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Finishing strong

Good morning all

For many entrepreneurs and small business owners, 2016 has been a long and challenging year. I salute you in persevering, seeing and taking opportunities. I also want to encourage you to finish this year strong. Here are 7 ways to finish the year strong

  1. Regularly Review Your Process and Procedures

Make sure everything is working smoothly, properly and that communications and activities are getting the results and outcome that you are expecting. This can include your phone system, voicemail message, website contact me form, social media activity, or links back to your website.

Additionally, simplify and streamline how people can find and communicate with you. Less is more. Check and update all the information on your website, the social media platforms you use, any sites you contribute content to and bio’s you have on them.

  1. Know Your Financials

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is. The question is are you making money or is it costing you more to be in business than it should? Don’t ignore knowing your numbers and what your cost of doing business is.

Here are some numbers that you should know and review: cash flow, net income, profit and loss, sales, price point, gross margin, total inventory.

To finish the year strong, get some financial help through your bank, investment advisor or business consultant.

  1. Think More Creatively

What can you do to shake things up and get people to act, pay attention or increase their interest in you and your business?

Being consistent in messaging, content and strategy is essential, but adding a creative twist can perk up people’s attention. Consider partnering with other businesses, an outrageous, short term offer, a compelling action video, adding a hot item trending strong or offer a high value promotion.

  1. Add Value Rather Than Discount

Discounting our products and services may seem like a good incentive but in the end it usually ends up devaluing us. Creating sales incentives to move or close out goods and services from a prior year, or that are no longer being offered is smart business. Better to add value than to discount.

What can you add to your sales process that adds a tangible value to what you do and offer? Partner with other businesses to offer those incentive such as: gift cards, movie tickets, attraction tickets, events and entertainment offers.

  1. Change a Few Habits

To finish the year strong, make a few strategic, key changes in some of the habits, approaches and attitudes that you know are holding you back.

Be proactive and willing, not lazy. Changing a few bad habits can make a huge difference in the outcome of things. Look at time management, organization, commitment, consistency, flexibility, resilience and see where improvements can be implemented and make them.

Be early, stay late, volunteer, try a new approach, speak out, listen more, join, compliment others. These things improve our image and efforts.

  1. Set Realistic and Achievable Goals

Nothing is worse really than setting unrealistic goals and expectations, when you know in your heart of hearts they are too lofty. I know they sound good, but are they REALLY achievable?

Goals are most effective when we set them realistically within what we know we are capable of. What’s important is setting goals, committing to working on them and making progress.

Progress builds momentum. Goals are ongoing guide posts and markers not absolutes.

  1. Commit to Your Health, Fitness and Well-being

Without our mental, emotional and spiritual health and well-being, we will never live up to our God given potential. The best personal commitment we can make to ourselves is to be the healthiest we can be each day. Success and well- being are great partners and creates a state of mind that helps us through the most challenging times, change and transition.

There is a euphoric feeling when a marathoner gets into that running groove in the second half of the race and pushes through the walls to cross the finish line. Remember, in small business, careers and life, we are training like a marathoner not a sprinter

We cross many finish lines but never really finish the race. Best to keeping training. It keeps us stronger and more alert.

Here’s to finishing 2016….strong.

Steve

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