Running a small business is no walk in the park. From creating an inclusive work environment to making contingency plans, everyday operations can become a bit overwhelming. Things will only grow to be more stressful as your client base and team expand. However, if you understand the fundamentals of owning a small business and keeping it afloat, you can minimize stress and create a very successful brand.
Here are a few ways you can support the growth of both your business and your employees as you look toward the future:
1. Consider the Culture
When it comes to making your business successful, creating a safe, inclusive and diverse environment in which team members can grow and connect is key. The best way to accomplish this is by focusing on company culture. While a paycheck is a motivator for employees, it isn’t the only one. After all, they may just as well earn an income elsewhere. Retain individuals and turn them into loyal workers by creating a positive culture that reminds them of their value.
2. Remember Your Mission
Nearly 90% of adults believe it’s important for companies to have a clear mission and purpose, and almost 80% said they would consider the mission statement before applying. Thus, create and communicate a strong, clear mission, both to current employees and future recruits. Doing so will attract those who align with your mission statement, making it easier to find and gain new team members. Moreover, these new faces will contribute to your positive company culture.
3. Pick Character Over Communication
Of course, even with a strong mission statement and positive team culture, you’ll still have to sift through applications and choose the best of the best. While most companies look to hire those with good communication skills, sometimes the best hires aren’t the greatest talkers. Thus, to find the most exceptional talent, you might look for applicants with character. Choose those who value and live in integrity, wisdom and honesty — even if they aren’t the smoothest conversationalists.
4. Delegate Tasks
In the beginning, it’s tempting to run the show all by yourself. As sales increase and your customer base grows, however, it becomes impossible to handle everything alone. Besides, you hired employees for a reason — to help you! Delegate tasks among your team members and trust they’ll do the job. You might also add new positions for a business attorney to help minimize risks or a business banker to assist with cash flow needs as your brand expands.
5. Prioritize Customer Service
One of the smartest decisions you can make regarding your small business is to create a customer service team. Happy clients and customers can save you time and money on in-house acquisition efforts. The more satisfied they are, the more they’ll promote your brand, and the faster your business will grow. Having a team to answer phone calls, receive feedback and handle customer concerns, therefore, is the best thing you can do for both your customers and your business.
6. Focus on the Process
Many entrepreneurs start their businesses with a get-rich-quick mindset. However, the wisest and most successful small business owners know failures, setbacks and slow growth hold the keys to helping them make a name for themselves. Of course, it isn’t wrong to set goals and dream big, but keep the entire process in mind, too. Focusing on your mission, employee wellbeing, customer satisfaction and short-term goals will keep the wheels turning and your thoughts on track.
7. Have a Plan B
Once you realize failures and setbacks are part of the process, you can begin creating a backup plan to adapt when things go wrong. This plan should include ways to enhance your business operations and procedures and save your company if it’s in danger of going under. Periodically update this plan by asking for different perspectives from within your team. How might they improve operations or better reach the target audience? Take their suggestions to heart and plan accordingly.
Don’t Lose Your Spark
Entrepreneurs are creative people by nature. However, as their business starts growing, many find themselves drowning in a sea of reports, records and logistics. The technical side claims all their free time, and they lose sight of why they even started the company in the first place. This isn’t what they signed up for. What happened to their dreams?
As a small business owner, it’s important to leave room for your creative side. That’s what sparked your small business, after all. Who’s to say it won’t lead to another brilliant innovation or idea? Cultivate your imagination and ability to develop new ideas by scheduling brainstorming sessions into your daily routine. Think about your company’s vision and let your imagination run wild. Nothing’s too crazy, and anything’s possible. Remind yourself of that daily to keep the spark alive.