The doom and gloom boom

Negativity is a disease. It eats into our psyche and sabotages our performance. Leave the quacking to the ducks. Look for the positive in every situation and focus on ways of improving performance and WOWing customers, colleagues and suppliers. Here are a few tips to help you on your way from Peter Rowe in his great ProfiTune newsletter.

I don’t know about you, but the doom and gloom being expounded in the press at the moment could make one wonder why they’re in business! But, hey, I’m still an optimist! Why? Because I’ve been through it all before, and I’m still in business and still enjoying it!

Here are 10 simple tactics you can use to tighten the jib on your business and sail through the squalls into that big wide harbour of profits:

1.     Attitude is everything. Keep yours positive. Spend more time looking at the doughnut and less time looking at the hole!

2.     Get organised! Rank your priorities and spend more time on the high ones and less on the low.

3.     Improve your cash flow. Do whatever it takes to tighten up your debtors, cut your costs and expenses, and increase your productivity. Don’t overlook “new ways of doing things” as a key strategy for all three of these.

4.     Get up close and personal with your creditors & debtors. You need to know where your debtors are, and to be close enough to them to lead, cajole and coach them into paying you before other people; you need to be close enough to your creditors to stretch the friendship and ask for preferences, favours and anything else that will enable you to pay them what you owe.

5.     Get more out of your working assets. Check every piece of equipment, vehicle, property and stock item and find at least one way to get more out of each.

6.     Streamline your expenses. Cut out anything that isn’t essential to the continuation of your business. Again, look for novel solutions as well as reductions. Set expense goals, engage staff in those, and monitor your progress. They’ll come down!

7.     Smarten up your marketing. Look at every cent you spend on marketing and work out your return on investment. Look for new, lower cost, higher impact ways of gaining favourable attention in your marketplace (think, read, do guerrilla marketing).

8.     Partner for Profit. Create a wish list of ideal strategic allies, work out simple but powerful strategies you could jointly employ to mutually improve business, and then pitch these to each of them.

9.     Put your lines of credit in place. The smart operators put loan agreements, lines of credit and other facilities in place before they need them, so that when everyone else if chasing loans and the lenders are clamping down, they are already approved.

10.     Focus on the Top Twenty. Put 80% of your attention into the top 20% of your Client base – the 20% that provides you with 80% of your profits. Any small percentage increase in this “fat” sector of your market will have a much larger dollar value than a similar increase further down the list.

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