Do you really know your customer?
You know your current clients are your best source of new business. They can also give you great insight into the "health" of your business and how well your business is meeting their -- and by extension, your target market's -- needs and wants.
How to gain this valuable feedback? Consider doing a Client Satisfaction Survey. Our clients have had great results -- and some great testimonials!
Having a solid foundation in place is key to success in business.
Your Vision, Mission, Values, Goals and more must be well-thought out, defined, and communicated to your potential clients and staff. They set direction, define your image/brand, clarify your message, and form the basis for all future actions and decisions you make for your business.
Spell all this out, before you try developing your business plan and marketing plan, as these statements of principle are key components of each. For some tips on how to craft these messages, read our White Paper on the subject (go to download, here).
Recommendations on Business Books
What's the best business book you've ever read?
On his blog, www.gatesnotes.com, Bill Gates relates that he asked Warren Buffett to recommend his favorite book about business. Buffett's response: Business Adventures, by John Brooks. Though published more than four decades ago, "Brooks' work is a great reminder that the rules for running a strong business and creating value haven't changed," writes Gates. "It remains the bsst business book I've ever read."
We recommend for our clients The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael E. Gerber. Typically high on most "best business books" list, Gerber's updated E-Myth emphasizes the vital distinction between working on your business and working in your business. An easy read told as the story of a new entrepreneur, walking the reader through the life cycle of a business from start-up through growth to maturity and balancing IN/ON your business to help your business grow in a productive manner.
For a really delightful and entertaining, and wittily insightful, read, try It Sure Beats Working by Michael J. Katz. Changing from a corporate to an entrepreneurial career, Katz tells "29 Quirky and Practical Business Lessons for the First-Time, Mid-Life, Solo Professional." Targeted to the start-up business owner, his lessons also offer great advice, told humorously through life experience, for all independent business owners, no matter where in your business life-cycle you are.
Smith Business Advisors, LLC
Mail: 151 N. Nob Hill Road, #117
Plantation, FL 33324
(Greater Fort Lauderdale Area)
Business coaching is a tax-deductible business expense.
James F. Smith is an accredited Associate of the Institute for Independent Business.