For top financial performance and the creation of jobs, there are 10 best practices for entrepreneurs.

They range from innovation to monitoring your marketplace.

The 10 best practices:

1. Innovate

To innovate, it means being current on your use of technology.

You must continually evaluate your processes for productivity and efficiency — how you operate your business – from management to sales.

2. Get expert advice

At the minimum, you need a mentor – someone who has successful track record. Optimally, you should get outside counsel from an advisory board.

3. Plan strategically

Strategic planning is essential for success. You need to be able to measure and track your metrics – your expenses, production, delivery and customer satisfaction.

Whatever your situation, to realize your vision, focusing on the right details is a skill conducive for strategically setting goals. There are eight best practices for setting goals.

4. Human resources

At least 50 percent of a company’s profits are contingent on employee problems. If you have challenges in one department, odds are you have HR issues in other departments. In fact, human capital is the No. 1 reason why CEOs lose sleep. Many businesses often need an objective source of information and expertise from critical thinkers. It’s true you can turn your human resources department into a profit center.

Recruit and hire the best talent. Don’t take shortcuts. Strive for a productive business culture. Create and foster a favorable work environment for your team. That means partnering with your employees and turning your human resources into a profit center.

5. Partner with your vendors

One mistake entrepreneurs make is failing to partner with their suppliers. Your vendors should be treated with great care. Treat them as you would a valued customer.

Break bread with your biggest vendors – take them to lunch. Listen to them. Without divulging proprietary information, share your objectives so they can best serve you.

6. Keep your sales pipeline full

Take good care of your customers. But diversify and continually prospect for new customers. It doesn’t matter what type of business you have.

Even if your sales are great today, there will come a time when sales will crawl to a halt unless you take precautionary measures to keep your sales pipeline full. Yep, that’s right. Never take sales for granted — when it comes to sales keep on truckin’. Never stop marketing. Take good care of your customers, but make marketing your top priority — every day — to prevent a roller coaster ride of profit and loss.

7. Manage your finances

If you fail to understand your financial statements, you won’t know your break-even point and where your true profits lie. Ultimately, you won’t properly manage your cash flow.

If your cash flow is poor, you feel poor because you can’t pay the bills nor can you use money for what you’d like to do. Your image can also suffer with vendors or with customers, if you don’t manage your cash flow. You must creatively manage your cash flow.

8. Anticipate problems

On a regular basis, perform a SWOT analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Every business faces the prospect of tsunamis – an economic downturn, loss of suppliers, increase in costs or natural disasters from fires to earthquakes.

9. Monitor your marketplace

Pay close attention to your marketplace. Anticipate your customers’ needs and wants. Find needs to fill.

10. Don’t hesitate to get assistance

If you anticipate problems, accept and acknowledge them. Part of acceptance means doing something about your problems. Many issues necessitate outside help. Financial issues mean stay in close contact with your bank and stakeholders to whom you owe money.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related articles:

Accounting / Finance – Why and How to Determine Your Break-Even Point — Uncertainty can kill hope in business. Best practices in management mean having the right information to alleviate uncertainty in business. For that you need the right tools. One important tool – know your break-even point (BEP). A BEP analysis should be an integral part of your financial planning. If it isn’t, you can count on suffering from unnecessary stress – emotionally and financially.

For Maximum Business Tax Savings, Year-Round Strategies Are Vital — Many business owners find they can plan their futures, operate their businesses more efficiently year-round, and take maximum advantage of tax savings when they file their returns. Ask your tax advisor about these 9 strategies.

Why Your Customer-Loyalty Program Might Not Be Profitable — Researchers are warning businesses that their customer-loyalty programs, which are designed to increase repeat business, may be causing more harm than good. Even though “customer prioritization” is widely used by companies, the researchers warn they’re a double-edged sword and represent the dark side of customer loyalty programs.

To Cope with Rising Costs, Review your Pricing Strategy — Increased costs weigh heavily on the bottom line. If you’re being pressured by costs, it’s probably time to review your pricing strategy.  You’re not alone. No business is immune from rising costs in fuel; rent or real estate; labor; health insurance and ObamaCare; marketing; and equipment. Lest not you forget all the taxes.

The 7 Steps to Higher Sales — Secrets for sales success include: Five value perceptions that motivate prospects to buy; seven steps to higher sales; and the three-step process for overcoming sales objections. You also need a noteworthy elevator pitch. But even before your launch into your great elevator pitch and seven steps, it’s important to understand why people will buy from you – remember it’s always an emotional decision.

If you try to fail and succeed, which have you done?


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.