When starting your small business, you have much to do and see to. How do you know where to start? How do you know what’s important and what’s not? What should you focus on?
Having a source like Clock Tower Insight on your side helps you take the guesswork out of your marketing strategy. Read on for tips on how to ensure all other aspects of your business sail smoothly to success.
If you are just in your fledgeling stages, you’ve hopefully already done your research by this point in time. You know the 10 crucial steps to get a small business up off the ground and running:
- Do your market research
- Formulate a business plan
- Plan your financials
- Choose your business structure
- Pick and register your business name
- Obtain the necessary licenses, permits, and ID’s
- Choose your accounting system
- Set up your business location
- Prepare your team for launch time
- Promote the heck out of your business
I think somewhere in there you’re supposed to also be having fun.
We’ve got some often overlooked words of advice that could make or break the success of your business. But first we’re actually going to talk a bit about your business plan, because that will be your roadmap to success, a way to track your goals.
Your Business Plan
Turning your business idea into a reality requires a plan; a blueprint that will guide your business from the start-up phase through establishment, and hopefully growth. Without a plan, you’re just merely dreaming. A plan is the foundation of your business and a roadmap for how you’ll structure, run, and grow. And you’ll use it to convince people that will be working with you or investing in your company that you’re a smart choice.
There are multiple routes you can follow, depending on what you foresee in the future. If you’re intending to seek financial support from an investor or institution, you’ll need a traditional business plan to validate your idea. If you won’t be seeking financial support, a simple one-page business plan helps you keep your goals in mind. The key is to get it in writing, even if it’s just on the back of a takeout menu.
Create a Business Guide
While it may sound similar, a business guide is different from your business plan. Your guide should include a clear description of your vision and mission statement, a list of your expectations from those around you (your partners, the market, your customers, etc.). It should also include a list of both the risks and rewards involved in your idea, as well as a brief financial overview and description of how your business will operate day to day. Think of it almost as if it were the beginnings of a great company handbook, used to guide both you and your employees through the growth of your company.
Learn to Be a Good Listener
While you may be floating on cloud nine, you still need to learn to keep your ego in check and listen to the advice of others. Your advisors are crucial to your business because you need to be surrounded by people you can bounce ideas off of. They should be able to inspect what you’re doing and push you towards greater accomplishments, holding you accountable for what you are committing to do.
Your commitments may be difficult or challenging, but always stay true to your word and follow through on those commitments. When people give you advice, learn to not take it personally; this is about the business, not you. Let go of your emotion and don’t let your ego take control.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
Your business is your baby, but as it grows, you need to learn to let go of some things. Surrounding yourself with the right people from the start will pay off in buckets later on. Don’t hire people just for the sake of having bodies to fill spaces. Look to hire the right people.
For your sanity.
For the health of the business.
You just. Can’t. Do. it. ALL
Learn not to be a control freak, learn to be a manager. A manager’s job is to delegate and then inspect the progress. If you delegate effectively, you will get more than you expected. Teaching employees what is expected of them is key for success here. Have an actual written training and orientation plan so your team knows what is required of them. Incorporate an incentive-based rewards system, and maintain an easy attitude when problems do pop up.
Work More Efficiently, Not Harder
Once you’ve surrounded yourself with a fantastic team, trained them, and delegated responsibilities, you should have a good communication plan in place. Knowing how to efficiently and effectively communicate with your team is crucial. Email is ok, and still many business’ go-to way of communicating internally and externally. However, by using instant message applications like Slack, employees are able to cut down their email time to as little as one hour a day.
Other collaborative tools like dynamic CRM allows for efficient internal communications and smooth sales processes through a single platform.