How to Run a Small Business: The Ultimate Guide
A lot has been spoken and written about the importance of small businesses.
More than 47 percent of the workforce in the United States consists of small businesses. Many people and organizations are focused on looking out for mom-and-pop shops, local businesses, and other types of small enterprises.
If you run a small business, it’s crucial that you learn as much as you can about running it successfully. We’ve got you covered when you’re looking for an all-encompassing guide that you can refer back to as you grow your business.
Here’s how to run a small business that gets results now and in the future.
Get Your Business Plan In Order
A rock-solid business plan is essential, especially if you’re running a small business. This is the bible of your business that explicitly lays out your mission statement, an executive summary of your business, hiring needs, budget, goals and projections, and so much more.
Iron out a business plan that can chart your course, and consistently revise the plan to make sure it fits your current circumstances. Think of the business plan as a living document that you continuously revise and perfect.
About 20 percent of businesses don’t make it past year one, largely due to poor planning. You tremendously improve your chances of success when you put the work into creating a well-researched business plan.
Establish Skilled And Trustworthy Management
The fate of your business rests with the quality of the management that you put into place. Quality business management means wise decisions, productive hires, and a company culture that attracts success and fresh talent.
Your managers are your eyes and ears on the ground level of your business. They lead your teams and learn how to relate to your employee base.
Sound management will also help you remain in compliance in your industry. This means matters related to GDPR compliance for Small Businesses, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and other matters.
Build Around Data And Sound Information
Every successful campaign starts with the right information. Build your company around business data that provides solid answers to your questions.
Examples of business data that you need to hone in on include cash flow, revenue projections, customer retention, sales data, supply chain data, web traffic, and market share.
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We live in the analytics age, so it’s your responsibility and obligation to keep up with the times. Put tools into place that give you an up-to-the-moment look at where your company stands in its most important areas.
Using analytics and data software lets you quickly drum up reports so that you can brief the most important people in your company. This data will sharpen your decision-making so that you can move forward with full confidence every step of the way.
Be Impeccable With Your Books
If you’re starting a business, you need to become comfortable with bookkeeping and accounting principles. Small business owners need to consider hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) to address bookkeeping needs.
You’re already carrying a heavy load and wearing a lot of hats as a small business owner, and the last thing you’d want is to make errors by trying to handle your own bookkeeping.
Make sure that you’re accurately tracking your assets and liabilities, classifying expenditures, budgeting for your financial goals, and handling your payroll. Solid bookkeeping also helps you stay on top of your company’s taxes so that you don’t run into issues with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Become Masterful With Your Marketing
Marketing is essential for any business, but small businesses must be particularly mindful of it. Search engine optimization (SEO), social media, content, and paid advertising are a must. They will allow you to get a serious edge on your competitors.
This is another role that you should consider outsourcing so that you can focus on the things that you do best. Marketing pros will help you hit key performance indicators (KPIs) each quarter. You’ll grow your web presence and work toward getting conversions.
Invest In Your People
Without a doubt, the people that work for you are your company’s greatest asset. When you invest in your people your small business will always have legs to stand on.
Let people know that the rewards are sweet for employees that stick around and grow with you. Find out about your employees’ career goals and what makes them tick personally. Help them achieve their goals and learn about them as people. Always look into salary raises and bonuses whenever possible.
A happy employee base is essential to company morale and can power you through some difficult times.
Study Your Industry And Competition
Small business owners must always be dedicated to learning. There are different several types of businesses that come with nuances and matters that you need to keep your eye on.
The last thing you’d want is to get left behind or caught unaware because you failed to keep up with the happenings of your industry. Subscribe to relevant publications, take courses, and develop mentorship relationships. Attend conferences that keep you sharp and tapped into your industry.
How To Run A Small Business 101
Understanding how to run a small business will help you prevent mistakes, optimize your company, and rake in revenue each quarter. You give your business a great shot at success when you adopt the principles above and dedicate yourself to growth.
Check out our other articles when you need more help related to running a business.