Business Turnaround Strategies
August 18, 2011
By Nipa Shah, President of Online Marketing Simplified. From SBAM’s member-only Focus on Small Business magazine.
Remaining a viable business is tough in this economy. Fundamental challenges include managing cash flow while ensuring that the pipeline of prospects remains full. So how can a business remain viable? Theoretically, the answer is very simple. Just get more sales, manage your overhead costs, provide the best customer service possible, hire the best individuals, and voila, you have nothing to worry about. Practically speaking though, how do you do all that when business development cycles last longer, overhead costs remain the same, and competition is tougher than ever? Following are three Business Turnaround Strategies that can help:
1. Focus on business development: One of your top priorities must be business development. Building and keeping the pipeline full is an important activity that should take up most of your time as a business owner. Not comfortable with cold-calling? Cold-emailing is another strategy that can be effectively used to create new leads. Referrals are nice to have, but allocate a bulk of your time on a regular basis to conduct active solicitation of new business. Strategies could include cold-calling, cold-emailing, or buying appointments or leads through third-parties.
2. Delegate non-essential tasks: We all like to be do-it yourselvers because it helps us save money. But remember, if you aren’t a plumber by trade, then trying to fix a broken pipe by yourself ends up costing a whole lot more and takes longer than it takes a plumber-by-trade to do it. As a business owner, focus on working on growing the business and let others work on fulfilling the tasks of the business. Put a dollar value on your time and be wise about where you spend it.
3. Leverage technology: Small business owners must take advantage of advanced technology to create efficiency and manage their time better. Some areas where you should consider investing in technology include semi or fully manual order processing, office staff spending too much time on the phone, doing manual data entry from paper to computer, matching data between two systems or between a paper and a computer-based system, etc. etc. Implement these strategies and you will be sure to see a difference in how your business runs, how much new business you generate, and how much efficiency is created over time.
Nipa Shah is president of Online Marketing Simplified, www.jenesysgroup.com.