50 little business tips

little.jpg (17896 bytes)Improve your marketing

1. Never let a day pass without engaging in at least one marketing activity.

2. Collect competitors’ advertisements and literature, and study them for information about strategy, product features and benefits.

3. Set specific marketing goals every year and review and adjust them quarterly.

4. Read the business and trade publications, so you understand trends and know buzz words.

5. Develop a brochure of services, so people understand what you are offering.

Position yourself for the future

6. Take time every day to sit back and think about how to grow.

7. Maintain a file of good ideas for later use.

8. Be prepared for performance reviews. Do your own review in advance and give it to your boss.

9. Maintain a three year rolling career plan.

10. Get at least one article published each year that will garner recognition in your field.

Be someone who delivers

11. Read your job description, but never be restricted by it. Do what needs to be done.

12. Never miss deadlines - ever!

13. Never take a problem to your boss without some solutions. You’re paid to think, not to whinge!

14. Become known for building ideas, not finding fault.

15. Work on underlying problems, not just the symptoms. For example, staff morale itself is never the real problem - something major is usually happening that causes low morale.

Manage meetings

16. Learn how to prepare a good meeting agenda.

17. Never go into a meeting without your diary.

18. Never go into a meeting without knowing what you want the outcomes to be.

19. Learn how to run a meeting effectively.

20. Carry a notebook with you always, and write down ideas - they get lost like good pens.

Keep a high profile

21. Strive to be an ‘impact player’- someone who makes a difference no matter what the situation.

22. Watch out for opportunities to learn, speak and show your face.

23. Prepare an interesting and concise description of what you do, so you’re ready when people ask.

24. Focus on the most important things to do to help your department or organisation be successful. Don’t just focus on the easiest things.

25. Don’t just think or talk about it - do it, and make sure you’re seen to do it!

Become super-efficient

26. Take a time management course and then develop your own system that works for you.

27. Return calls within 24 hours. Never leave one unanswered.

28. Keep your back-up admin, filing and financial systems in good order.

29. Make a ‘to do’ list every day. Crossing things off is very satisfying!

30. Leave your office at least once a day - it will clear your head.

Develop yourself

31. Read ‘What colour is your parachute?’ or a similar self development book every year.

32. Co-operate with consultants - their input can change your life.

33. Read at least one biography or autobiography of a successful business leader each year.

34. Learn how to use a spreadsheet softwar program.

35. Learn how to read financial statements.

Play fair with others

36. Share the credit for successful projects an; make sure your supervisor knows of everyone’s contribution.

37. Learn to remember people’s names. If you memory is poor, develop a system.

38. Send thank you notes to people who help you.

39. Spend five minutes working out how to communicate the decision for every 10 minutes you spend deciding.

40. If your job isn’t going well, change jobs before you even think about taking your frustrations out on your co-workers, your family or yourself.

Improve your customer service

41. Offer your customers at least one service they cannot get elsewhere.

42. Increase sales by 30 per cent by providing excellent service to your existing customers.

43. Don’t focus on developing new business, until you can effectively service your existing customers.

44. Develop ways to measure your level of customer service, and ask your customers how you are doing (their answers are the only ones that matter).

45. Under promise. Over perform and follow up! If you do that, you’ll stand out from the crowd.

Network effectively

46. Help other people network for jobs. What goes around comes around.

47. Develop a network of friends and advisers that can give you advice on issues you are dealing with. Think of this as your own personal board of directors.

48. Have lunch once a month with someone outside your company who might hire you.

49. Carry business cards with you all day, every day, everywhere.

50. Never appear stressed in front of a client, a customer, or your boss. Take a deep breath and ask yourself ‘in the course of my whole life, how important is this?’