March 11 2014 Latest news:
Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Thursday, January 10, 2013
With most of us back to work for real this week, the new year is well and truly under way. But what can you do to improve the outlook for you and your business in 2013? We asked our select panel of experts for their views.
Keith Beevor, senior manager Lloyds TSB commercial centre Norwich:
1. Set goals, what are you planning to achieve in 2013 – commit your plan to paper. Be ambitious but realistic.
2. Delight your customers/clients. Seek feedback from them on how pleased they are with the service/product, and what one thing you could do better to improve their experience. Then ask for a recommendation
3. Know your numbers – profit and loss, margins, your key performance indicators.
4. Review your pricing policy – when was the last time you did this and what was the outcome? This feeds directly to your bottom line profit.
5. Do you have a ‘trusted advisor’ – with whom you can share ideas and who can share ideas with you? If not, find one – business can be lonely.
6. Review your cash flow and your terms of trade – cash is one of the most important commodities in your business. Guard it jealously!
7. Chase debtors, send out invoices timely and follow up well before due date.
8. When reaching a buying decision people tend to say no five times before they say yes. Are you still in the sales game when the customer is ready to buy?
9. Keep in contact with each customer in every 90 day cycle – this improves probability of them increasing their spend with you
10. Review your work/life balance – is it right? Long hours can lead to stress which in turn can lead to poor judgement. Take time to have some fun!
Poultry giant Bernard Matthews aims to remove its energy costs in two years after securing a £24.5m biomass boiler deal.