Introduction
Tax Update
Business Plan
Tax Rates
Business Make Over
Thomas Murphy, CPA
A periodic evaluation of your business may be helpful in maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of your operation

Evaluate your Products or Services

Look at the various products and services you offer and consider eliminating or minimizing any of them that: 
  - You are losing money on
  - Create an undo amount of stress or trouble 
  - You are not proficient in providing

Provide a New Product or Service

Providing a new product or service can sometimes allow you to better serve the needs of your customers and also rejuvenate  a stagnant level of sales growth

  - Look at your manufacturing or service process to see what additional products or services you could provide
  - Look at the needs of your customers to see what additional products or services they need

Evaluate your Profitability by Customer

Analyze your profit margin by customer to determine where you are making money

  - Eliminate or scale back services to customers with low or negative profit margins
  - Direct more effort to providing products or services to those customers with favorable profit margins

Evaluate your Employees

In order for your company to operate at an optimum level, you must insure that your staff is operating at an optimal level

  - Perform evaluations with your staff periodically to insure that they understand what you expect of them
  - Measure their progress towards achieving an optimal level of performance on the job
  - Assist your staff in being more productive by providing adequate training
  - Offer incentives to reward outstanding achievements

Hold a Contest

Designing and implementing a contest periodically will provide new energy which will help maintain a higher level of effort on the part of your staff.

  - Come up with a new sales campaign and offer bonuses to those reaching certain quotas
  - Set a goal of reaching a certain production level, with a day off to those who are successful
  - Have a contest to come up with a new idea or process

Summary

To sum up, you must constantly be analyzing and evaluating your operation to find ways to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. You must look at your employees, customers, vendors, industry, and so on to insure that you are maximizing productivity, reducing waste, and staying in-tune to the direction of your business and industry. Only in this way will you be able to maximize your profitability and growth. 




1. Answer your phone

Customers will be impressed when they call your business and a real person answers the phone, rather than an answering machine or automated receptionist. Important people such as the business owner should make it a habit to answer the phone when possible, as customers will be impressed by this and it will allow top management to stay in better touch with daily operations.

2. Send e-mails

Request e-mail addresses from your customers and use them to send offers, information or just to say hello and remind them they are important to you. Often, customers will patronize your business if you simply remind them you have products and services they may want or need.

3. Use business cards

Print on the back if necessary, but include on your business card:

     - Business name and address

     - Description of products or services you offer

     - Telephone Numbers

     - Web site & e-mail address

     - Hours of operation

     - Map to your location (if appropriate)

     - Professional and industry credentials

4. Ask for referrals  

Ask your customers for referrals. Make it well known that you want and need new business.

5. Develop a marketing list and advertise by use of postcards

Compile a data base of your current and prospective customers and advertise to them by use of postcards. This is an affordable yet very efficient and effective way to market your products or services.

6. Put customer satisfaction at the top of your goal list

Your customers are the foundation of your business. Keep them happy and they will keep you happy. Find out what they want and deliver it to them at a price they are willing to pay and you will be well on the road to success.

7. Practice proper Etiquette when dealing with customers or clients

    - Do not use profanity

    - Don't stand too close (allow at least two feet between you and the customer)

    - Keep your personal life & views personal, especially with regards to religion and politics

    - Turn off your cell phone when meeting with someone

    - Use a firm handshake when introduced and allow a woman to offer a handshake first

    - Always have business cards available

    - Don't interrupt someone else's conversation

    - Be punctual

    - Be well groomed and wear proper clothing

    - Avoid drinking alcohol, but if you need to drink to be polite, drink in moderation only

    - Remember above all, that the customer is always right!

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