Running a successful small business comes from having a strong structure that strategically arranges systems in an efficient and effective way to deliver quality products/services. This structure will not only allow a small business to avoid devastating pit falls, but also will position it for growth. Here are a few areas of a business where structure can have the most significant impact.
Know your numbers (targets, budgets and actual)! Missed sales targets or larger than expected expenses can disrupt cash flow and be perilous to your small business. In many cases a startup small business may never recover if precious funds are misused or unaccounted for. Having good small business accounting to help you gain proper financial control of your business amid economic ups and downs will help you maximize profit (or avoid failure). This type of financial structure can maintain the direction of your business and help you adjust as your cash flow changes.
As an essential element of a healthy business, systems help achieve greater effectiveness and should be applied within all aspects of business operations. Your systems, or processes, are a set of activities that will accomplish specific business goals. Creating systems within your business will allow it to run more efficiently. Systems also allow your business to comfortably contract and expand when necessary without disrupting the flow and if properly put in place can help you manage when you are unavailable.
The human capital aspect of your business cannot be under estimated. You must hire well, train well and communicate your purpose well. Being surrounded by people who support and embrace your small business’s goals is critical. For your employees to become fully supportive of business goals, they must be actively engaged on a regular basis with production and well thought out activities. Regular meetings with your employees will make a significant impact in achieving goals, as well as saving time and building team health.
A well thought out marketing plan is key to success. Many small business owners put their precious time and money in to marketing but have no plan for converting leads and retaining customers. Make sure that you know who your customer is and what you want to say to them. Deliver your product or service to them and then use your website to show testimonials. Happy customers speak louder than any sales pitch from your own mouth.
Before starting out ask questions, do the research and have a plan for these structured areas of your business. You should put the pen to the paper or the numbers to the spreadsheet to see if the concept you have is viable. Good small business consulting and small business accounting can be the difference in succeeding and failing because it will enable you to see the road ahead a little more clearly. Some statistics show that 25% of all businesses fail in the first year. One study shows that of businesses that failed 35% felt it was because they had insufficient time to manage the books (source). Make sure that you ask people who know the answers and craft a plan before your actual money is on the line and before you become part of these stats. Good luck! The journey can be both enjoyable and rewarding.