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Six Keys to Boost Your Business in 2012

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Carol Tice recently discussed the results of the Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute study into owners of both thriving and floundering businesses. The results identify six steps to better performance in business:


1) Prepare for problems – 47% of the high growth business owners said they are ready to delve into their cash reserves if revenue unexpectedly dropped. Only 38.5% of owners at companies with declining sales said they would do the same. The results also showed that the growing companies were more likely to borrow money (22% vs 7% of struggling businesses).


2) Get savvier advice – The results also outlined that high-growth business owners frequently took advice from accountants, financial advisors and peers through networking. In contrast the low performing business owners relied more on television and newspaper resources.


3) Use borrowed money better – A large amount of the successful firms used borrowed money for market research and development, while the unsuccessful firms seemed to use their loans to open new offices or for hiring staff and assets.


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4) Focus on management knowledge – A higher percentage of high growth owners said they focus their priorities and management goals around the businesses growth. They also took long term strategic planning into account far more than the business owners with slumping sales. Three quarters of successful managers also prioritised being superior at managing money than the 67% of poor performing managers.


5) Enjoy work-life balance -  The elite performers said having their own business has improved their quality of living and enabled them to spend more time with their families. Unfortunately few of the struggling owners said the same.


6) Know where you’re going – Around 60% of successful business owners said “having a clear vision for the business” is the top factor contributing to their success. Less than 40% of struggling owners agreed. 



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