If you’re a small business owner, then you must know that knowledge is key for business growth. Read these small business management tips now.
There are too many steps involved in running a small business to list them all. But when it comes to management tips, there are a few that will ultimately get you the best bang for your buck. Strap in and read on for some helpful management strategies when getting your small business off the ground.
Brush Up on Your Business Plan
The first step to translating an idea into real world action is to put it all down on paper. Business plans are both a practical set of documents and an important tool for helping you realize your vision – no matter how farfetched it might seem at first.
But as you go through the motions of setting up your business – getting a permit, securing funding, acquiring equipment, and hiring people – you should always take a moment to reflect and return your plan, brush up on your ideas, and improve them.
It’s especially advantageous to revisit and rework your business plan when you’re operating as anything other than a sole proprietorship.
If you aren’t the only owner or manager at the helm of the company, refining and revisiting your shared vision and mission together – alongside updates for the logistics of the business – helps everyone stay on the same page, and ensures that no one feels like they’re being left out of the loop on how things are being run.
Explore All Available Sources of Funding
It’s generally unrealistic to expect an angel investor’s hand in the opening stages of your business – and if you’ve already secured the funding you need, this is likely a tip you’ll skip anyway. But if you’re currently in a position where you’re considering either a small business loan or getting the family involved, note that there are a handful of other options you might want to explore first.
Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding can be an incredibly powerful tool for securing funding as a startup business, particularly if you have identified an established customer base for your service or product – by identifying a local need, catering to a specific niche, or targeting a subculture with disposable income.
Crowdfunding platforms allow you to display your product and introduce your company and offer backer rewards for different levels of funding provided. Most campaigns don’t take off and go viral, so there’s still a bit of legwork involved in spreading the word.
Of course, it’s the product itself and what the campaign offers that ultimately determines its potential, while the legwork simply helps you fulfill said potential.
Employee stock ownership. Another novel funding idea is through a formal plan in which employees are compensated partially through company equity, in exchange for a personal investment in the business.
This has the two-fold effect of turning your employees into shareholders while giving them additional incentive to work for the good of the company that they own, and have a profit motive in.
Creating and managing a formal plan for employee stock ownership out of the gate can be a little difficult and might not necessarily assuage all of your funding needs. But it can certainly help if you are prepared to give it a try.
Get Creative with the Hiring Process
We all know how the hiring process usually goes – job descriptions, job listings, sharing your listings, hiring on paper, taking advertising opportunities, and so on. But there are many creative ways to improve your hiring process and increase the chances of attracting the kind of talent your business needs.
One of the best ways of making yourself a more attractive option to talented workers is by curating your social media accounts. Frequently post about the new and exciting developments at work and your office culture, share your pictures and videos from teambuilding exercises, and ask your employees to share their stories about what it’s like to work in your company on your Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube pages.
Rote posting schedules and low-effort content won’t get you anywhere, though. Leverage the talents of a social media manager and set some time aside to discuss the image and culture you want to portray, and how you can best achieve that through fun, imaginative, entertaining, and well-edited posts.
Invest in Employee Training
Money is an important motivator for hard working talent, but it’s not the most important one. Studies show that there is a clear limit to how much productivity and innovation you can get out of a person through financial incentive alone, the same way some people thrive under competition, but many others do better through collaboration.
The key for most lies in self-improvement and growth opportunities. Once your employees are happy with their level of compensation (an important prerequisite!), you can continue to not only keep their loyalty but greatly improve their skillset by helping them seek training opportunities, furthering their skills, and giving them several chances at advancement.
Financial Planning is Key
At the end of the day, any business has to engage in the numbers game, and the balance sheet is the end-all-be-all metric for whether or not a business will survive.
If financial planning and management is not exactly something you’re passionate about, hiring someone who is passionate about it will be a great boon to your company. Learn to delegate and divide tasks and responsibilities.
Marketing and Sales
Of course, no small business is complete without a concrete and comprehensive marketing plan. It’s not just a matter of figuring out where you’ll put your time and resources to best use, but also a matter of figuring out how to spend your budget.
Digital marketing is more important than ever, but it’s also easy to spend money trying to promote your business online, and not get anywhere. Always start with the company itself – be presentable online. Tailor and curate your social media. Focus on responsivity and user-friendliness with your website and web pages.
Utilizing Coworking Spaces
There are more than enough costs to worry about when managing a small business. Workers need to be compensated appropriately. Marketing can be costly. And that’s without getting into equipment acquisition, labor costs, raw materials, administrative costs, and other investments.
It’s rare to find corners worth cutting. But when you can take advantage of substantial savings, you should. Commercial real estate is one of those opportunities. Why pay for an office of your own when you can take advantage of a fully administrated and furnished office space via a coworking company?
Coworking spaces provide both small and larger businesses with the opportunity to save money while providing an ideal workspace for productivity and cooperation.