Did you know that 90% of failed start-ups result from a lack of proper management? A good business management strategy is vital for every new business to operate smoothly and efficiently. If you’re thinking of starting your own small business, or you’re a seasoned entrepreneur looking to improve your current business management strategies, here are five tips that might be useful to you:
1. Budget Your Finances
Budgeting is vital for every business as it allows owners to properly manage their finances and make informed financial decisions. Start-ups, in particular, tend to operate on limited capital and require thorough budgeting to maintain good financial health. The more sufficient a company’s budget it, the easier it is for business owners to identify any areas where cost cuts can be made to potentially increase profitability. Budgeting also lets business owners closely monitor their cash flow, so if ever it’s nearing or becomes negative, they can adapt as needed.
When it comes to creating your budget, it’s typically advised to consult an accountant. Whether you choose to outsource accounting services or hire an in-house professional, it’s beneficial to have an accountant track your expenses, compile financial reports, and advise you – the business owner – on important financial decision making for your company’s future.
2. Embrace Automation
Automation relieves business owners of mundane, often time-consuming administrative tasks like sending and paying invoices, bookkeeping, inventory counting and email marketing, among others. Automating such tasks not only gives business owners and their staff more time to focus on bigger picture initiatives like planning growth strategies, but the automation software tools are also more accurate and efficient. Business owners can rest assured knowing these repetitive, yet important, tasks are being completed with greater accuracy than if they were to do the work themselves.
Automation may have once been considered a luxury, but it’s now standard to staying competitive. The upfront costs to purchase automation software may be high, but the ROI these tools yield over time make them a worthwhile investment in the long-run.
3. Invest in Marketing
Marketing is essential to a business’ growth, but you have to execute campaigns properly in order for them to yield success. Strategies that work for one company may not work for another. It’s imperative that business owners are doing the market research to develop the right strategies that will meet their specific business needs and goals. This could be digital marketing, placing ads in the newspaper, incentivizing word-of-mouth, or a combination of all these tactics. There may be some trial and error involved. Always take note of what’s working so you can replicate those types of efforts moving forward. If ever a strategy fails, you’ll want to note that as well to avoid making similar mistakes.
Marketing is certainly an investment that can actually be quite costly – especially if you’re employing digital strategies. You’ll have to consider the costs of creating original photos and video content for your landing page and social media channels, and potentially hiring app developers or web designers to enhance your website and hopefully drive more traffic to it. Again, the upfront costs may be overwhelming, but if you take the time to research and craft a solid strategy, the results should be worth it.
4. Provide Good Training for Your New Employees
No matter how much experience a new hire has, they will still need to learn the ins and outs of your company and the various processes you utilize. Invest in a basic training program for new employees so that they’re given the tools and information to really hit the ground running once they start. What this training looks like is up to you. It could be a half day, full day or even an entire week. It could be conducted by an HR department, or you may require new employees to take certain online classes or watch training videos. Well-trained employees will feel more empowered to start their new role on the right foot.
5. Don’t Stop Learning
Entrepreneurs need to wear several hats, and often pivot from one to another throughout a given day. One moment you’re handling an issue between two employees, and the next you’re approving design mock ups for your website. As the ultimate decision maker across essentially every area of your business, it can be challenging to always know if you’re making the right choices. Invest in your own continued education to learn about any aspects of your business in which you don’t feel strong enough yet. Eventually, as you grow the company, you may be able to hire more staff to help with the areas, but while it’s just you – take the time to learn.
There are tons of online classes and courses available for entrepreneurs on topics ranging from accounting and financial planning to marketing and customer management. This includes free options – which tend to touch on the most basic concepts of a given subject – as well as paid options that dive deeper and often have expert instructors and participants. The latter costs money, but likely has a more valuable return.
If you’ve followed our first tip, you have a good understanding of your budget. Find options that fit within it. Just remember that you are your greatest investment. The more you learn, the better off your company will be.
Business Success Starts with Good Management
Developing a good business management strategy doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll need to do some trial and error to see what works best for you and your company, and integrate these strategies over time. Trust the process and listen to your instincts along the way. We believe that these five management strategies detailed above can be effective in ensuring the happiness of your employees, and also help to make you a better leader.