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Is providing the best enough to be successful?

Is providing the best enough to be successful?

There is more to success than delivering an excellent service or providing a quality product. You may provide the best home improvement service in the world, but if you’re not making enough to pay for it, you will be out of business.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: about 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, and about 50% of small businesses fail in their fifth year. Finally, about 30% of small businesses fail in their tenth year.

Many factors go into the business profitability equation. The last quarter (Q4), is a good time to take inventory of not only your property and goods, but operations as well. Whether your business is slowing or ramping up, assessing your profitability is important before year’s end and the new year ahead.

Business Assessment –Take a look at yourself and your business. Identify the strengths and weaknesses. Work out a plan to diminish or eliminate what is not working. Are you providing the best service from start to finish? Find the areas where you can improve. Being more efficient and customer friendly makes you more profitable. Is your service or product still viable? What should you be doing to keep up-to-date?

Team Management –Do you have the best players on your team? If yes, then are you compensating them enough? If you have weak members, what can be done to get them up to speed? Weak links hurt business both externally and internally. This year the unemployment rate declined to its lowest level in more than four decades. Make keeping your employees happy a priority.

Customer Experience –Are your customers satisfied? Contact a recent customer and ask them about their experience. They’ll be impressed to hear from you personally and you’ll get the scoop straight from the horse’s mouth. Capitalize on the pluses and solve the minuses.

Record Keeping –What does your accounting look like? Good daily record keeping and being tax compliant is very important. Knowing how the money comes in and out, is key to staying in business.

ROI –Do you know your break-even point? Look at your costs for staff, overhead, materials and production time. Can you trim the fat anywhere? Check to see if your pricing is in the ballpark with competition and enough for you to make a profit. Make the appropriate changes.

Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. In September, consumer confidence went up a considerable +3.7pts from August. This index provides insight to consumer attitudes and their buying intentions which effects small business.

Make a plan to capitalize on the boom. Continued solid U.S. economic growth is predicted for the remainder of the year and into next year. Determine how you will increase new business and maximize existing business to be more profitable in Q4 into Q1.

By Kathy Latus