How do you use your company’s resources to its maximum? How can you successfully run your small business? After investing so much time and money to start your small business, you want to know exactly how to run it successfully.
The first thing to realize is that although you may be concerned about making an income, with a small business, success is not necessarily measured by the bottom line- especially if you are just starting up. A successful small business is really one that uses its resources to the maximum, and this only happens when the business owner is well informed.
There are numerous articles online that offer advice on how to successfully run your business. Though these articles include several important tips, such as making a business plan and paying attention to your cash flow, I felt that many fundamental ideas were either missing or under emphasized.
What follows is a list of these essential ideas on how to run your small business to its maximum:
Start small; think big! We are living in an “instant generation.” Many people are looking to “get rich quick” with as little investment as possible. Even if someone has a solid business idea, without hard work and a lot of patience, often this bubble bursts, and the venture is unsuccessful.
The best thing you can do for yourself and your business is to start small and set realistic goals! There is almost always room to expand later on once you have established a customer base and standard operating procedures.
Know where and how to get capital you need! The business financing industry goes way beyond standard business loans (See my article, “Alternative Financing 101″). You can for example, lease equipment, or factor your accounts receivable. So before you offer you house up as collateral, make sure to do your research.
If a loan ends up being your best option, then interview prospective loan providers. Choose the lender with whom you can build a long-term relationship in case you need to get another loan later on.
Outsourcing! Recognize your company’s strengths and focus on them- especially at the beginning. Outsource anything that is not a skill or will take away from your company. Typical outsourcing includes, shipping, billing, secretarial work, and web design.
Marketing! When it comes to small business, advertising goes beyond plastering your name in as many places as possible. This only works for big companies with established brand names. Here quality and not necessarily quantity is most important. If you rely heavily on word of mouth, then put a lot of emphasis on your customer service. If you have a website, then don’t just optimize it for a search engine. Make sure it has good and clear content.
Value your workforce! Whether you are paying minimum wage or top dollar, your workforce is your most valuable asset. If your workers are happy then they will do a better job for you. They should feel respected, valued, and treated fairly. Also, encourage them to give advice on how to improve your business.
Stay in touch with your market! Take time to talk to your customers. Ask for feedback, do surveys, and be flexible to act on what they tell you.