7 things you need to know to improve your bottom line

I work with entrepreneurs from all walks of life and in all types of industries but some things just continue to resonate about great businesses and what makes them stand out above the rest.

Here are 7 things you need to know to improve your bottom line:

1. Take at least 10 minutes out of your day to look at your financials. Some people think it requires hours upon hours but that is not true. If there is some glaring issue, then dig deeper. Otherwise, move on to the other important items on your to-do list.

2. Hire people smarter than you. Surrounding yourself with experts is not only good for business, but it sets the bar high for yourself and your team. Step up and don’t be afraid that you may not know everything there is to know. Learn from others just like they will learn from you. Your bottom line will thank you.

3. Work with outside professionals instead of trying to save a few bucks. Repeatedly I see the catastrophic fall out from business people who tried to save a few bucks and ended up losing (or almost losing) their business. Accountants and attorneys may show up as an expense on your P&L; however, you should view their services as an investment in the long term growth of your company.

4. Take good care of your employees and they will take good care of you.  Treat your employees well, set high standards and show them they are appreciated. The return on investment will be priceless. By all means, if you have a bad egg, get rid of them sooner than later but know that your team is what differentiates your company from others. So take care of the good ones.

5.Change is inevitable so embrace it. Your business will not be the same tomorrow as it is today so embrace change and use it to your advantage. What can your company do better or faster tomorrow than it is doing today?

6. Constantly be filling the pipeline. Never get complacent that where you are is good enough. There is always someone around the corner willing to work hard for your customer if you drop the ball. So keep moving and keep growing.

7. Don’t let others define your success. We all have differing levels of what success means to us. Embrace your own ideas and goals and live each day to it’s fullest. You don’t have to be a million dollar business to be successful. There’s more to it than just money. When you love what you do, the money will follow.

The last  point may seem counterproductive. I’m not saying money isn’t important. It is a necessary part of running a good business. However, it shouldn’t be your “only” goal to define the success of your business. Offering a great product or service, having achieved something you are passionate about and creating a great work environment all are part of helping you improve your bottom line. If you choose to operate any other way, you will quickly find yourself out of money and out of passion to get up every day and do it all again.