Almost every small business that is budding-out has a few minor glitches during its incarnation. Not everyone has the years of experience to back their plans and make educated, smart guesses. One constant question pondering the minds of every owner is how to manage a small business successfully? The owner has to wear a lot of different hats. They have to be a tax-expert, management maestro and a marketing demigod in a few cases. Whether dealing with the multiple tasks at hand alone or with the help of a team, a little help from experienced owners and experts can be a “soother.” Let’s look at some of the management tips that could help you and your small business sail smoothly.
1. Developing a long-term technology plan
As a small business, it’s always good to gauge the short-term and long term-plan and decide upon custom tools and software that would work best to achieve them. Apart from this, to be protected from cybercrimes, phishing, eavesdropping, and snooping is a necessity. This is where you will leverage all that technology has to offer.
2. Use automation wherever possible and necessary
We believe that every small firm has the potential to do great and become bigger firms in the coming years. We would all agree to the fact that manual processes are not only tedious, but can be an absolute blunder due to the human error. Custom automating the processes from A to Z in could vitalize the functioning of even small businesses. Investing in software during the start of a business may seem a shade costly, but if you look at the long-term results and the time it saves, you might rethink of it as a good strategy.
3. Protect yourself from cybercrimes
Well, if you’re thinking that only the big firms are the targets of cyberattackers, then you are wrong. Small businesses are potentially soft targets for quick bucks and the lack of protection against these attacks makes them even more vulnerable. The most common cyberattacks are done through phishing — but there are new attack vectors sprouting up seemingly every day. Even if it costs a wee-bit more money to do so, invest in quality security software that will detect all current threats — and all future ones, too.
4. Need for data backup
With the on-going boom in cloud-computing that is projected to grow by 17 percent by 2020, it is now easy and economical to create back-ups of the data. Not only is the cost of both online storage & hard drives at an all-time-low, but is more plentiful than ever. We would recommend these forms of storage: offline media, online storage (cloud — both private or rented), disaster protected storage (for example, fireproof, water repellent) DAS (direct attached storage), and NAS (network attached storage).
5. Get used to softphones
Softphones have replaced the traditional IP phones in recent years. Softphones use the Internet to place phone calls, video, and conferencing calls just like the regular phones. Contrary to the traditional phones, softphones are cheaper as they can be deployed for as little as $3 per month and come with less tangible equipment. If you’re looking for places to save money and speed you to the fast lane to becoming the No. 1 small business, this can boost your progress.
6. Buy refurbished devices
Honestly, it seems like a great idea to provide your employees with nothing but shiny new equipment, right?! Wrong! Let’s not forget that the new releases of any machine only perform an inch better than their predecessors. On the flipside, if you are getting tired of the clockwork-like releases of new devices every week with no major performance improvements, you can save a tremendous amount of money for your small business by buying refurbished devices.
7. Build, manage, and nurture your employees
Hiring employees is a big accomplishment in itself. But what smells of success is how to place employees in proper teams to drive the optimum best out of them. Training the employees and forming employee-friendly policies can boost their overall performance by leaps and bounds both as an individual and in a team. Practice transparency and keep an open-door policy for healthy discussions with the employee.
8. Follow the 80/20 rule
Also known as the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule applies to businesses of all sizes. It simply means that 80 percent of results are achieved by applying 20 percent of effort in any major project. You can apply this principle to most of your business clients by focusing on the ones that give you most of the results. How about dropping the business plans that are futile and consuming a lot of time?!
9. Focus on the core and outsource the rest
This is the secret to the success of many big firms and is completely applicable to the small businesses too. Small businesses have time and money constraints and focusing on the core activities with these limited resources can maximize production. The non-core activities can be outsourced to third parties, which is a great way to save the resources that can be applied for core activities. This way, you get to play on your strengths and let the outsourcing take care of your weak areas in the business.
Got a list full of management tips that are a mile long?
We agree that we’ve given you a bunch of tips and you don’t know where to begin. For starters, take a deep breath, and relax! You may be new at this business and nobody is expecting you to be the king-of-all-trades.
What would be smart to start off with would be, going through these tips one at a time and then see which would fit with your working style the most. Some tips like data backup, cybersecurity, automation, 80/20 rules can be applied in your working environment. Success is not an easy road, but once you’re on it, it’s a one-way road that will take you to your destination.