Cathy Yeomans, Imagine Public Relations, White Rock, BC, imaginepr@shaw.ca

Business moves fast. New apps, new products, new tools and technologies, new services and ways to do business are all happening at the speed of light! If you’re not on the pulse of your business and industry, how are you staying on top of things? Here are five strategies to help:

1. Take Time for Professional Development. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. You could be in oil & gas, or practicing and teaching Yoga, or handling a catering business, no matter what it is there will be developments and growth in your area of expertise. It’s important to include some type of professional development every year so that you are on top of what is happening in your little part of the world.

2.  Know and Use Social Media. I don’t care what type of business you have, if you need someone to buy your product or services, you need to be building relationships with them on social media. Do your research and find out where your target audience sits and reach out to them on that platform. Often you can find groups in your area of expertise that help contribute to your professional development, so use social media for all of its benefits.

3.  Make Every Mistake an Opportunity for Growth. Guaranteed, you’ve made a mistake at one point in your business. If you haven’t…you are the perfect business owner and I want to meet you so I can learn! If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve stumbled a bit, maybe had a complaint from a client or customer and are unsure how to handle it. The main thing is to figure out a solution to keep the mistake from recurring. Mistakes are a part of life; it’s how we handle them.

4.  Manage Your Financial Records. If you are not keeping records of your financial books, then you need to hire someone to do it for you. There are many small business accountants and bookkeepers that are great at helping business owners understand their financial progress and challenges. If you’re not keeping track, how do you know if you’re doing well or not?

5.  Stay Positive and Healthy. Owning your own business can be challenging, to say the least. One of the ways to stay positive and focused is to create a network of like-minded people that you can meet with on a regular basis. Meditation, affirmations and regular exercise also help to clear the mind and build up your immunity.

There are many other ways to stay on top of your business, and you will find them. Like joining business groups for networking, support and professional development, or finding free online courses to supplement your knowledge, or even “spying” on your competitors to learn from their successes. There’s a wealth of information out there that you just need to tap into. Have fun and hang on for the ride!

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