Running your own business requires dedication. We know because we work with our clients and see how committed they are.
There is a lot to learn when running a small business. And some lessons are the same for all entrepreneurs regardless of business size or whether it’s a start-up or well established.
So, to help you if you’re starting out or need a bit of help with your current business, we’ve put together some tips from what we’ve learnt.
What are your goals for your small business?
One thing we recommend our clients do is to have a business plan. But it doesn’t have to be a 20-page tome with in-depth details of how you’ll spend every hour. Even an outline on a couple of sides of A4 will help.
We recommend putting together a plan for the next 5 or 10 years and then breaking it down into smaller goals. Break these down into one-year goals and be specific about your targets.
So, if your plan is to increase turnover by a certain percentage within 5 years, break it down to work out how many units you’ll need to sell per week.
By breaking your goals down into manageable amounts, the task will feel less onerous. Smaller targets are easier to achieve and leave you better motivated.
Keep your costs down
Some business activities are essential and will cost you money, such as technology or workshop and office space.
But just because something is essential shouldn’t mean it has to cost you. Take a look at your profit and loss account and see what’s really necessary.
If you run a lean business and have no unnecessary expenses, then look at what you are paying.
Can technology costs be reduced with a better phone or IT contract? Is moving your data to the Cloud more cost-efficient than running an old server that costs you every time it breaks down?
The coronavirus pandemic has seen most office-based staff working from home. Could that be permanent? Can you get those employees to split their time in the office so you can reduce its size?
Keeping overheads low is a great tip for businesses to increase profitability.
Don’t be scared to delegate
The most successful of our clients know that they can’t do it all. Owning a small business often means you feel like you have to do everything.
But it can make you and your business less efficient, so consider employees and outsourcing. If you spend too much time doing your books, then speak to an accountant. Focus on what you do well and then delegate everything else.
Find your niche
Some people will say you need to ‘diversify or die’ but that isn’t always the case. Stick to what you do best until you have the resources to bring in new products or services. Trying something new will divert your attention and water down your niche offering.
So with that in mind, the idea is to stay focused. If you concentrate on the main part of your business you will thrive. Innovate your niche and you see a solid path to success.
Keep a focus on your goals too. As we said at the start, if you keep those goals manageable you will stay focused. You’ll also do that if you delegate! It all adds up to putting yourself in the best position possible to make the best of your business.
Speak to us if you would like help on setting goals or give you advice on business success.