Owning and running a small business is certainly hard work. Yet it can bring great rewards. There are things that all small business owners need to know and here we examine some of these. So whether you’re an established business in need of a little refresher, you’re just about to open the doors for the first time, or you’re somewhere in between, there’s something for everyone. So read on…
Technically you are a small business if you have less than 500 employees. So what this means is that there are a lot of small business out there with whom you are competing. If one acts and the other doesn’t, one is more likely to succeed.
How your business “feels” to those it employs will be reflected to how it “feels” to potential customers. If you have a good working culture then this will pass over to the customers too. So ensure that the business looks after its people, you included.
Your people will be hand-picked by you. Take your time to pick the right ones that fit the ethos of the business and will add value to their roles. If you monitor situations well, you’ll soon see who is adding to and who is detracting from the business. You need to intervene at this point and change personnel if needed.
As much as you think you can, you can’t do everything. Everything needs to be done properly, not half-hearted or rushed, so delegate. This may mean internally to colleagues, or externally for roles like search engine marketing services. Though it will be true that a company that provides services will have a fee, you’ll be saving time and thus money by not doing it yourself. Whilst some things are better left to the experts, that doesn’t mean you neglect your role in the delegation and monitoring process!
It won’t always be plain sailing. There will be rough waters to navigate at times. However, you should have a good contingency plan in place in case needed. This doesn’t mean micromanaging every possibility, that’s counterproductive, but it does mean having plans for certain eventualities – such as lost contracts etc.
Pay yours, but more importantly ensure that yours are paid, in full and on time. Cash flow problems are a major factor in business failings, and without money in the bank, there may be no business at all.
Make each client feel like they are your only client. Make them feel special, and if you provide this bespoke type service, they’ll reward you with future custom. It’s very hard to get a good reputation, but very easy to lose one. Always focus on your client care, for they are the key to success.
Be sure to check that you comply with all relevant Health and Safety and Employment Laws, as mistakes here can be costly.
Always know the return on your investments. Let’s look back at the example of the search engine marketing services company you’re thinking of using. If they have a fee of £500.00, but bring in £1000.00 that’s better than your own efforts at marketing which cost less (say £300.00 in time), but bring in nothing. They’ve made a 100% return and sometimes you have to invest to earn!
Investing yourself and your money in a business brings pressure. As a small business owner, anything that can help reduce this pressure and help the business thrive is a good thing and these few ideas will do just that. Good luck.