Business Success Consulting Group newsletter subscribers get business tips delivered to their inbox every week, along with the latest articles, webinars, podcasts, and more. This is a weekly publication, which means subscribers have already received twenty-seven business tips this year.
In this article, we share a compilation of the top fifteen business tips we’ve provided so far this year so that everyone can find them in one place – and use this actionable advice to build a better business. Even though the year is only halfway over, there are some fantastic tips on the list. Be sure to save this article so that you can refer to it as you continue to expand and scale your company!
Business Tip #1: Hire Support Staff to Keep Your Business Growing
There are often two reasons that business owners don’t hire support staff:
1: They believe they can do the job better themselves.
2: They enjoy doing the lower-level job.
These two barriers to delegation can be solved by the following:
1. Build systems so that employees do the job just the way you’d do it.
2. Consider your hourly rate. If you would be willing to pay someone your hourly wage to do the task you enjoy or that you’re good at – fine – keep doing it. But if the job is worth much less than your hourly wage, it is a poor use of your time.
Delegating to support staff can be one of the most freeing things a CEO can do. It allows them to refocus on big-picture work and long-term goals so they can keep the company moving in the right direction.
This tip feeds right into our second tip, which is:
Business Tip #2: Offboard tasks that don’t fit with your job title
Offboarding tasks is a critical action that every CEO must take at some point. Many business owners have something on their plate that they enjoy doing or are good at – but that doesn’t fit their job title.
One way to determine if a task needs to be offboarded is by asking yourself, “How much would I pay someone to do this task?” If you get paid $125/hour, and the task is worth about $30/hour, you need to offboard the task.
Another question is, “Do I have time to do this task well?” Sometimes we enjoy doing jobs that would be a better fit for a CFO, CMO, or other CSuite titles.
For example, even if you are great at marketing, you may need more time in your day to do a great job at running the marketing team. If this is the case, it’s time to hire a CMO or promote your existing marketing manager and take the marketing off your plate.
Offboarding can feel painful in the short term, but delegating jobs and building processes will help your business grow and give you the freedom you wanted when you decided to build your own company.
Business Tip #3: Learn from Serial Entrepreneurs and Other Industry Leaders
During a conversation with the Founder of Cornerstone Design, Suzie Hall, she shared three tips you can follow. We advise that you learn from those who have been successful in the past so you can avoid their mistakes and thrive from their successes.
Here are the three tips:
1. As a creative entrepreneur, get help with the business side of things and collaborate with others. Utilizing support and hiring others to perform the aspects of the business that don’t suit your creative genius will help you build a successful and exciting company.
2. Trust your instincts. Sometimes business advice will not fit with how you operate – and it is okay to ignore the “now I am supposed to” next steps if they won’t work for you.
3. Work on yourself as a person. We are all human, and improving yourself will make you a stronger leader.
Business Tip #4: Cut back on stress by implementing a system
In an interview, the CEO of Engenius, Chris Manley, said, “Uncertainty breeds stress.” Most business owners can agree with this statement. Chris and his business partner’s solution to stressful circumstances was building a system that created consistency in crafting and delivering their main product.
You can do the same thing. Here are four simple steps to follow:
1. Identify the area of your business that causes you the most stress.
2. Observe how things are done in that area.
3. Identify the least stressful and most effective way of doing things and document it.
4. Ask your employees or partner to help refine the system to make it even less stressful.
This can help you and your team reduce stress while improving your product or service.
Business Tip #5: Document how you handled past contingent circumstances
If you have been in business for any length of time, you will likely have encountered circumstances you didn’t initially plan for.
For example, a hairdresser may offer free color correction for customers who had their hair dyed and then decided they didn’t like the color after leaving the hair salon. This is a standard offering, but what happens if a customer doesn’t like the color from the color correction? Do you give them another free three-hour appointment? How do you fit them in?
You may have your own similar example. The question is, how did you handle it? Was the resolution successful?
Whether it was successful or not, writing out what you did and why you made that choice can be helpful. You can evaluate how to improve or change the process from there – or you can scrap the idea and follow these five steps to develop a better system.
Business Tip #6: Consolidate Software Systems
Many companies use various systems for information storage and communication. This can get confusing – fast. For example, let’s say a client emails you their logo. If you use multiple systems, this logo may need to be relabeled, put into Google Drive and Dropbox, added to a Slack message, then emailed to the team. This is not a sustainable system.
Simplify by consolidating systems to ensure information “lives” in one central hub.
Business Tip #7: Schedule creative time
Many business owners are working hard, head down and full throttle. However, it takes time to be creative, set goals, and build strategies. Allow yourself that time. Consciously set aside time in your calendar to set goals, strategize, and focus. Additionally, set calendar events each week to refocus on your goals and strategy so that you keep sight of what you are trying to attain.
Business Tip #8: Add process documentation to every employee’s workload
Business owners must take a top-down approach to systematization, meaning they must build and utilize business systems before they expect their employees to do the same.
You can take this a step further by adding process documentation into the very fabric of the workday.
Letting employees know that they will be documenting their processes and improving existing processes will help them plan out their days and provide you with their best work. So, don’t be shy about adding documentation expectations to job descriptions and introductory training. Making systematization part of the culture will ensure that processes stay in use and consistently get revised.
Business Tip #9: Create a procedure for that moonshot dream
Many entrepreneurs have a dream that they feel is a moonshot – not something they can fit into their busy schedules. This week’s tip is to pick a dream you’ve always yearned to accomplish and build a system for making it happen.
1. Identify the dream.
2. Write down the broad strokes of what you would have to do to make it happen.
Then, step back. Is it a dream you could accomplish if you dedicate time to it each day? If so, we hope you’ll get started!
Business Tip #10: Set up a five-year plan
In his interview, TrialLine Founder Travis Luther shared that he grew up through many hardships in his family life. His advice to those who have had to struggle through poverty, personal difficulties, or losses is to build a five-year plan.
He shared a quote from Alice in Wonderland that shares his philosophy regarding planning. In it, Alice is asking directions from the Cheshire cat:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
He wanted to impart the idea that if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll get somewhere, but it may not be where you hoped you’d be. So, make a plan and try to stick with it. Even if you’re struggling. Having the courage to persist is the way you will achieve your goals.
Business Tip #11: Build a process for continuing your education
If you have read Business Success Consulting Group articles and are listening to the Systems Simplified podcast, chances are, you are interested in continuing your education and growing as a business leader. Instead of tackling this continuing education work in fits and starts, build a process you can follow to achieve the results you are looking for!
Business Tip #12: Consider what you would need to do in your business for you to make an exit
Most business owners don’t think of an exit strategy until they have been in business for many years – when they may be on the verge of an exit. So, you might think that this tip doesn’t apply to you. But, hear me out.
If you close your eyes right now and consider what your business would need to look like for you to make an exit, and then consider what your business would need to look like for you to take an extended family vacation, those two visions will have commonalities.
To take time away from your company or sell your company, you will need a business that can run without your direct guidance. You need a clear strategy, processes and procedures in place, a set goal, and a competent leadership team.
Setting up your business now as if you will exit in the future will likely help you build a better company and support you in taking a vacation – or even in building a second business.
Try following this tip as a mental exercise, and see how it changes your vision for your company.
Business Tip #13: Consider your company’s incentives
Many companies have incentive systems, but some systems are better than others. Take a look at what system your business has in place. Is it haphazard or unequally applied? Does it reward excellence or incentivize mediocre performance?
There are many ways to improve an incentive system. Here are a few:
1. Ingrain equality into your incentive system to ensure it is equally applied.
2. Survey staff to find out what incentives would motivate them.
3. Consider what is being incentivized and what you want to be incentivized.
You can always test-run an incentive system to see if it works, so don’t be afraid to test a few methods to find what works best.
Business Tip #14: Consider these three things when forming a follow-up process
In Adi Klevit’s conversation with CaliberMind’s VP of Marketing, Camela Thompson, Camela provided several ideas regarding follow-up actions that could be part of a process.
Here are three of the suggestions she provided during the interview:
1. Ask questions of your client.
Did they face difficulty navigating your website, reaching something, or getting a question answered? Was some vital information missing that made them hesitate before reaching out?
Most companies fail to ask questions about points of friction, instead focusing on kind reviews and other marketing-type questions.
2. Think outside of the drip campaign.
Of course, you should have a drip campaign set up, but what if a potential customer doesn’t sign up for email outreach? That’s when you can get creative. Comment on a LinkedIn post or tweet, text or call, or send a sample package. Continuing to follow up shows the client that you are interested in doing business with them and that you are likely to be responsive when/if something comes up when they work with you.
3. Find eleven ways to follow up.
Don’t just put someone on an email list and assume that, after eleven emails, they will turn into a customer, or you can write them off. Instead, find and systematize eleven unique ways to contact them. You can message them on social media, send them mailers, email them a discount, give them a call, set up a presentation, text them to see if they need information about a question they asked a chatbot, send them a sample product, offer them a free download, and much more.
There are more suggestions in the interview, but you get the idea. It can feel overwhelming to simply list all of the ways you can follow up on a prospect. But, that overwhelm lessens when it’s all systematized.
Business Tip #15: Keep a log with brief notes about what is happening in your business and nationally
Many business owners love to look at metrics and see sales statistics and income numbers increase. However, those metrics are unsustainable if you don’t know what is happening in your business that made the number increase (or decrease).
Try keeping a log with one or two lines about what is happening each day to give your metrics context.
This could be as simple as
1/1 – Implemented new sales processes dated 1/1/23. Increased product prices by $2/each. Began new marketing strategy.
1/2 – Hired new fractional CMO. Sales manager put in two weeks’ notice. Times interview came out.
This allows you to see what was successful and what wasn’t so that you and your team can rapidly find ways to improve metrics and viability.
And, just to add to the above tip, we’ve included a related bonus tip:
Business Tip #16: Keep a running list of “lessons learned” this year
You listen to podcasts, attend webinars, and read books every year. You learn something from each and likely think, “I should implement that” or “That’s a good idea.” From there, you may take action or make a mental note of the lesson and hope to remember it later.
Instead of “making a mental note” of something and hoping to remember it later, keep a running list of lessons learned, along with a note about where you learned it from. This can be done in a Notes app on your phone, a physical notebook, or a document on your desktop.
From there, you can occasionally review your notes, consider if a principle should be implemented, or discuss the lesson with others as you continue to strategize and build your business.
Finally, this allows you to do a quick year-end review, reminding you of lessons learned at the beginning of the year and giving you a chance to grow further.
These business tips are all offered with each Business Success Consulting Group newsletter. If you haven’t yet subscribed to the newsletter, be sure to do so here. And, if you find this information useful, be sure to consult with our team of systems experts about how to take the next step in growing your business. We offer a no-cost initial consultation to evaluate your existing systems and processes and discuss your needs and goals so that we can provide you with a customized plan. Get started here.