Four things you can do
right now to make business better
As owners of small businesses, most of us
are thinking about low cost ways to get and keep profitable customers.
Here are a few of the things that I have been doing to get more
business or to improve customer experience for ventures that
•Create a written business plan with quantifiable goals and realistic
timetables. I operate all of my businesses with a clear vision
of where I will be in one year, three years, and five years.
I know that many of you do good annual planning and work from
a written business plan that you re-visit and adjust regularly.
However, in my many years of small business consulting, I have
found that more than a few owners of small businesses don’t take
the time to write out a business plan. If you haven’t got one,
do it today!
•Get active or more active in your industry’s association. One
of the primary reasons that I was so successful in the auto recycling
business was the work I did as a founder and member of our industry
association. Being in the company of owners within the same industry
forces you to think strategically. Membership exposes you to
different perspectives and yields valuable connections.
•Search out best practices and implement them: I prospered in
the recycling industry because I was part of a small group of
salvage yard owners that met twice a year to compare metrics
and share best practices. Sharing metrics revealed which of us
were doing better at dismantling cars, turning over parts, making
deliveries, etc. Participants served non-competitive markets
and shared best practices freely. What I learned every six months
as a participant in that group showed up every month in my bottom
line. I have teamed with experts from a variety of industries
to start such industry specific groups and will be adding more
in the coming months.
•Create or improve your referral program and publicize it among
your best customers: The vast majority of referrals come from
established clients. Are you getting a steady stream of new business
from these customers? Its fine to invest in attracting new customers,
but don’t forget to cultivate the ones who helped you get where
you are. Examine your existing referral program, and talk with
your customers about ways to make it better.
Don’t forget to subscribe to Ron's
free monthly auto recycling e-newsletter, with news and tips,
register at www.autosalvageconsultant.com.
Remember, only you can make BUSINESS
Ron Sturgeon is past owner of AAA
Small Car World. In 1999, he sold his six Texas locations, with
140 employees, to Greenleaf. In 2001, he founded North Texas
Insurance Auction, which he sold to Copart in 2002. In 2002,
his book “Salvaging Millions” was published to help
small business owners achieve significant success, and was recently
reprinted. In June 2003, he joined the new ownership and management
team of GreenLeaf. He also manages his real estate holdings and
investments. You can learn more about him at WWW.autosalvageconsultant.com
He can be reached at 5940 Eden, Haltom City, TX 76117, email@example.com or
817-834-3625 ext 6#.