7 Must Haves for a Successful and Sustainable Business

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Back in my Corporate and Federal Government days, I was all about excellence – reading all the latest business books and quickly gaining a reputation as the person you went to if you wanted results.

It was a simpler time: do your job well, anticipate future requests and do them before management asked.

The result? Jobs were created for me, offers made and raises received.

As an entrepreneur, things are different.

Doing a great job, in and of itself, is no longer enough.

It’s about the overall experience you provide:

• What image does your business portray? Are you viewed as a viable business or as a “hobby business”?

• Do you have a referral program in place?

• Do you send gifts to your regular or top clients?

• Are you consistent with your business policies or do you make decisions on the fly?

• Do your clients know what to expect or is each contact with you a different experience?

7 things you can – and should – implement in your business if you’re looking for success and sustainability:

1. Clear business policies. Put them in writing and share them with your clients: payment terms, “no shows” for calls, etc.

2. A marketing plan – which marketing strategies do you want to consistently implement, how to they tie in to creating multiple streams of income.

3. An affiliate and referral program – yep, they’re different and you want to include both in your business plan, no matter your industry.

4. Treat your business like a business: pay your bills on time or make payment agreements, invoice your clients on time and fairly, invest in your business where it makes sense.

5. Create systems which support you: client intake system, outgoing client completion documentation, how you gather – and use – testimonials, etc.

6. Anticipate client requests, before they happen.

7. Follow-up. Let your clients and prospective clients know you care by following-up on a regular basis – not just when you’re selling something.

How your business is perceived by others, especially your clients, begins with you. If you’re not treating it seriously, why should they?

Making It Real. . .My Request To You

Read and think through the following questions. . .

• What attitude do you have towards your business? Are you happy when you sit down at the computer or do you feel obligated and “have to”?

• Are you investing in the right mentor or thinking you’ll learn everything from watching others?

• Do the points in this article seem extreme to you?

• Is your first thought that doing these things, and the several more not listed, are “too much” for your business? Or that it’s going to be expensive?

• Are you excited by the prospect of “upleveling” everything you’re doing in your business – both for you and your clients?

The experience of your business should be found everywhere – from a prospective client’s first visit to your website to the way you run your calls to how they hire you. . .and beyond.