10 Ways to Raise the Bar in Your Small Business

This article focuses on 10 practical ways how small business owners can spice up their business.
There comes a point when a small business owner feels stymied thinking that business is dwindling and suffering from a routine. This article provides ten ways to spice up and raise that business bar once again.
1.Continue to Educate Yourself. Becoming stale will cost you money and clients. When you first started your business, you probably had passion and determination to succeed. As time passed, and the customers didn’t come in as often, you may have begun to lose your zeal. Get it back through attending workshops and conferences while surrounding yourself around positive people.
2. Keep the Creative Juices Flowing. Whatever you did last year in your business, you must either change or add to it. What worked last year may not be working this year. Think of at least two things you can do differently in your business and make it happen. Write it down and make it happen.
3. Don’t Resist Social Media. There are popular social sites to consider when putting your business name to attract visitors and communicate with clients. They include Face book, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Blogging. They are all free. It’s a good idea to take one day of the week to maintain and nurture these sites. Some small businesses outsource it. Social Media can help raise the bar on your business.
4. Create a New Product or Service. Whatever business you are in, you can create a new product or offer a new service. If you are in the photography business, you can create wall panels. If you are a designer, you can create a new artsy look for your client’s home or office. If you are in sales, you can offer an extra incentive to your clients. If you are in the service industry, you can offer referrals and purchase specials. Put your thinking cap on and get busy creating. Take one day and three hours and invent something new.
5. Network and Form Relationships. There are many networking groups you can be a part of. Pick one or two that fit in with your business. It is good to network. You get to talk to other people as you share ideas. Don’t just network to pass out business cards or to get people to buy from you, show genuine interest in others. What you do for others will come back to you.
6. Look Good on Paper and in Person. Perception is everything. You can be the best at what you do, but if you and your brand look unprofessional, some clients won’t even come your way. Brand yourself. Make sure your paper work like your business cards, letterhead and other forms look good. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on these items if you have an Office Depot in your town. Also, your appearance says a lot about you. Make sure you look nice and well groomed. Keep a smile on your face. It goes a long way.

7. Get Your Name in the Community. Be aware what is going on in the community. You can find many community events to be a part of, and many of them are free. You can set up a table at a function to let people know about you. You can donate your services to a fundraiser or a worthy cause. You can even offer to speak in your area of expertise at a meeting or gathering. Setting up a display and becoming a part of the chamber of commerce are great ways to get your name in front of clients.
8. Read a Good Book. Many business owners get so bogged down, that they often neglect taking advice from people who have made their marks in life. If you are in sales, you should read at least one good book a year on sales. If you are in marketing, you should read a book on marketing. If you want to raise the bar in your business, you should read books by people who actually raised the bar and went on to be very successful business owners.
9. Take time for you. As a business owner, you have to have a balanced life or you will burn out. Take time to treat and pamper yourself. Get away from the rat race. Get away from that cell phone. Take some time to get a massage or go on a day trip. Go to a spa and relax. If you want to you can retreat in your own home once a week with a nice hot bath and some warm tea. Listen to your favorite ITunes and wind down.
10. Spend Time in Nature. According to many experts in the field of health, nature is very healing. Find time to exercise your mind, body, and soul. In the evening, go for a walk or a nice jog. If you don’t want to take to the trail, go to a coffee house or an outdoor restaurant and have your food outside. Sit on your patio or porch and just take in a sunset. Spend some time outside in meditation. Take time to enjoy nature. It has a way of reviving you and energizing you. Once you feel revived and energized, you will begin making the necessary strides to increase your business.
Make these last few months of 2013 count. Raise your small business bar!

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