Here’s an eye-opening statistic: half of all businesses fail within 4 years, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute. And based upon my 30+ years of working with small businesses, 80% of those that remain struggle to earn even a crappy living.
Although these stats paint a rather grim picture about owning your own business, what’s happening with those that are succeeding and earning a healthy living? Why are some able to produce wealth while others struggle?
Famed personal development coach Tony Robbins reminds us that “success leaves clues.” Here are those clues – the actions, strategies and traits successful companies routinely exhibit.
1. They Make Marketing a Priority
Businesses who achieve great results have a plan and execute that plan. They’re not interested in short-term or temporary gains. They treat marketing as a priority activity in their business, and spend time consistently on growing sales in profitable ways. Owners that turn small businesses into big profitable businesses spend time each day on marketing and generating sales opportunities.
2. They Set Goals
How can you hit a target you haven’t defined? One of the greatest motivators for achievement is goal setting. If you simply wander around and run your business with no real plan and no real objective, you’re very likely to achieve less than stellar results. Bottom line: set goals, measure your progress, take corrective action when needed and keep trying to improve.
3. They Know What They Don’t Know
If you weren’t a doctor, you could still attempt to diagnose and treat your kid’s stomach pains. Of course you probably can’t tell the difference between heartburn and appendicitis, which means you run the risk of harming your child. Or you could simply hire a doctor. Here’s my point: healthy small business owners and companies know what they don’t know and they seek advice from experts who are in the know so they get the best possible results in the least amount of time. They aren’t swayed by a commercial they saw, a book they read or by the IT guy that builds websites. Successful companies know what they don’t know and they don’t try to use templates or watch videos to figure it out on their own. Successful companies work with experts and are open to outside help.
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4. They Take Action
Successful companies decide what they want to do and then act upon their objectives.They don’t wait until things slow down and they don’t delay making decisions and taking action. Successful companies keep things simple. They avoid “paralysis by analysis,” which is a profit-robbing condition caused by over-thinking and in many cases fear of making the wrong decision. Delaying action on necessary issues only leads to feelings of frustration and being overwhelmed. It also leads to a poor business. Decide what you need to do and then aggressively take steps to make it a reality.
5. They Use Data
Rather than making decisions based upon intuition or some personal opinion, high performing companies use data to make decisions. They use analytical tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to gauge performance and to help define future marketing actions. They measure marketing results and ad performance to determine return on investment. They establish and maintain a method of data collection that keeps key performance indicators (KPIs) at their fingertips for analysis and action.
6. They Operate in a Digital World
Sure, there’s still room for traditional marketing techniques but the reality is that the online world is king. Profitable auto glass companies use online channels to reach customers. They are especially aware of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices and provide mobile compatible websites and advertising.
Marketing as usual can be the death of a business. Customers are evolving, technology is evolving and the marketing landscape is evolving. Just because something worked last year doesn’t mean it will work today. Profitable companies try new things and don’t rely on the “that’s the way it’s always been done” mentality.
8. They Manage Their Reputations
The rise of social media and review sites, and consumer’s dependence upon them, has created the need for auto glass companies to monitor posts and gauge consumer sentiment. Healthy auto glass companies keep track of what’s being said about them. They encourage customers to leave online reviews, for these reviews assist in search engine rankings and in lead generation. They use tools like Google Alerts, SocialMention.com and other reputation management tools. They respond to customer complaints and concerns in a timely, professional fashion.
Internet marketing expert Brian Offenberger is the owner of Right On – No Bull Marketing, a small business marketing agency helping auto glass companies increase traffic, sales and lifetime customer value. Brian received top presenter ratings at Auto Glass Week 2014 and will be a featured speaker at Auto Glass Week 2015. Email Brian at Brian@RightOn-NoBull.com.