We’ve reported before about J.C. Penney’s revenue problems  since instituting sweeping changes in some of its stores. Businesses take many approaches to improve their performance. In our roundup today, we’ll look at the many paths your business can take toward improving profitability. Be sure to suggest any strategies that have worked for your business in the comment section below.
Survival mode . Dramatic changes at J.C. Penney under the direction of CEO Ron Johnson have not brought the results for which some had hoped. Here investment expert Jeff Macke and market commentator and entrepreneur Jon Najarian talk about strategies J.C. Penney could employ at this point to right the ship. Your business may not be a retail giant with 1,100 locations, but there are strategies any business owner can use either to change course in troubled times or to grow a company to the next level. Yahoo! Finance
Mistakes and missteps . Mistakes in your business may not always be obvious, even to you. Locating and correcting these problems can make your company more profitable and less stressful to operate. Take your Website, for example. If your online presence is the main revenue generator for your business, simple mistakes could spell big trouble. Here are some of the fatal errors you could be making right now, says blogger Adam Gottlieb. The Frugal Entrepreneur
So much to choose from . It is easy in a digital media age to focus on the hottest channels when marketing your business, but be aware of the many options available for getting your message across. One not often considered is postcard marketing, says small business expert Daniel Kehrer. In this post, he shares 10 tips that can make this old-school marketing approach shine like new. Be creative when marketing your business. Think about those you want to reach with your brand and then figure out the best channel for doing so. BizBest
A glimpse into the future . If you knew what the most profitable products and services for your business were likely to be in the future, you could shift the course of your business accordingly. The most important lesson small businesses should learn is never to assume, says Diana Pohly. Your best selling product today won’t necessarily be your best selling product tomorrow. It’s a good idea to watch trends to figure out where future revenue will come from and have a plan for change. Step by Step Marketing
The search for customers . The search for more prospects and customers is an inherent part of growing your business, particularly when going through major transitions. Fortunately, there are plenty of creative ways to build your audience and, by extension, your potential customer base. Here Ileane Smith shows us a few simple approaches for building an e-mail list using nothing but a YouTube account. Consider this approach as one technique for gathering prospects your business could convert into new customers. Miss Ileane Speaks
A look at the books . At the end of the year, keeping a closer eye on finances is a great way of saving some funds to grow your business. It can also be an effective method of recouping losses after a rough financial quarter. Start by doing some serious year-end financial planning for your business, says Tom Holmes, the managing director of Ballymount Accounting. No matter where in the world your company is located, planning can help you find unanticipated savings and obtain the funds you need to take your business in new directions. Tweak Your Biz
Don’t be a middle man . Blogger Jenny Bhatt starts her post with some words of wisdom from marketing guru Seth Godin. “Developing expertise or assets that are not easily copied is essential; otherwise you’re just a middleman.” If you want your business to survive changes in the market and in your customer base, be sure you aren’t simply passing on someone else’s product or service. Jenny provides us with some tips for how to create the “expertise” and “assets” your competitors will have a hard time duplicating. Free Agent Economics