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5 Ways to Make Your Business Stronger

Do you want to strengthen your business from the inside out? Use these 5 tips

By Sasha McGregorPublished 4 years ago 5 min read

Businesses across the country are struggling. The global economy has rarely faced this level of uncertainty. Entrepreneurs are having a tough time getting their businesses off the ground amidst so many unknowns regarding customers and capital. Even established businesses with a track record of success and wise leadership are falling victim to the challenges being faced around the world. Where there is crisis, though, there is also opportunity and a chance to take the lead in building something great. Here are five simple strategies that are vital to improving your business.

1. Hone Your Skills in Sales

A business exists because someone was able to match a need with a product or service that they knew could be provided by their business. That aim, however, will never be fulfilled unless potential customers know about the business and its mission. Still, many businesses fall critically short on the sales skills necessary to get their message to the market. This deficiency can have several causes, but one of the most persistent is a lack of training and morale among salespeople and advertisers. Sales is hard. It can involve long hours of thinking on your feet and being "on" in the sense of being actively engaged with potential clients. Keeping a sales force motivated and feeling balanced in their working life is crucial. This can take the form of incentivising performance, setting clear and attainable goals and prioritizing the health and wellness of employees.

There's also the stereotype that a good salesperson must by necessity be a talkative extrovert. This isn't strictly true; in fact the ability to be considerate is invaluable to building client relationships. Having a diversity of personalities on a sales team may initially seem like something that could cause conflict, but in reality different people have different skill sets that they use to interface with the world at large, and these methods of social interaction are often complimentary. At the end of the day, salespeople and customers have one thing in common: they're both human. Sometimes it's easy to see people as numbers, but that way of thinking is the path to ruin.

2. Leverage Social Media

Our world is forever becoming more networked and interactive. That was happening long before this year's health crisis and can only be expected to increase. Daily mobile Internet usage alone is expected to top 155 minutes in 2021. That's a staggering number, and that figure can be turned to the advantage of a business looking to expand its presence in the market. Social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter which were once mere curiosities and ways to spend free time are now the ways in which everyone is doing business. Having a website, a LinkedIn account and a Facebook page are vital to maintaining the constant connectivity that people are expecting these days. Having a virtual storefront on a selling website like Amazon or Etsy is in many cases replacing having a brick-and-mortar store, especially for small, agile startups. It's important to remember that text messaging is becoming yet another avenue by which to reach potential customers with advertisements and to keep in touch with them. The takeaway is that the business world has gone from fundamentally distant to personal in less than a generation and it is good practice for all of us to keep up with these changes.

3. Empower Great Leaders

True business leaders don't see what they do as simply a job. It's a calling. Great leaders are the people with grand ideas who think in terms of strategy and are able to see the big picture regarding the trajectory of the organization that they're heading. Vision is crucial, and so is the ability to nurture that vision over the long term. A big (and hopefully obvious) issue is that leaders do not work in a vacuum. If you're the owner of a business, one of the most important things to do is to find the right people who will help translate your dreams into the real world. The ability to delegate responsibility is a learned skill that all leaders have to master. Often this means delegating tasks which are tedious and don't directly affect business growth. After all, a leader needs to be freed to focus on overall goals and logistics. It's equally necessary, however, to remember to assign tasks to other people because they might simply be better at those tasks than you. Great leaders have the humility to recognize brilliance in others when they see it.

It's also worth remembering that some of the greatest leaders are also the greatest teachers. Don't assume that a subordinate has all of the requisite skills for a job simply because they have a few years of experience on their resume. Certainly it's important to find the best people for the job, but it can be just as rewarding to have a hand in growing the right people. Training camps, seminars and hands-on learning can all be excellent tools for expanding an employee's repertoire.

4. Expand Your Base

Many businesses get their foot in the door by catering to a specific niche or demographic. There's nothing inherently wrong with this way of starting out, but it does greatly limit the future growth of the company and hold it back from serving potentially untapped markets. Worse, as customers' tastes change, they may become part of an entirely new niche and leave you without the loyal base that you assumed would always be around. After all, few bars survive just by catering to the regulars. Expanding the customer base of a business is another great task for social media. Do research on your customers and find out possible complimentary niches that your business could branch out into. If your business sells outdoor apparel, for example, consider expanding the products you carry to include other items needed for outdoor sports such as hiking or even wilderness survival. Versatility is often the greatest strength.

5. Share the Vision

Your vision is what you plan to create. The vision crafted for any organization is more than just a plan for the future, it's a shared system of values and goals that a leader envisions the organization embodying. A heady concept to be sure, but that concept is the reason that your company exists in the first place. Making sure that the same guiding ideals are shared by everyone involved is the foundation for the future. Not only does this bring goals into clearer focus and streamline decision making; it engenders genuine loyalty and sense of purpose. Employees become stakeholders in the future of the company just as much as their managers are, and will start to feel empowered to work harder to put your vision into practice on their own.

The business community is resilient. In part, that's because people who get into the business world tend to be the kind of people who see opportunities during even the bad times and who think proactively as a matter of course. This is easier said than done, but if there's one thing that history has taught us, it's that the worst of storms can and must be weathered by people who are able to use the tools in front of them to make a better and more productive future for themselves and for everyone else.

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    Sasha McGregorWritten by Sasha McGregor

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