As the owner of a small business, you’ll know all too well the immense pressure that comes with running a company and the copious amount of time and effort involved.
The way in which you manage your business can mean make or break. Whether small business management skills are in your genes or you’re trying to understand the basics, there’s always room for improvement. Here we’ll give you our 10 top tips on how to turn your company into a success by leading the way and managing in the best way possible.
What is business management?
First things first, what is small business management?
The simple definition of small business management is the alignment and coordination of multiple activities in an organization to advance the business’s operations and reach its goals.
Be it managing your company’s finances, your employees well being or simply setting goals and making sure they’re achieved, these all fall under ‘business management’. In fact, small business owners are entirely responsible for managing all aspects of their business.
Whether you were born with the skills to lead or are simply learning as you go, mastering the art of business management is key to your business’s success.
Business management advice for small business owners:
1. Lead by example
Everyone knows that truly empowering leaders will lead by example. If you say one thing and do another, your employees will feel resentful. A boss who is never in the office, for example, is never going to drive employees. Employees don’t want to work for a ghost who only haunts them now and then.
Roll us your sleeves and put your words into action.
2. Motivate your team
Motivation makes the company go round. Seriously. Motivated employees will not only achieve more work but want to achieve more. One survey revealed that out of 5,000 professionals, 33% were ‘bored and needed a new challenge’ which is what lead them to seek another job.
The solution is to ‘design work that matters’. We spend at least one-third of our lives at work (let that sink in for a minute).
People want to feel that their work is important, it makes a difference to the company and is appreciated. So how do you do this?
- Make your employees work seem meaningful – no matter how trivial, let them know that every worker is a crucial piece of the company puzzle.
- Reward hard work – make an ‘employee of the month’ board. Reward employees doing well and mention tasks you noticed that were done well to show you recognize the hard work.
Even if it’s buying a cake and proposing a toast at lunch-time to thank ‘Emily’ for her brilliant new graphic design work, or ‘Michael’ for landing more leads etc. This will make your employees feel special and noticed, encouraging them to keep it up and push for more. You could also use money or promotions as a way to increase motivation.
3. Set clear, achievable goals
Small business management also involves setting very clear goals that are achievable. If you have a million and 1 things to do you’re probably going to run around like a headless chicken not knowing where to even start.
After you have figured out the main goals you want to achieve in the next 3 month, 6 months, year and beyond, your next job is to set clear goals for your employees. By setting clear expectations and goals for them each month, week or even day, you’ll be sure to see tasks getting done much faster.
4. Train your team
Sometimes it pays off hiring those without all the skills you wanted but because of their motivation and determination to succeed. But succeeding isn’t possible if you’re team are not equipped with the right tools and proper training. Training will depend on a number of factors including your business, their role and the amount of experience that your employee has.
You will need to decide which of the following is the best training type for your employees:
- Training on the go – OTJ (on the job) training is when an employee learns by completing tasks. A spy learning the power of persuasion, for example, would only be able to learn such a skill by actually doing it.
- Training manual – for a new employee perhaps taking over an old employees position, you may find that a training manual makes sense. This will ensure that the work is done ‘right’, in the way you want, and act as guidelines for the new employee to check back on.
- Group training – just started using a new software or program in your company, group training may be in order for cyber-threat training for example. You could use role-plays, powerpoints or simply send a mass email with instructions.
5. Use the right tools
Is your business using the latest tools to keep productivity high? There are hundreds of apps, add-ons, tools and programs out there designed to help your work days 10 times easier. Monday.com and trello, for example, could help organize your employees’ tasks to make sure everyone knows what they’re working on, when it’s due and who’s involved in the project.
There are free business tools for:
- Email marketing
- Graphic design
- Data analyses
- Internal communication
- Social media
- Improving business funding terms
- And more!
6. Organize your business’s finances
If you’re a new business owner, you’ll need to manage your business’s finances and send invoices without looking like a 10-year old. It’s very important to always stay on top of your business’s finances. If you don’t have the funds to hire accountants, or perhaps you have an accountant and want to free up some of their time for more important tasks, consider getting an accounting system such as Quickbooks – there’s a 30-day free trial to take advantage of!
With an accounting system, you’ll be able to analyze reports and make predictions for the future financial situation of your business.
7. Sharpen your managerial skills
Forbes notes that there are 5 main skills that a good manager has:
How can you sharpen these skills and encompass them in your daily work life?
8. Master the art of delegation
Is nothing actually getting done? Your team asking to help you out but you’re too busy multitasking to even respond? If this sounds like you, you’re probably suffering from a case of delegation issues.
Good business management involves mastering the art of delegation.
Try to look at your team and find out their strengths and weaknesses. You can even simply ask them what they enjoy doing most if you are totally clueless. Throw the ‘I can do it better’ mentality out the window and learn to delegate tasks across your team.
9. Stick to your budget
If you’ve managed to secure business financing for your company – great! But now you need to master the art of budgeting. First, you’ll need to learn how to accurately forecast cash flow and then set your yearly budget. You don’t want to unexpectedly run out of funds!
Your budget will act as your guide and by sticking to it, you’ll know exactly how much you need to make in order to help your business grow.
If you are in need of more funds, Become can help match you with the right funding and plan for your business. You may also consider getting a business line of credit as a low-interest option offering the flexibility of drawing funds whenever you may need them.
10. Communication, communication, communication
Need we say it again?
Does your team understand the work that needs to be done and has this been communicated to them? Maybe you need to implement a weekly meeting at the beginning of the week to reiterate what needs to get done and then one at the very end to make sure everyone is on track.
Depending on the work and employees, you may need to do this daily, or as the situation improves to do it monthly. You don’t want your employees to feel micromanaged, but they do need to know what to do, in order for it to happen.
And there you have it!
10 small business management tips to help business owners and managers of all levels to keep your employees happy and your business functioning to the maximum.
What’s your best piece of small business management advice?