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It's never too late to restart your business, and spring is a critical time for retailers to do so. Here are ten tips from experts for business owners to grow additional sales:
- Straighten up the staff. "Hold people accountable for their performance, no matter how difficult it may make your life in the short run," advises Roberta Chinsky Matuson, a former human resources careers expert for Monster.com.
- Strengthen the management team. "Entrepreneurs get frustrated because they can get sucked into doing somebody else's job," observes Don Schmincke, author of, 'The Code of the Executive.' The solution is to build a strong management team in which each member takes responsibility for some area of the business and its performance.
- Differentiate from the competition. "Find a way you can stick a flag in the sand and say, 'This is how we're different'," advises John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing.
- Hone staff selling skills. "Role play first; sell second," urges Paul DiModica, author of, 'Value Forward Selling.' He points out that, "Most people don't practice with somebody in the office as buyer and seller," an exercise he recommends.
- Collaborate on information technology. "With open source systems, the old model of a company and control center has faded away," says Jeff Bates, co founder of the tech news site, Slashdot.org. He says business owners should be more flexible. "People can get a lot more done through collaborating, instead of buying enterprise software and using an IT department as the be all and end all for tech solutions."
- Get organized. "Have well documented and efficient systems and procedures for how things work," says Laura Leist, a consultant on organization and productivity.
- Be more innovative and creative. "Make a concerted effort to change your perspective," advises Kevin Carroll, a former Nike executive and founder of The Katalyst Consultancy. "Force yourself to identify and discover new things," he adds.
- Watch the money. "Count your pennies and know where you're spending money," says Tina Hedges, co founder of Twist New.Brand.Venture LLC with Beth Ann Catalano. "Always remember that cash is king," she emphasizes.
- Get professional financial advice. Before you get into any significant financial transactions, "consult an accountant or attorney," urges Nancy Geary, a partner in the ECS Financial Services certified public accountant firm.
- Get personally fit. "It doesn't matter if it's diet or exercise, the key is picking that one thing you can achieve and sticking with it," says Jeff Johnson, nutritionist for Kashi Company. "Commit to making one small change in taking care of yourself, and stick with it."
This article was edited from Entrepreneur.
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