Starting a business can be a difficult task. In the beginning, you had to come up with an idea, convince consumers they need the product and locate funding. Once your business was off the ground, you had to keep customers interested in your product and find ways to keep costs down to increase your profit. Now the business is established, and you have made it past that critical three-year mark, you may feel as if you can take a deep breath and put your feet on your desk for a much-needed break – but think again.

To keep your business competitive with other companies that want your customers, you have to enhance your small company with consistent improvements. Here are six easy ways to improve your small business.

1. Set a Checklist of Goals

Goals are a huge part of improving any small business and should become a part of your monthly strategy meetings because if you have no idea where you want your business to go, how will you know when you arrive? As you set goals, you can use them to see how far you have come or establish what works in sales and what doesn’t. Make sure you don’t forget to add virtual goals to your list since web traffic can equal huge sales growth numbers.

2. Know Your Financial Numbers

If someone asked you about your company’s financial score, would you have to say you needed to check? Those numbers are critical to your organization’s health, so you need to know what the financial trends are within each of your company’s departments. Understanding cash flow, sales trends, stale inventory, and employee weaknesses can improve the way your business does business.

3. Hire a Commercial Answering Service

Answering services have been around for a long time for a reason – they work. Research shows that when potential customers call your company, 85 percent of them won’t call you back when you don’t answer their call. Whether you choose a 24/7 answering service or opt for service only on nights and weekends, you can be sure to capture the information you need to return the call and secure the order.

4. Polish Your Business Presentations

You never know where you will be called on to pitch your business presentation, so be prepared with a powerful message. Whether it is a minute-long intro about your business in an elevator ride or a 10-minute presentation to convince potential funders at a business meeting, you need to be prepared to deliver the best you have at a moment’s notice. Make sure you are ready to sell your products anytime and anyplace.

5. Find the Best Employees

One of the least understood benefits you can give your company as you grow is to hire the most talented and brightest employees you can afford. Working with the best helps produce the best.

6. Monitor Market Business Trends

The world has become a global marketplace, so what was popular and trending one month may become passé the next. While you may not be in the same field of business as other companies around you, what occurs on the international landscape can affect your company and alter the way you do business. If possible, stay informed of issues and trends in your community and industry. No matter how small changes may seem, the ripple can have a big impact on your company; so, be prepared to change the way you do business.

Keeping your company competitive in an ever-changing and expanding marketplace may seem impossible, but you can do it by using the six tips above. Knowing how to improve your business and build on its strengths can help your company grow and expand.