A common comment from business owners goes something like this: “I know my business – been doing it for years – but I don’t have much success anymore.”
An immediate thought might be that the economy is bad, or he isn’t trying hard enough, or people just don’t need her service or product; it’s run it’s course. However, when you take the time to really listen – really listen – you’ll understand what the issue is. These business owners know their business, but lose touch with the business environment or their own industry.
The business environment
Major advancements in technology are mind-boggling. It seems that new software is being introduced daily. Computers become more powerful. CRM systems are doing so much more than they used to to keep track of your clients. Fax machines are out; scanning and emailing are in. Oh – wait – now you don’t need to scan and email, just put the document in Google Drive or Dropbox. Knowing how to utilize your time and accommodate your customers and vendors can be a job in itself!
Customer expectations have changed. Have you asked your customers lately what they think of your service? Knowing what they are thinking is a key in knowing how to improve your service.
Social media plays a large part in marketing plans. Which ones should you join? Is it acceptable to promote your business on that platform? How can you do it properly? You can learn about Social Media for Business here.
Unfortunately, many business owners haven’t kept up with the changes, advancements, and new opportunities – with the new ways of doing business. Years ago, staying in the office, “minding the store” as they used to say, was expected and also was enough. Times have changed. The ways to do business have changed. Business owners who keep up with these advancements are the ones who will stay ahead of those who continue to do things as they always have.
Conferring with others in your industry is essential. Think “co-opertition” instead of “competition” and work together to grow the industry. Learn about a new trend that might crop up in one area of the country – it will most likely enter your region soon. Is there a new opportunity for your service or product that wasn’t even considered a year ago? By being involved in your industry, instead of just your own business, will enable you to become and remain successful.
Join the asset inventory industry organizations. The National Inventory Certification Association (NICA) offers online, self-directed continuing education courses and a certification (the only one recognized in the industry). The Inventory Institute provides many services, including coaching, seminars, webinars, industry update conference calls, referrals, project management services, and so much more.
Be aware. Be involved. Be a leader. Just keeping up with what you’ve always done will not keep you ahead.