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5 effective ways to improve your business

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5 effective ways to improve your business

Updated: June 7th, 2023

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Every day is an opportunity to make positive changes to your business and learn from previous missteps. Improving your operation is an ongoing gig, but today you can renew your motivation and excitement. 

Here are just a handful of reasons why you might want to invest back into your business:

  • You’re struggling financially. 
  • You’re losing customers or clients. 
  • Your employees are quitting, dealing with burnout, or reporting less satisfaction at work. 
  • You’re overwhelmed with business admin. 
  • You’re growing steadily and want to maintain momentum. 
  • You’ve improved your revenue or profits and want to reach new heights. 
  • You want to make your customers and employees even happier. 

5 ways to improve your business

The business improvements you prioritize depend on your business’s overall financial health, customer and employee needs, goals, and personal stress levels. There are endless changes you can make, but focusing on these five key areas can make a positive impact across your operation: 

1. Bolster your workforce

The people you work with have a tremendous influence on the efficiency and success of your business. Happy, competent employees can lead to higher employee retention rates, more satisfied customers, and more consistent revenue. Here are some steps to take to strengthen your workforce:

Survey your employees

Consider sending an anonymous email survey to your employees to find out what they’re enjoying or struggling with at work. From there, you can brainstorm solutions. 

Prioritize training

Employee training takes time and resources, but it’s a worthwhile investment into your employees’ confidence and job performance. Depending on your workplace employee needs, you could provide quarterly training refreshers, create a training program to teach employees new skills, or incorporate shadow days where employees in different roles can learn from one another.

Evaluate promotion and hiring opportunities

Promoting your employees can keep them engaged and motivated, and bringing on new hires can help propel your business’s growth. Start by identifying the gaps in your operations or workforce, then consider whether a promotion or new hire makes more sense.  

Reform workplace culture

Your workplace culture has a big effect on how your employees feel day to day on the job. To create a more positive culture—one that values work-life balance and employee well-being—refer back to your employee feedback. You may need to reevaluate your benefits or give employees more recognition for their efforts and hard work. 

2. Streamline operations

Taking a critical eye to your day-to-day business operations can help raise your bottom line. With more efficient operational processes, you can save time, produce more, and reduce the risk of costly mistakes. Consider the following: 

Assess your tools

Smart business tools—like inventory management software and comprehensive payroll platforms—help streamline internal processes. They can automate certain tasks, generate data reports, track sales, and just generally make life easier. Review your business software and consider whether or not you need to switch providers or upgrade.  

Review the production process or workflow

Look for problem areas within your production process or department workflows. You might discover you have a slow stock-to-shelf timeline because of delayed quality control checks, for example. On the other hand, maybe project timelines are always off by a couple of days because your team has too many internal meetings. 

Evaluate your resources

Consider how reliable and skilled your vendors, suppliers, contractors, or consultants are. If your partners aren’t delivering on their promises or if you’re struggling, you may need to consider new options or have a discussion to get on the same page. 

3. Enhance customer service

Improving your customer or client experience is key to getting repeat business and new opportunities. Instead of relying on the same strategies and hoping for the best, take a chance to evaluate your customer service. You can:

Read customer reviews or client testimonials

Customer feedback can reveal a lot about what you’re doing right—and what you need to work on. Record all the positive and negative sentiments people have shared, then look for patterns. These are the areas you need to prioritize changing. 

Analyze customer data

Pulling from resources like customer relationship management software, website analytics, or customer surveys, find out your net promoter score and customer retention rate. It’s also a good idea to look into the different stages of the buying journey to see where prospective customers drop off. The more insight you have into the customer experience, the easier it is to fix problems, whether it’s a tedious online checkout process or poor customer service response times. 

Make proactive changes

Anticipating your customers’ needs is crucial to keeping them happy long-term. Research market trends and talk to your employees for insight on what your customers or clients want. For example, if you own a coffee shop, you may want to expand your payment options or provide a greater variety of seasonal drinks. 

4. Tackle back-burner tasks and projects

Now is a perfect time to take action on your long-shelved to-do list. Go through your list and evaluate each task or project according to their level of importance and urgency. 

Assign items that need immediate action a one; put a two next to items that don’t need immediate action, but would have a positive impact on your business or generate a significant ROI; and put a three next to items that would be nice to do, but aren’t necessary right now. 

Next, write down the rough cost, timeline, and resources involved to accomplish each of the items on your list. From there, you can choose which tasks or projects to put first. Depending on your business priorities and cash flow, you may decide to: 

5. Work on growing as a business owner

As the person making both day-to-day and long-term decisions about your business operations and growth, it’s critical to invest in your own knowledge and skills. The more competent you are at running a business, the better chance your business has of succeeding. Here are just a few professional development strategies:

Learn effective management techniques

Consistent, compassionate management makes your entire operation run more smoothly. Consider signing up for an online management training course or hiring a career coach to advise you. Books, podcasts, and other business owners are also great sources of information. 

Hone your business skills

Your employees look to you for inspiration and guidance, so it’s important to know what you’re doing. If there’s a particular skill you’re lacking—whether it’s presenting or marketing—consider taking a course to improve. It’s also a good idea to think about the unique skills you need for your particular industry or clientele. For example, if you have a diverse, multilingual customer base, you may want to brush up on your language abilities. 

Join a professional group

Consider joining a local community business group or professional association for your industry. Beyond networking with your fellow business owners and forging partnerships, you can also attend educational events and stay up to date on industry news. 

Prioritize business planning

Set aside time every month or quarter for strategic business planning and goal setting. Pulling back from the daily grind to look at the bigger picture can fuel you to continue growing. 

Improving your business is a never-ending endeavor. Finding new ways to satisfy your customers, support your employees, and streamline operations can result in short-term profitability and long-term growth. 


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