Did you know that about 20 percent of small businesses fail in their very first year of operation? On the flip side, only a little over 20 percent of companies will get to celebrate their 15th anniversary. Clearly, small business management isn’t for the faint-hearted!
Learning how to grow your business sustainably is essential if you’re hoping to create a successful small business that defies the odds. Read on for a checklist of small business management advice that actually works.
1. Research First, Decisions Second
When managing a small business trying to scale, it’s crucial to have a clear lay of the land. What that means is doing your research to find out:
- Who your customers are, including demographics
- Where your market is geographically and online
- Who your competitors are, and their strengths and weaknesses
This research offers valuable insight into the direction you need to take your company. And don’t just do this once and file it away. Schedule periodic analysis to ensure you’re continually updated with changes in your sector.
2. Your Customers’ Experiences Matter Most
Whether in the B2C sector or selling services to other companies, a business is nothing without its customers. And fast growth—if that’s what you’re aiming for—requires a positive customer experience at all touchpoints.
Thankfully, small businesses tend to be nimbler than their corporate counterparts.
In a fledgling company, you’re usually directly in contact with your customer. Use this closeness to your advantage. Address customer complaints immediately via social media, phone, or email, and you’ll nurture the long-term customer relationships you need to succeed.
3. Hire Carefully
When growing a small business, you’re likely operating with a skeleton crew of only the most essential staff members. As you add people to your team, you need to ensure they’re:
- Quick starters
- Highly experienced in their niche
- Fit with your company culture
Build living wages, solid benefits, and employee rewards into your business plan to ensure your best staff members stay with you. And where you can’t hire someone in-house, partner with experienced service providers—from tax consultants to your legal support.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Change Tracks
We mentioned above that one trait to look for in new staff is adaptability. But the same is true for you as the manager of a small business.
You’ll implement various strategies in the course of doing business. If you want to scale, you need to constantly measure how well those strategies are working and be willing to pivot away from plans that aren’t meeting your expectations.
Mastering Small Business Management for Growth
Small business management is an art. As a manager or business owner, you usually work with low overheads, a tight profit margin, and limited staff. Knowing how to make the most of your resources in all areas—from finance and legal to sales and marketing—is the best way to ensure your company beats the statistics.
Are you looking for more small business management tips? Browse the other business-related blogs on our website.