Six Steps to a More Efficient Small Business

The thoughts running through your head are of the next brilliant marketing move, or of the bills that are coming due. You're the secretary, HR department, cleaning service, and CEO all at the same time, and your work day doesn't end at 5 pm. Such is the life of a small business owner; it's not as glamorous as it sounds, is it?

The rewards of going into business for yourself are very high, but your success is determined largely by your focus and level of commitment. You never have to answer to a demanding boss, you don't have to deal with snarky co-workers, and you're probably working in an industry that you chose. That all comes at a price— the long hours, huge responsibility, and occasional moment of panic. Don't worry; all small business owners face these issues, and many have come out on top. Here are some easy tips to help run your business more efficiently.

  • Manage your time wisely. If you are a college graduate, you learned how to balance term paper writing, studying, and a social life. That's a good thing, because you'll need those time management skills to run your small business capably. To help, use office software or an email program that comes with a calendar (Outlook is a good example). You'll be able to follow up emails and phone calls, track appointments, and keep track of important dates.

  • If you're not proficient in something, then don't try to do it yourself. If your sanity, time and budget are already stretched thin, it's time to call in some help. From a virtual assistant to web fulfilment services, hiring help can free you from some of the logistical issues of running a small business, and allow you to focus on what matters.

  • Don't let opportunities pass you by. When you run a small business, you need a measure of marketing creativity. Use every moment as a way to sell what you have to offer. If you're writing an email, add a mention of your business to your signature. Going to the store? Tack up some flyers or business cards on the bulletin board. Every day grants you more opportunities to reach potential customers, and you should never underestimate the power of grassroots marketing efforts.

  • Don't get yourself down. It may be a tired cliché, but it's still true; the best way to be successful is to keep a positive attitude. It affects not only you, but those you work with and your customer base. No one likes working when they're upset or angry, but if you're really motivated, you'll foster that spark in yourself and those near you.

  • Keep track of your finances. Know exactly how much money comes into your business, and where it's going. Be diligent in keeping up with customer accounts, and collecting on any that carry balances. Don't forget to pay your creditors and vendors on time, and don't treat your petty cash as your own personal piggy bank.

  • Hold regular performance reviews. This will allow you to determine whether marketing efforts are a success, and to ensure that employees are completing their duties. Evaluating your business' performance every week will also allow you to ensure that invoices are paid on time, and that ​customer payments are processed properly. ​​​

  • While it can be time-consuming and exhausting to run a small business, you shouldn't neglect your mental and physical health. Using the tips we've given you will help you run your company more efficiently, but that doesn't mean you should run yourself ragged. Take care of yourself, manage your time and your finances, think positive, be creative and hire web fulfilment help when necessary― you'll reap the rewards in more ways than one.

    Author bio:
    Jon Platy works for a small business in the UK and knows the pains of growing. He manages and writes for the Principal Homebuyers blog and you can see some of his more recent articles here.

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