Some people are happy working in corporate America, tapping away at a computer every day in their cubicle, and collecting a paycheck while making even more money for the owner of the company. There are a select few that grow bold enough to venture out on their own and attempt to make it big and live out their own dream, starting a small business. This “American Dream” has been successful for some and detrimental for others entrepreneurs over the years, which is why we have outlined the top five tips to help manage your small business and be successful.
- Adapting to Change: You have found your niche, lined up a product or service to offer, and then BAM! Things are changing. Change can be reactive or proactive and a successful small business will need to be able to recognize the flags and adapt. The market is always changing, whether it be trends, fads, or new technology. As a small business manager, it is your duty to always be aware of any possible changes that can affect your market, both positively and negatively.
- Hiring a Competent Workforce: How many times have you been to a restaurant and experienced bad service? We all have at one time or another. You form an opinion of that restaurant as a whole based on that experience, whether or not it had anything to do with the restaurant itself. The same goes for any small business.
The people you hire directly reflect your brand to your customers and the general public. In the times we are in, finding a person who is qualified, willing to work for a reasonable wage, and reliable can be like finding a unicorn. Finding someone who is less qualified that can be trained may be an wiser choice if that employee is reliable and will reflect your attitude towards your business in their daily work.
With modern technology, it’s simple to keep tabs on the customer experience. Knowing where improvements can be made in staffing based on reviews is imperative to a successful business. See how Mariners Inn, a restaurant in Hammond, uses reputation management as part of their hiring and staff training strategies.
- Time Management: Have you ever been sitting in your office researching something for your business and not realized that three hours just passed? Have you ever begun a task and then were pulled in four other directions, only to come back the next day and realize the task never got done?
These are two extremes in the daily life of a small business owner or manager. Time management is a key factor in successfully managing any business. However, there is more at stake when it is YOUR small business. By successfully managing your time you will be able to put in that extra when necessary rather than when it becomes an emergency to meet a deadline.
- Establishing Goals: We all know your business goal is to become a millionaire overnight; because isn’t that everyone’s goal?
Establishing realistic goals to keep you on track and know exactly what you want to accomplish with your business is extremely beneficial. By doing this you can properly create strategies for many aspects of your business like location, market focus, and even how you will be taxed. These can all help you achieve your goals and most business owners do not realize this until it is too late.
- Performance Evaluation: How do you know if your business is successful? Is it purely based on your revenue? Of course not!
You can measure how well your business is doing based on a few different variables. Knowing what areas to measure your business is essential in determining how you are performing. You may want to know if you are reaching enough customers in a particular area? If you are on track in growth over a certain time period, are you effectively managing your assets?
These, plus many more, are ways that you can determine your performance from an internal aspect. For an external point of view you can read reviews on your performance, incorporate ratings into feedback from customers, or if you are a larger company, use a secret shopper type customer to rate the performance of your employees.
As busy owners and managers, we tend to forget some of the basics or let one thing takeover and guide us. Hopefully these key points remind you of why you began this journey and what you ultimately hope to gain from it.
Who knows, maybe this provides you with exactly what you need to bring your business into the next stage of growth and go on to chase that dream of making it big.