Avoiding a rut requires ability to make changes

Tips For Small Business

June 22, 2008|By Stephen L. Rosenstein

Is your small business stuck in a rut?

Perhaps your customers no longer seem excited and your staff isn't offering fresh ideas. Or maybe competition is giving you fits.

This could be a good time for a business makeover.

What is most important is to find ways to breathe new life into your profits and get the business back on track. Small, agile businesses have an advantage because you can move quickly to spot evolving conditions and to execute changes.

Dig for details about your products or services, marketing and sales efforts, customer service, competition and more. Has your customer base changed? If so, this could be an area to make changes. Is it broader? Older or younger? More upscale?

Study whether your products or services are performing to customer expectations. Remember that your goal should be to exceed expectations, not simply meet them.

If your marketing message has never changed, you might try a new one. Revisit your original business plan. You might recapture some of that initial insight and enthusiasm. Think back to your successful business promotions, presentations or sales efforts for approaches that worked for your business.

Some old-fashioned brainstorming sessions can help rekindle your managerial flame too. Meet with your advisers, partners, employees and friends and outside consultants. Ask for their view on what your business can do to improve it.

Stephen L. Rosenstein is co-chairman of the Greater Baltimore SCORE Chapter No. 3. Call 410-962-2233 to speak to a SCORE counselor or visit www.scorebaltimore.org. To send a question to SCORE, e-mail smallbiz@baltsun.com.

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