new products and services which will help to optimize your operations even more, as more and more service begin to appear on the horizon to replace outdated services which are not as optimized for your particular business.
2. Prepare to bail out or jump ship
Being in a state of alertness and readiness can maximize your business acumen as you are tracking and reviewing your business plan and efforts along the way, keeping you from getting stuck in a rut.
No one wants a leaky ship, so keeping track of costs vs. returns can keep your ship in tip top shape. You can make repairs when appropriate of jump ship altogether. Marketing and promotion costs are problematic and can easily spin out of control if not properly monitored and controlled, as well as other production costs.
Sometimes being immersed in the day to day operations can be overwhelming and may make it difficult to be perfectly objective, so be open to the idea of inviting someone to assist you in reviewing your operations from a different perspective. It may give you insights that you may not have otherwise had access to from your present perspective.
It is fairly simple to create a mathematical formula to evaluate our cost of doing business – or engaging in a specific activity or process – and determining its value to your ongoing business.
Always be aware and reviewing the many aspects of your business and always ask yourself, “Is there a better way?” Look for better ways to conduct your business and you will be surprised at how new ideas will present themselves to help streamline your operations. You will find that in most cases you can do more with less by cutting out the fat.
An effective business person is always looking for ways to improve their operations and increase the bottom line.
3. Continuing education for higher efficiency
Unless your business is so unique that it cannot be possibly related to any other business venture in existence (which would be extremely rare) you can find ways to learn how other businesses are increasing their efficiency and increasing their bottom line.
You might be surprised to find a great deal of information readily available by making a few queries on Google, finding there are other businesspeople just like you who find themselves struggling with the same (or similar) challenges.
You may even find groups, forums, blogs and membership sites where like-minded businesspeople congregate and share their stories. Often, if you are active with these folks and build a relationship with them, you can find them an extremely valuable source of information and resources.
Continuing education is your most effective weapon in battling for your battling for the survival of your business. Not being plugged in and being aware of trends and improvements will anchor your business in stagnant water, leading to its eventual demise.
There are so many resources available to keep you on the top of your game, it would be folly not to consider embracing them.
So, take advantage of subscribing to magazines, joining trade organizations attending trainings and conferences about our area of business and/or areas within your business that can greatly affect your bottom line.
This is not a one-size-fits-all answer, and even if you were the most knowledgeable person on the planet regarding your particular business when you opened the doors, all marketplaces are constantly in a process of ebb and flow. It is your responsibility to be in the know and position yourself in such a way so as to be able to make adjustments quickly to ensure your endeavor’s longevity and continued success.
Always be on the lookout for ways you can leverage your resources and cash flow for maximum returns.