1. Keep it clean. Did you know that consumers determine whether they will enter your business in a 3 second time frame? A clean exterior and attractive windows can make a BIG difference.
2. Stay POSITIVE. Positive work environments are more fun for everyone; consumers included. Negativity drags everyone down, kills morale and will inevitably lead to a less productive work environment.
3. Train your employees to embrace your philosophy, not just follow your standards. People can tell when employees don’t believe in a product (yes, your business is a product). Explain the “WHY” behind your business practices. Employees that embrace your business will undoubtedly succeed.
4. Get INVOLVED! The most powerful form of advertising is “word of mouth”, and the easiest way to create word of mouth is community involvement. For example, you could set up a FREE booth or pass out coupons at a “Live in the Lot” event. Need ideas? Contact Main Street!
5. Don’t be afraid to try new things! Businesses adapt and grow, or they can slowly wither. A new promotion, floor plan, event or internal company contest can liven things up AND lead to future successes.
6. Utilize new media and new technology. E-mail marketing, social media pages and certain types of web listings are all nearly FREE and can be very effective in the right hands. Talk to your staff or the Main Street office to see how you can best utilize these new business tools!
7. Hone your message with words that sell. Did you know that you can boost your visibility and sales just by utilizing certain words? Check out what I mean by clicking (here).
8. Take advantage of expert resources. (I’m changing this one a bit, because certain state resources no longer exist). The Small Business Development Center at ESU, Flint Hills Technical College Community Connection Classes, Emporia Main Street consulting, local business mentors, and a load of on-line information can help you learn the skills you need to improve your business. But, you have to take advantage of the resources around you.
9. Plan for success. Successful business, people and organizations don’t happen by accident. They plan their success well in advance of its actual occurrence. Use down time to timeline events, create a work calendar and set organizational expectations. Involve others in the realization of your plan, and be clear about their responsibilities. After a plan’s completion, write down what worked, what didn’t and what you should do the next time around.
10. Realize that you have people rooting for you! Sometimes business can be a lonely enterprise, until you realize that others have a vested interest in your success. You are appreciated. You mean a lot to this community. And, you have help available from your good friends at Emporia Main Street!
For this article and others like it, check out this week’s Emporia Main Street E-newsletter!