Small business influenza, depending on what part of your business is affected, can be very resistant to treatment and may even begin to spread to other areas of the business. Get your business flu shot now so your business, and you, can be in good health and prepared for the challenges ahead.
Determine the current health condition of your business.
The most common cause of the flu in small businesses is getting away from “the basics” – those core principles that are directly tied to your organization’s mission. Take time now to draw a line in the sand and assess your position. Where are you in relation to the goals set in your business plan? Are you profitable? Why or why not? Are your employees happy? Review your product and service offerings to ensure they are mission-centric.
Remove anything that is not contributing to a cohesive identity.
Inconsistent messaging is one of the trademark symptoms of small business flu. From web content, social media, and print to promo items, positioning, market research, and branding, all of these items must be cohesive and consistent for a healthy business to fight off infection.
Regularly measure your progress and adapt.
Young entrepreneurs are very goal oriented individuals. It is on us and the team we’ve assembled to execute the business vision and achieve the goals for the company. Rarely does the master plan that you created to start the business possess the complex attention to detail or extra time required to carefully develop a good marketing plan.
Focus on the positives and innovate for future growth.
Many business owners know their best selling product, but do you also know the worst? What can you do to adjust that product and eliminate the components that are not positively contributing to your business? Also, consider additional revenue streams to supplement your primary sales mechanism while remaining mission-centric.
Create a flu-proof marketing plan.
No other aspect of running a small business is as predictive of success as the level of resources dedicated to marketing. The majority of small businesses that do not succeed often have one elementary thing in common – an unfocused marketing plan. This results in decreased sales while stronger competitors gain market share. A proper and effective marketing strategy is the flu shot that will bolster the immune system and protect your business.
The flu is contagious.
Both internally and externally, the flu is contagious. Surround yourself with other healthy businesses through networking events in your community. Also, make sure your team members, suppliers, and distributors are motivated and well-balanced.
Check-in with your mentors.
They can offer you one thing you just can’t get from within the organization- an unbiased professional opinion. Ask them to evaluate your current plan and identify specific weak links in your overall game plan.
What remedies do you use to keep your business healthy?
David K. Jackson is an entrepreneur and marketing leader that has counseled hundreds of individuals, startups, small/medium businesses, non-profits, and events as the owner of blueOcean Solutions and Marketing and Resource Development Director for the Madison County Ohio Chamber of Commerce. David is also active on multiple business and civic advisory boards where he advocates proactive and collaborative business evolution to meet changing market conditions.