By business expert and contributor Sylvia Browder

A vehicle needs a tune up every two years or 30,000 miles whichever comes first.  The key to keeping a vehicle in good working conditions is scheduling regular maintenance.  Right? Well, just as your car needs scheduled care, so does your business.  According to Browder, founder of National Association of Women on the Rise, it is vital that entrepreneurs get in the habit of looking “under the hood” regularly.  That means reviewing your operations, marketing and financial processes.  So, are you performing regularly scheduled maintenance for your business? Here are 3 tips to tune-up your business.
Change the oil
Regularly changing your car’s engine oil and filter is one of the most important things you can do to keep your car running well.  Consistent maintenance to your business each year is equally important.  Take some time to look at your business processes.  Think about your accomplishments.  Is there room for improvement? Here are two ideas.
  • Reflect on the successes and failures of your professional and personal life.  Have you considered what changes you would like to implement this year? As women entrepreneurs, it is important to look for ways to improve work-life balance.  Take some time to reflect on your business’ progress and make plans on how you want you business to grow.
  • Reorganize to get rid of clutter.  What have you accumulated this past year that is hindering you from functioning at your optimal best? Write down all the things that are cluttering your mind, distorting your life’s vision.  Take each of the things on your list and ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Why am I holding on to this clutter?
    2. What purpose does it serve?
    3. How do I rid myself of it?
Clutter can be distracting while adding to the chaos in our lives.
Check engine light
The “check engine” light is part of your vehicle’s on board diagnostics (OBD) system.  If a problem is in the electronic-control system doesn’t ‘fix’ itself, the computer that controls the OBD turns on a yellow warning indicator that’s labeled “check engine.”  Ignore the warning and you could damage expensive components.
Just as your engine is vital to your vehicle, your clients are the engine that drives the success in your business.  Do you know who your clients are? Have you refined your target market (clients) to increase your bottom line? We all know that the success of your business depends on making sales.  To identify your target client, ask yourself the following questions:
  1. Do you know who your customers will be?
  2. Do you understand their needs?
  3. Will you offer the kinds of services that they will buy?
  4. Will your prices be competitive?
  5. Do you understand how your business compares with your competitors?
  6. Will your business be conveniently located? 
By refining your target market, you are ensuring the success of your business!
Balance the tires
Balanced tires are imperative to safe driving.  When the tires are out of balance, they place pressure on the bearings, shocks and other parts of the wheel assembly.  When your business is out of balance, you can lose current and potential clients which can cause the loss of revenue or worse, your business!
Is your business running smoothly? Re-examine contracts with your suppliers such as telephone service, business, and life insurance policies.  Look for ways to cut costs.  Check out your current memberships; local chambers and business and civic associations to make sure you are getting the most for your money.  In addition:
  • Create new revenue streams
  • Find innovative ways to promote your business and attract potential clients. 
In conclusion, by taking control of your business and keeping and keeping it running at peak performance, you will increase your chances for success and profitability!
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is founder of National Association of Women on the Rise, a virtual community for aspiring and established women entrepreneurs.  The association’s mission is to provide professional and personal resources while uplifting and empowering women entrepreneurs through collaboration, education, mentoring, spiritual and peer support, leadership and networking.  She has serves as an online volunteer SCORE counselor since 2004.  For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneurs,  She can be contacted at
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