When managing a small business, the key to success is having an organised structure and keeping your activities as simple as possible. With simple structures, business owners don’t have to think about menial tasks and are freed up to focus on the bigger picture and long-term strategy.
As an entrepreneur, a core focus should be exploring how to better your business on an on-going basis. From my experience as the owner of boutique PR agency, Agent99, I have been able to grow and further the company by streamlining my processes and structure. Here are my top five proven strategies that will help you on your own journey:
1: Outsource where possible
Funding dependent, outsourcing is a great way to keep your company’s activities simple. When running a small business, it’s important to keep your efforts as close to your core service/product as possible. This will enable you to successfully manage your business to deliver consistent results. Basic tasks or functions like accounting, IT, and training, are easy to outsource and it means that the menial tasks don’t delay you from the most important ones, which tend to be developing new business and leading your team towards shared goals.
2: Deal with emails and delete them
For most business owners, answering emails takes up a large portion of their day, and setting aside time every day to deal with them is imperative to staying organised. Furthermore, once you have actioned the email, it helps to either delete or file them, so that you know you don’t have to deal with it again. I find that this is the perfect way to keep my day ordered, allowing me to complete the main tasks at hand.
3: Pay your bills weekly
Remaining on top of your bills helps all small business owners to stay on top of cash flow; I like to do this so that my bills don’t build up and become unmanageable. A nice strategy is to pay them weekly at a designated time instead of monthly. I prefer to do it regularly in very short spurts, rather then letting it amount to a mammoth task. Simplifying this element of business helps a variety of things, namely your cash flow and your ability to plan for the future.
4: Have a formula and a structure for managing tasks
Most employees at a small business carry out repetitive or similar tasks every day. Having written procedures and accompanying templates not only make these tasks easier for you to complete, but easier to delegate to staff. It will also save you an abundance of time as you’re no longer reinventing the wheel day in, day out. Furthermore, these structures allow you to mentor and foster new or young staff at a faster rate as they can learn the required skills in a manageable and clear way.
5: Have a regular schedule, and stick to it
Often as a business owner, your meetings run late and before you know it you’ve spent the whole day talking to people instead of working. I’ve always tried to remain efficient with my time and keep to the allocated time in a meeting. As an extension of this, I like to have as few meetings as possible. This means I can spend more time on conducting business, as opposed to talking about it. At Agent99, our daily staff meetings and allocated catch-ups don’t drag on as there are clear lines of communication set up from the outset. Furthermore, for the majority of the time an email update is often all that is necessary for everyone to remain abreast of the situation or issue.
Employing simple strategies such as the above is an excellent way to keep your business practices efficient. Ultimately, with more time to focus on the core elements of your business, you’re able to feel more in control, be more profitable and facilitate company growth.