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How is your business performing? What is your business strategy? How is your business doing against this year's financial targets and plans? When was the last time you stepped back from the day to day and reviewed all aspects of the business? Wherever you and your business are it may be time to thoroughly and honestly review your business and how it is doing. This may be all areas of your business or specific areas that you haven't considered for a while.
Here are some areas you may want to consider in the review of your business:
Strategy and planning. Do you have a business strategy in place for your business? Have you considered where you want your business to be in 3 to 5 years time? Strategic planning is about setting longer term goals for your business and developing a plan to achieve them including understanding where your business is now (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), deciding where you want your business to be in the future and looking at what you need to do to get there. What is your business strategy for the longer term and what is your plan for this year? What are your key priorities this month and over the next few months?
Financial performance. How is your business performing financially? How often do you review the financial performance of your business? A healthy financial performance (including profitability, the balance sheet position and cash flow) is a prerequisite of a successful business. What can you do to improve the financial performance of your business?
Products and services. Are your products, services and pricing right for today's world and your customers? Having the right products and services, competitively priced, including being responsive to changing customer preferences and external developments is paramount for any business. What changes do you need to make to your products, services and pricing?
Suppliers. How are the quality, reliability, pricing and performance of your suppliers? How are your relationships with your suppliers? Your supply chain is critical to your business success so pay to what is happening. Is it time to change any of your suppliers or make amendments to your existing contracts?
Sales and marketing. Do you have a sales and marketing plan for your business? How effective is your sales and marketing activity? Consistently generating sales for your business requires a well thought through plan and focused sales and marketing activity. What changes do you need to make on sales and marketing?
Customer service. How is your customer service? What customer feedback have you received, both positive and negative? A high level of customer service is critical to retaining existing customers and in attracting new customers. When did you last ask your customers for feedback? What areas of your customer service do you need to improve?
Competitors and the business environment. Who are your current and potential competitors and what are they doing? What is happening in the world in general that may impact your business e.g. legislation changes, currency movements etc.? Understanding the market place in which you are operating and being fully aware of your competition will enable you to stay ahead of the game. Do you need to make changes as a result of your competitor review?
Productivity. How productive is your business? Increasing productivity in all areas of your business can result in significant increases in profitability. Consider areas like your processes and procedures, equipment, resources and training. How can you improve the productivity of each member of the team and the business as a whole?
Employees and staffing. How is your team performing and how motivated are they? Have you got the right number of relevant experienced staff in the business and the right people in the right roles? Focusing on your people can pay great dividends for the business, whether this be in terms of leadership, management, coaching, training or motivation. What changes do you need to make with your team?
Contracts and agreements. Have you got contracts and agreements in place for all your key business relationships and insurance for all the critical areas of your business? Having contracts, agreements and insurance in place sets boundaries around your business relationships and protects you if things go wrong. What contracts, agreements and insurance do you need to put in place?
Barriers. What are the barriers to success in your business? There are many barriers to success including inefficient systems, processes and procedures, insufficient resources, a lack of knowledge and experience, poor leadership and management and an unhappy team. What barriers do you need to remove in your business?
Personal performance. How are you helping or hindering the success of your business? It is easy to focus just on the business performance and not think about how you are impacting that performance. Consider your mindset, communication skills, relationships, time management, decision making, people management, leadership, confidence, thinking, resilience, knowledge and experience and how you handle stress and challenges. What changes do you need to make?
Help and support. What external help and support do you use in your business? It is not always easy to ask for help and support but getting help and support from experts at the right time can save you and your business a lot of hassle in the longer term. What help and support would you and your business benefit from?
Author: Liz Makin
Published: November 2017
Makin It Happen has a range of personal development online courses to purchase, created by Liz Makin, including anxiety management, communication, resilience, soft skills, stress management, time management and coaching. Liz Makin also provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals.
Please email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a FREE consultation session to discuss our business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services for business owners, directors, managers and professionals.