As of 2018, there are 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S. accounting for 58.9 million jobs in the country. It’s no secret that small businesses are a crucial part of the U.S. economy and their success should be important to us all.
Managing a small business comes with a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Often times, simply deciding which goals or tasks to prioritize can be a full-time job in itself. As a small business owner, you are probably under a lot of pressure with little room for mistakes. It’s easy to become quickly overwhelmed when managing the million different moving parts of a business but the good news is there are ways to make managing a small business easier. Here are five of our best small business management tips for juggling day-to-day operations.
1. Build a Support Network to Help with Small Business Management
Being a business owner can be isolating at times – especially if you are a solo business owner. It may not seem obvious at first, but finding time to network will pay dividends in the short and long-term. In addition to potential referrals and business growth, networking can provide opportunities to get third party feedback on challenges and provide a new perspective.
Consider joining professional meetups or groups in your area or use LinkedIn and Facebook to do some professional networking from the comfort of your own home.
Read ‘How to Retain Top Talent: 4 Helpful Tips’ for additional insight on how to keep your business running smoothly.
2. Use SMART Goals for Managing Your Small Business
SMART is an acronym that stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based. This is a proven formula that helps provide actionable goals that are achievable. Each part of a SMART goal should answer the following questions:
- Specific: Who is involved? What do I want to accomplish? Why is this goal important?
- Measurable: How will I know when the goal is accomplished?
- Achievable: How realistic is the goal?
- Relevant: Is this goal worthwhile? Is the timing right?
- Time-based: When should this goal be accomplished?
An example of a SMART goal could be, grow our market share by 10% by the end of the year.
3. Use Technology to Manage Your Small Business Efficiently
Technology and tools can greatly maximize efficiency by helping with collaboration and output. Time is a scarce resource when managing a small business so efforts to get your time back are critical. There are certain tools that are designed to help small business owners keep track of all of the moving parts that go with managing a business.
Consider using a task management system like Asana or Monday.com to prioritize what needs to be done and stay on top of deadlines.
Video conferencing tools like Zoom or GoToMeeting can help eliminate time wasted traveling between face to face meetings.
4. Employ Small Business Management by Delegating Tasks
The age-old adage applies here: “focus on what you do best and delegate the rest.” The truth can be humbling. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses in the workplace so it’s important to focus on those when managing a small business where time and resources are limited.
Even if you are a solo business owner there will be times where it makes more sense to hire a fractional leader, contractor, or freelancer to take on some work that you do not have experience with. It does not make sense for you to spend your time designing a website if your natural strengths are meeting with potential new clients.
5. Use the Pomodoro Technique for Time Management
The Pomodoro technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals separated by short breaks. The most common version of this involves setting a timer to 25 minutes and working uninterrupted for that duration. After each 25 minute intervals, take a 2-5 minute break and get back to it. After four intervals, a lengthier break (15-20 minutes) must be taken. This technique is proven to reduce distractions and increase productivity.
Effective Small Business Management Isn’t Achieved Overnight
It’s important to know that mistakes can and will be made over time. Create an environment that values failure as a learning opportunity and move onto the next challenge. If you’re looking for additional education, training and resources on how to help move the needle watch our webinars.
Interested in learning more leadership tips? Check out our HR blog series for additional blog posts on relevant topics for your business and employees.
At Society, our people make the biggest difference; learn more about our career opportunities.