Tag Archives: Developing a Business Strategy

Find Time to Work ON Your Business

Find Time to Work ON Your Business

Find the time to work ON your business - Hyatt Lassaline Windsor OntarioMany business owners spend more time planning for their vacation than they do planning for the future of their business!

Often we’re so caught up in managing the day to day activities of working ‘in’ our business that we neglect working ‘on’ our business.

We know that we should be streamlining our business systems, developing customer relationship strategies and focusing on innovation (just to name a few!), but who has the time?

Here are some tips to help you find the time to work ON your business.

Make a Don’t Do List – Start with tasks that are easy to delegate – then delegate them! Some of these tasks might be enjoyable to you (like getting coffee), but if you’re serious about finding extra time to work on your business for freedom and profit, then the sacrifice should be well worth it.

Ask Permission for Planning Time – Often as business owners we’re used to being pulled in many different directions and are overwhelmed with interruptions. If we simply ask to work undisturbed employees and other interrupters of your time will learn to be more independent – leaving you time to work on your business. Set aside dedicated time every week to plan for your business’s future.

Spend Time Away from the Business to Plan and Brainstorm – Taking time away from your business in a relaxing environment is the perfect place to re-energize, refocus and work on your business strategy. Work with your tax advisor to be certain that your business planning retreat can be written off as a business expense.

Spending focused time regularly working on your business will have immediate and long lasting benefits, so don’t put if off any longer – commit to working on your business today.

Tips to Improve the Hiring Process

Tips to Improve the Hiring Process

Tips to Hire EmployeesDoes your business have an induction plan for new employees? Induction plans help ensure that new hires start off on a productive and positive note.

Here are some points to consider as you develop an induction plan for your business:

1)      Identify key current employees to provide hands on training to the new hire. It will take extra time and resources to properly train the new employee, so this must be accounted for.

2)     Create a checklist of essential items.

  •         Computer
  •         Email account setup
  •         Locker
  •         Uniform, phone, supplies
  •         Clean desk
  •         Clean truck

3)      Give the new hire access to training items, safety rules, passwords and keys.

If your business doesn’t have a formal process now for new hires, consider starting a system for this process. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect from the start, it can easily be reviewed and changed as your business evolves.

Aligning Your Goals for Personal and Business Success

Aligning Your Goals for Personal and Business Success

As a business owner, do you feel like you are sitting in the back seat and your business is driving your life from the front seat?

This usually happens when your personal goals are not aligned with your business goals.

What are your personal goals? What are the goals for your business? If the two goals are aligned, it becomes much easier to attain both.

Goals to consider:

Align Your Business and Personal Goals for Happiness and Success

Personal income and equity goals – What is your desired income in 3 to 5 years? Do you have a target date to be mortgage free? Are your investing practices in line with your lifestyle expectations?

Type of work – Are you passionate about a particular area of your business? What are you most profitable business activities? Can you do this type of work until you retire?

Retirement and succession planning – How saleable is your business? Do you have a succession or strategy for sale in place? Do you plan to semi-retire at a specific age?

Current and future work – life balance – Do you want to work less and spend more time with family or are you focused and driven to achieve maximum growth for your business? How is your time now best invested?

Consider successful and well-balanced happy business owners you know. The odds are, they have grown their business in alignment with their personal goals.

Passion is one consistent attribute of a successful business owner. Becoming passionate about your business is much more likely when your business is aligned with and serves your personal goals and ideals.

If you don’t know where to start, contact your accountant and consider consulting a business coach.

What is Your Business’s Strategy?

What is Your Business’s Strategy?

Business strategy, ideas for a successful business, business tipsDo you use the ‘hope’ strategy in your business? It goes something like this:

Let’s try something new and HOPE it works!

The hypothesis strategy is a more scientific approach. When performing a scientific experiment you must define your hypothesis first and then perform the experiment. The experiment is designed in a way that you can test if the hypothesis in true or false.

Here is a ‘hope’ strategy example regarding advertising:

Wait until a salesperson from a magazine or newspaper calls on you, react by throwing together an advertisement and ‘hope’ to have a positive financial result.

The advertising hypothesis strategy could be:

Hypothesis 1 – Our current and potential customers read magazine X.

Hypothesis 2 – Our current and potential customers have a specific need or frustration. The headline of the advertisement indicates that our business’s offering can solve this need or frustration.

– We then test our hypothesis by setting up a unique domain name for use within the advertisement.

– We then monitor the website hits to this unique URL.

You can see by the way the hypothesis is set up that you can get better test results. Under the ‘hope’ strategy, you don’t even know if any customers showed up a result of the advertisement. And if nothing happens, you will quickly lose ‘hope’!

Under the hypothesis strategy, if nothing happens, you can change something in the hypothesis and try again. You could change the headline or the publication. If you only change one hypothesis at a time, you can dramatically increase your probability of success.

This change in strategy takes a different mindset. This approach is a philosophy of learning and discovery. The worst thing you can do in make an incorrect assumption. But you can test your assumptions to make sure they are correct.

Does Your Business Offer a Guarantee?

Does Your Business Offer a Guarantee?

Business advice - Hyatt Lassaline Chartered Accountants Windsor Essex OntarioWhen a potential customer considers purchasing from your business, are there a number of risks to completing the purchase?

When you provide a guarantee, you remove the risks to the potential purchaser and make it easier for them to buy from you.

It is reasonable to assume that if you reduce the risks and make it easy to buy, more of your potential customers will convert to actual customers and make the purchase.

Here are 5 tips to developing a great guarantee:

1)      Position it clearly and boldly to potential customers: The worst guarantee is one that customers don’t know about. This may sound ridiculous, but as a small business advisor I often discover businesses that have a guarantee but didn’t tell their customers about it at the time of the purchase decision. This means the guarantee was not needed for the purchase decision of the customers that bought because they didn’t even know about it. The potential customers that didn’t buy could have been a customer, but they didn’t know about the guarantee and decided it was too risky to make the purchase.

2)      The stronger and bolder the guarantee – the better – a watered-down guarantee just doesn’t work. Make it big and bold. The idea is to get more customers to buy confidently, so big and bold gets more attention in the marketplace.  Often there is resistance to offering a bold guarantee. This is business owners may fear the market will take advantage of the guarantee. The reality is that a very small percentage probably will, but the percentage is typically less than 1%. The profits from the other 99% of new customers will be more than the cost of dealing with the unsatisfied 1%.

3)      Be specific how you define the ‘claim’ – As the business that is developing the guarantee, you get to determine the rules for a claim. While the guarantee needs to have some meat and be easy to use, you control the details. Make it ‘if this, then that’. For example, ‘If this tree doesn’t live for one year from purchase for any reason, then we will replace it for no charge.’ In this example, the claim was not cash but a free replacement which costs less to the business that a full refund.

4)      Test it first – If you are worried about how the guarantee will work and if anyone will abuse it, then test it in a controlled manner. You can offer it to a limited group of potential customers to see how it works. Then you can tweak it based on how the test works out.

5)      Research the existing guarantees in other industries – The design of a great guarantee does not have to come from your industry. There is no need to re-invent the wheel. If you just focus on the current purchase decisions you may be making yourself, you can experience how and if a guarantee affects your risks of making a purchase.