As individuals, our habits – what we think, say and do – define our lives. Your business is no different. A business needs a clear vision and strategic business plan but it also needs a list of business habits that can drive a positive culture and build strong customer relationships.
Try these five helpful habits to transform your business in 2017:
- Become more process driven
When your business is just starting out, flexibility in your business practices is essential, and that means dealing with work in a less structured way. Having no processes means your high standards will simply amount to good intentions with limited results. Instead, this year focus on creating efficient processes and protocols and make it a habit to regularly update and refine them.
- Ask more questions
How many times have you had a question go unanswered because you were too busy to find someone to ask?? Over time this approach can leave gaps in your knowledge that can slow efficiency and productivity. By asking more questions when they are most relevant you become more aware of the way your business or industry operates, and be in a better position to help your business innovate.
- Keep innovating your products and services
Constantly innovating your products and services is one of the most important things you can do for the success of your business. On average, for every dollar invested in innovation two dollars is returned in sales.
A recent study showed this really does work. In 2016, innovative Australian businesses were shown to be almost one and a half times more profitable, two times more productive and received almost one and a half times more income from their goods and services than those that didn’t innovate.
- Create a culture of accountability and transparent communication
Too often small businesses fail due to lack of internal communication and accountability. Staff need to work together like the parts in a car engine to help your business rise to excellence. Make fostering communication paramount by ensuring communications between staff is clear. Everyone needs to know what is to be done and by whom. Analyse and discuss key business results regularly to bring in a level of accountability. More accountability and better communication means you can more easily identify the performers, what works and what doesn’t and your current strengths and weaknesses.
If you are working on your own, then ensure you have good relationships with external contractors such as a freelance bookkeeper you use or seasonal staff you use during busy periods. Also, stay on track by keeping yourself accountable. Create goals and meet them. If it helps, enlist your partner, a friend or family member to help you stay motivated. Or consider getting a mentor. It can be lonely working alone at times so this can really help.
- Listen and adapt to your customers’ needs
While you may think it’s important to focus on your internal business environment, building your company website or implementing processes to make your business run smoothly, the true ‘secret’ to success is knowing your customer.. Successful businesses do more than just listen to their customers, they are shaped by their customers’ needs and adjust the future direction of their business according to their needs. Accommodation portal Airbnb is one company that focuses on improving its customers’ experience by making customer feedback part of every transaction.
The Officeworks Mini Masterclass for Small Business is designed to empower you to achieve your goals. This free online course features eight video lessons and is hosted by leading Australian small business owners. Combining expert insights with practical little wins to apply across all facets of your business and life. Click here to get started.
This article was brought to you by Officeworks who know it is all about the little wins when it comes to kicking big goals.