Managing a small business: Basics you should know

Managing a small or very small business and growing your project successfully is not an easy task. Starting a business is not a guarantee of success.

In fact, a large number of small businesses do not survive their fifth birthday.

But don’t lose hope! There are techniques to improve the chances of your business succeeding. Let’s see 9 basics from the experts of SkyNet to manage your business with practical advice to get success.

1. Start your business slowly

The most important cause of very small business failures is related to large overhead expenditures at the outset of the project. Successful entrepreneurs are anything but the big risk takers that popular mythology often would have us believe.

For that, nothing beats a good financial plan containing all the figures relating to your project. This is the first step to a successful business: carefully compile all the financial elements that make up your project, and precisely determine your financing needs.

Having a clear vision of your financial commitments, properly evaluating your costs and margins, and measuring your performance with financial indicators are all ways to put the odds on your side!

2. Know your market

Before you launch yourself body and soul into your activity and in order to succeed in your business, it is important to know your target market and to make a business plan.

That is to say, you have to carefully study the environment of your project and plan its evolution. Be meticulous, to anticipate the strengths and weaknesses, and the market opportunities of your future project in order to be able to rectify your offer, if necessary.

Market research allows you to collect and analyze the various information concerning your project and put you in context before you start. This study will allow you to avoid falling into certain traps and start a stable project with a future.

3. Offer and maintain quality service

Each company offering a quality product or service will be recognized by its customers, and “word of mouth” will have a very positive effect on the success of your company.

Even successful businesses can lose customers and profits by reducing quality in favor of quantity.

Customers used to a certain level of quality, get used to that level. They expect to have a consistently high level of satisfaction and will want to do better.

4. Listen to your customers

Listening to your customers and the market is what allows you to be innovative, allows you to retain your customers, and make your business successful. Do not take your customers for granted and tell yourself that you have found the right service or product and stop innovating.

Customers are the actors who will be able to guide you towards their expectations and it is by being closer to your market that you will be able to offer the best service offer which will be the most popular solution on the market.

5. Define the strategic objectives of your business

The objectives are the basis of the commercial approach, they make it possible to anticipate, take decisions, manage the activity as well as possible, and succeed in one’s business.

But what kinds of goals can be set?

  • Identify your areas of progress
  • Make an action plan with clear and achievable goals
  • Provide a predefined schedule in order to act to remedy it

Following your analysis, you can see that customer satisfaction is a priority area for progress that will bring gains for your business. It will therefore be necessary to set clear objectives in order to remedy this.

6. Plan and control your inventory

It is hardly possible to manage an activity well and succeed in your business without setting a guideline, that is to say, a strategy. It is time to no longer suffer from your activity but to plan and manage it optimally. Managing your inventory is part of this strategy.

Poor management of your stocks would lead to delivery delays and therefore penalize you. It is important to buy inventory management software for those who can invest or create an Excel file with a summary table of your stocks, with each entry and exit, and establish an alert stock.

7. Publicize your business

The strategic location of your business is one of the keys to your success. Being visible and easily accessible by your customers is a real asset.

Another way to be seen, but in a more modern way, is visibility on the web. Communicating at a lower cost and making yourself known also involves being on the internet. Facebook ads and pages are a great way to reach more people online.

Social networks are, according to some studies, the second most influential advertising lever among young people. 18% of them have already made a purchase when they saw the product on social networks.

E-mailing is also a very good technique to differentiate yourself from competitors, reach your targets more easily and at a lower cost, and succeed in your business.

8. Focus on your core business

The most successful small businesses are those that have focused on one activity and not scattered over different activities that add no value. It is better to offer a single quality service than several defaulters.

You will then have to develop the core business activity by focusing on your key skills and differentiating yourself from your competitors to succeed in your business.

Do you want to devote yourself entirely to your business project?

9. Watch your cash flow

It is well known that any business must have sufficient resources to meet its financial commitments and succeed in its business. Without this, it would be declared insolvent or even in liquidation.

A company’s cash flow is defined as all of the cash available in cash or at the bank. Your company’s cash flow must be managed on a daily basis and is part of a real strategy.

To sum up

As you see, the successful management of your business depends on planning the objectives set in your strategy. 

This strategy includes a commercial strategy, which is set according to a business plan established before the creation of your activity.

Also, good communication and a well-crafted marketing strategy as well as well-managed stocks and up-to-date accounting management are the real keys to success. 

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