Running a successful small business requires hard work, motivation and perseverance. If you’re willing to make the necessary sacrifices, though, you’ll achieve financial independence while creating a lasting legacy in the process. To set your small business in the right direction, consider the five following tips.


1) Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks

As a business owner, you can’t be afraid to take risks. If you play it safe, your business won’t have the opportunity to grow and succeed. Risk-taking opens the doors to new opportunities for business, and it also helps them stand out from their competitors. Developing a new product, for instance, is always a risk. If it fails, you’ll lose the money, time and resources invested in its production. But if it succeeds, you’ll have a new product to stimulate sales and connect with your audience.


2) Keep Excellent Financial Records

Accounting plays an essential role in your business’s success. If you don’t keep track of your business’s expenses and income, you won’t be able to optimize your operations to achieve higher profits. Statistics show, however, that fewer than half of all small businesses owners don’t have a professional accountant, resulting in missed deductions, lost expense receipts and other problems.


3) Optimize IT Infrastructure

You should also optimize your business’s information technology (IT) infrastructure. If you’re using outdated hardware or software, upgrading to newer technologies could streamline many of your business’s digital operations. Furthermore, it can help protect against cyber threats, which could otherwise prove disastrous for your small business. The first step to optimizing your IT infrastructure is hiring the right talent. Rather than hiring the first candidate whom you interview, consider partnering with an information technology staffing company. After gaining insight into your business’s needs and goals, they’ll deploy the industry’s top IT talent to your business.


4) Improve Quality

The quality of your products or services says a lot about your business. If you churn out low-quality products simply to make a quick buck, customers will take notice. They’ll associate your business with low-quality products. And the next time they want to purchase a high-quality product, they’ll probably choose a competitor’s business. You can retain your customers and encourage more word-of-mouth referrals by improving the quality of your products or services. Sending out satisfaction surveys to customers is an excellent way to measure quality. Since the responses come from customers who’ve purchased the product or service, you can use them to identify areas in need of improvement. If a customer said he or she was dissatisfied with a product’s design, perhaps you should develop and test a new design.


5) Lower Your Overhead

How much does your business pay in overhead? Defined as all regular, ongoing expenses needed to operate a business, overhead often takes a hefty financial toll on small businesses. According to a study conducted by Levin Group Data Center, U.S. dental practices pay an average of 74.62 percent in overhead. This means nearly three-quarters of the revenue a dental practice generates goes towards overhead. Whether you operate a dental practice or any other small business, you should keep your overhead as low as possible to save money. Moving from on-premise to cloud-based computing solutions can eliminate the need for a local datacenter, and comparing the prices of utility services from multiple providers can also lower your business’s overhead.


Some entrepreneurs assume starting and running a small business is easy. After all, there’s no boss looking over your shoulder or telling you what to do. As most small business know, however, it’s a competitive world out there, and businesses that don’t improve their operations are doomed for failure.