The foundations of your business are the cornerstones of your success. Each element and area need to be working alongside and supporting one another for efficiency and productivity.

Here are four ways to strengthen your business today, actions that you can take that will improve the way you work.

four ways to strengthen your businessFinancials

How often do you review your finances? Do you know how much you need to earn each month to run the business? It's time to review the numbers. Start by producing a forecast for the business month by month, you will find last years figures helpful for this exercise. It's also the perfect time to look at your expenditure. What are you spending money on that you don't use or benefit from any more and can you reduce your outgoings? The flipside being where do you need to spend more money and are you paying yourself too much or not enough.

You might consider completing the expenditure side of the business first. You can then decide on what you need to earn and how to cover these expenses and pay you. This can be a sobering exercise but equally, push your income targets to give yourself focus (although don't make them unrealistic as this will leave you feeling disappointed if you don't hit the targets you have set).

Review your financial position, monthly quarterly and of course annually. Keep on top of your numbers to prevent surprises.

Marketing

Love it or hate it you can't sell that which you don't promote. Consider how you are presently marketing your business, what is working and what is not. How are you monitoring and evaluating your activity and if you're not how can you do this to better understand the return on your investment? Remember even if you're social media, which has no direct cost e.g. the platforms are free to use your time has a value. Ad-hoc and scatter are the most unsuccessful forms of marketing and if you haven't written a marketing plan, now is the time.

Your marketing plan doesn't have to be a ten-page document. So don't panic or throw your hands in the air shouting 'I don't have time Lindsey'. Simply put to paper your baseline marketing that's the activity that happens regardless of new products, programmes or services and will happen weekly, monthly, even quarterly and annually. Let me assure you planned marketing will ultimately save your time and therefore money.

Deciding on and setting out your marketing activity in advance will kick overwhelm into touch and put you in control.

Support

You can't and don't have to do it alone and the right support can have a massive and positive impact on you and your business. For me, there is two types of support, the professional (accountants, virtual assistance, designers, business coaches etc) and your network. It's important to have professional support, experts in their field that will advise you, that you can delegate work to and that free you up to develop the business. While you might feel that financially this is not attainable, think again. Next time you are doing a job that could be outsourced, compare your hourly rate to that of the expert and the fact they can probably do it in half the time.

I am fortunate to have an amazing support networking, from Facebook groups I am a member of and members of my own Make It Happen group. Plus, I facilitate a monthly networking group for women but attend others where I'm continually building a network of support - my go-to people for support, advice and business.

Why not start your own a 'buddy group' and get together on a regular basis in a coffee shop to provide accountability one another.

Self-Development

Five years ago I would have told you I didn't need to work on me, it was all a load of tosh. Perhaps it was working with a business coach that changed my mind or the people I have met because now I'm going to tell you this is something that needs your attention. Over the last eighteen months, I have worked hard on me, reading, learning and participating in programmes. I am a better person because of it and deal with situations and events that occur differently. It has made me stronger, more focused and determined which ultimately is great for my business.

Don't tell me you don't have time, make the time. If might begin by watching one webinar or listening to one podcast a week. Perhaps committing to reading a book a month or throwing yourself into a programme. Whatever you decide, embrace self-development because it will pay off in more ways than you can possibly imagine.

Here are my recommendations for books, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks and Postive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine.

So there you have it four ways you can strengthen your business.