Did you have a lemonade stand when you were a kid? Remember how you felt as you were setting it up? Excited? A little scared, perhaps? I bet you couldn't wait for that very first sale.
Unfortunately, our outlook changes as we get older. After being in business for a while, things can get a little stale. If you want to regain that magic you felt as a young entrepreneur, we have a few tips to get you started.
1. Hit the books. Maybe you'd like to brush up on your sales skills? Discover what motivates your clients by reading Brian Tracy's bestselling work 'The Psychology of Selling.' Or enroll in an online class from organizations such as Udemy or Coursera. You can access a variety of reasonably priced courses that may offer a new outlook on your business. Learn a new skill and then put it into practice. You'll definitely feel rejuvenated personally and possibly even financially!
2. Hire a business coach. Your business might benefit from an objective view from a neutral source. A business coach may have just the ideas you need to shake things up and wow your customers with fresh product or services. They could even have a new and better approach to doing the things you've always done.
If you choose to go this route, consider proposals from several business coaches and look into their background carefully. If you're running a small or medium enterprise, choose a business coach who can help you in the areas where you are weakest. For example, if you're strong in financial management and weaker in marketing, a business coach with a strong marketing background would benefit your business most.
3. Find a new hangout. Join your local Chamber of Commerce or a networking group. Investigate online forums and participate in discussions. You can also look for new LinkedIn groups online. It can be a great way of staying up to date with the latest developments in your industry. Evaluate groups carefully and choose the ones with the most informative discussions. Hanging out with other business owners and hearing their stories will get you inspired.
4. Ask for feedback. Contact a few of your best customers — ask them what they like about your company and what you can improve. If you can do this in person, even better. Otherwise provide an incentive by offering discounts for completed surveys or run a Facebook competition with an attractive prize for the best ideas submitted. Just remember to check on the rules Facebook expects you to observe.
5. Be a visionary. A well formulated vision statement can inform your business strategy at every level, giving you and your staff a goal to strive for. Use your vision as the guiding principle. Break it down by setting Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound (SMART) goals as well as milestones to celebrate. If you need an extra boost, consider hiring a consultant to help you formulate a meaningful vision for your business.
6. Keep it fresh and exciting. Sometimes we're so close to our business that we don't feel energized by it anymore. However, by injecting new people, ideas and skills into our daily routine, that same magic can come back. Heck, you might even treat yourself to a glass of lemonade to celebrate your new outlook!