6 Must-Know Small Business Management
Strategies for a Smooth Running Business
The small business failure rate is well-documented: 50 percent close shop within five years. Stretch it to 10 years and you have a whopping 70 percent of businesses bowing out.
As a small business owner, this is the kind of information that keeps you awake at night. No bluff. Small businesses collapse with frightening ease.
This, though, doesn’t mean your enterprise is destined for failure. A lot will depend on how you manage it.
To help stay up to the task, we’re sharing a couple of small business management strategies that’ll help you steer the shop to success.
It’s All in Your Product or Service
Learning to manage a business doesn’t start after you’ve opened its doors to consumers. Proper management begins before your idea even becomes a business.
You see, no matter how great you’re as a business manager, you won’t have enough in your locker to save a business that sells a product or service the market doesn’t want.
Before you start your business, do extensive market research and establish whether the product or service you want to offer has sufficient market demand.
Really, a great product or service is the foundation of any sound business. With this aspect in order, managing the entity becomes a lot easier.
Successful Small Businesses Offer Great Customer Service
A quality product gives your business a strong chance of being successful. Combine this with excellent customer service and you’ll reach new levels.
Look, 96 percent of customers consider the quality of customer services when looking for a brand they can be loyal to. As such, every small business manager should consider customer service a crucial function.
Implement a range of strategies that will enable your customers to get the best service. For example, make it easy for them to contact your business. Don’t limit them to just phone calls as the only way to contact you. Open up an email, install a live chat feature on your business website, and more.
And when a customer contacts your business, it’s shouldn’t take longer than a few seconds for them to get hold of someone. If it’s an email or social media question, a response should be shot back within a few hours.
There’s a lot that goes into providing excellent customer service. Try to cover all bases.
A One-Man Band Can Only Play So Many Ballads
Well, you don’t own a band. But being a solopreneur is akin to being a one-man band.
It’s easy to see why entrepreneurs start out solo. Finances are usually tight, so you cannot afford even a part-time employee.
No problem with this. There are billion-dollar companies that started out as solo ventures in someone’s garage. However, as your business starts to grow, you need to start building a team.
On your own, you’ll be overwhelmed. Scaling the business will become a big challenge. But when you bring more hands on board, you’ll delegate tasks and focus on what you do best.
And, don’t hire people just because you need to build a team. Hire someone because they are not only qualified, but also a good cultural fit in your workplace.
Worried about handling payroll with more people to pay? A check stub maker will help you keep tabs on payroll as you work on hiring an in-house professional to take on the job.
Get a Handle on Money Management
Of the businesses that fail, 82 percent do so because of cash flow issues.
What brings about cash flow problems? Poor money management.
No business can exist without working capital. As a business manager, it’s your job to ensure the organization has adequate capital reserves at all times. This way, if an emergency that disrupts your revenues occurs, you’ll still be able to fund your day to day operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a prime example of how an unforeseen emergency can disrupt your business’s cash flows. If your business was relying on daily revenues to keep going, you’re probably hoping the federal small business rescue program has enough spoils for everyone.
A recommendable way to get a handle on your business finances is to stop doing it yourself. Bring in an accountant or even a bookkeeper to manage the money.
Know How to Manage Your Risks
In business, risks are everywhere.
If you run a brick and mortar, a customer can get injured on your premises and sue you for compensation. The same goes for an employee.
An electrical malfunction can start a fire that razes down the property, and with it goes your inventory. Heck, even your own well-manufactured product can malfunction and cause injuries to a user.
How can you run a profitable business in the face of all these risks?
It’s simple. Design and implement a risk management strategy that minimizes your exposure to those risks.
A good risk management method is to purchase adequate general liability insurance, along with any workers’ compensation insurance if your business meets the requirements.
Also, setting up your business as an LLC ensures you aren’t personally held liable for the company’s financial obligations.
It’s 2020, but close to 40 percent of small businesses in the U.S. still don’t have a website. If you’re among these, you’re doing your business a major disservice.
A business website is a must-have. You should also embrace other technologies that can help you automate various business functions.
If you’re using legacy technology (those old-school computers that take a lifetime to process anything), it’s time to update to newer, more efficient tech. Cloud technology is also here, offering a cheap and convenient way to store your business data.
Running a tech-forward business will help lower your operating costs.
Put These Small Business Management Tips to Use
Starting and running a successful small business in the U.S. is no small feat. Part of what makes the difference between success and failure is how a business is managed. With these small business management tips, you’re now in a better position to run a tight ship.