Question: How is your year progressing?

If not tracking well, some hand-wringing is to be expected.

If you’re like other businesspeople in not meeting expectations, you’re likely having trouble focusing on priorities. The tendency is to be too preoccupied in fearing failure instead of focusing on strengths.

Is this your situation? If so, productive steps need to be taken for market leadership.

It’s important to develop an IQ for keeping an open mind for change and improved competitiveness. Adaptability and flexibility to adopt old and new ideas are keys to success in a dynamic marketplace.

Here’s a checklist of reminders:

  1. Daily review your financial reporting. Cash flow is king.
  2. Don’t get sidetracked. Take prudent steps for financial balance. Control your expenses but devote enough time for marketing and selling – each day.
  3. If you have employees, implement a collaborative environment to execute strategy. For a great profit driver,  partner with your employees. But know how and when to delegate.
  4. Use the latest thought leadership to evaluate your workers and ensure employee loyalty. Retaining talent is important for keeping your human, intellectual capital.
  5. Customers love environmentally responsible companies. Consider how you can differentiate your firm from competitors. For strategies, see this article: Checklist for Branding, Selling Your Biz as Green.
  6. Decide on a social cause in cause-related marketing. Enhance your participation in causes,  and in socially responsible management practices.
  7. Examine your customer-support practices. Understand what it takes for customer loyalty and for branding in attracting new business via traditional and emerging media.
  8. Take steps for price satisfaction, but don’t give away the store. History shows businesses fail when they focus too much on selling at the lowest price. For more explanation, see: 8 Simple Strategies to Give You Pricing Power.
  9. Continually talk with your customers, and read, research and implement strategies for growth.
  10. As much as possible, stay current on technology to save you time and money.
  11. Whenever possible, keep it simple. That includes everything from your business processes to your value propositions.
  12. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Younger businesspeople, in particular, tend to impulsively make unnecessary changes. It’s important to check motives. Consider whether such decisions are fact-based solutions or stem from ego.
  13. Explore all options to grow organically before buying other firms. Before you embark on a merger, consider all human resources and cultural factors. Most mergers aren’t successful for this very reason (see If Mergers & AcquisitionsTempt You, Consult HR Pros).
  14. Include strategies for multiplying your revenue stream.
  15. Speak and act with conviction about your mission to passionately meet the needs of your customers. Execute with authentic optimism. Smile even when you don’t feel like it. Customers, employees and other stakeholders love a jovial Joe or Jane. Make certain your attitude is contagious – that it’s worth catching.

Good luck in your business planning for the new economy.

From the Coach’s Corner, this business portal has countless tips on marketing/sales.

Here are recommendations for hiring the best talent, and how to properly evaluate employees:

Increase Profits by Hiring Talent with the Best Trait — You’ll increase your odds for profits with high-performing employees with the right culture — if you hire for the right personality trait – enthusiastic people. That’s right. Look for people who have the makeup to being committed and who will care for the welfare of your company. You’ll increase your chances for the strongest results.

Are You Hiring? Advertising Tips to Attract the Best Talent — Whether your business has grown so you need to hire a key professional or you’re replacing person, here are advertising-recruitment tips.

Risk Management in Hiring: Pre-Employment Screening Tips — Here are two questions about hiring: 1) what’s the biggest mistake companies make in hiring employees; and 2) what’s the biggest legal obstacle employers face in hiring? Here’s what to do about background screening.

10 Talent-Recruitment Strategies that Lead to Business Profit — By developing strategic recruiting plans, human resources professionals will make significant contributions to the bottom-line profit goals of their employers. So, it’s imperative to innovate in your recruiting processes and market your strategies to senior management and hiring managers.

Write Better Job Descriptions to Attract Best Talent – 16 Tips — To inspire the best applicants to apply at your company, there are at least 16 strategies to incorporat e in your job descriptions.

Human Resources – Slow Motion Gets You There Faster — Hoagy Carmichael’s phrase, “Slow motion gets you there faster,” is apropos in hiring the best workers for high performance. Here’s why and how to do it.

Human Resources: 12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations — How should you properly evaluate employees? Make sure you are careful to avoid errors in evaluations. Naturally, you want to praise good performance and discourage bad, and avoid 12 common errors.

Money can’t buy happiness, but  it sure makes misery easier to live with.

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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.