It’s pretty amazing to think that there are 28 million small business in America, a majority of which (22 million) are individually operated. Far from small businesses being a millennial thing, the largest percentage of small business owners are in the 50- to 88-year-old category, which is one good reason why small business contributes to around half of the total GDP. Despite the success of American small businesses and startups, many don’t quite enjoy the success they envisioned. Around half of all small businesses fail, owing in no small part to the adoption of management strategies that don’t work for them. If you have launched a startup or small business, make sure you are part of the winning 50% by following these tips.
Work with Employees as a Growth Team
A small business has below or between 100 and 1,500 employees and must make below or between $750,000 and $35.5 million. If your company sells products or services, typical departments may include product or service design, marketing, sales, customer service, and tech. As a manager, it is key to take advantage of the expert knowledge of each of your departments to grow and improve. If in the past, many businesses focused on the marketing/sales departments to boost sales, today, the development of the primary team is often the focus, taking into account the commonalities between departments and creates ways they can benefit from each other.
For instance, customer service team members can work with your marketing team to learn crucial tips and secrets they can use to elicit the desired response from customers. Marketing professionals, meanwhile, can benefit from the feedback of those at the frontline of sales and customer service, to see whether or not their messages are being received the right way by their target audience. Tech staff can also suggest ways to make online sales run more smoothly, while salespeople should listen to customer service and tech to deliver the right products for their customers’ needs.
Invest in Training
A good manager will not attempt to fulfill all roles; rather, they will delegate roles and tasks to trusted employees in order to use their time in the most profitable way possible. Delegating does not mean abdicating from responsibilities, though. Employees should be well prepared to fully take charge of the duty being given to them and that means investing in training and keeping employees motivated to improve their standard through continuous training. As noted in a Gallup poll, millennials want jobs to be development opportunities. They want to feel like they are growing and learning new skills, rather than becoming stuck in a monotone series of tasks that eventually drive them to greener pastures.
Lean on the Advise of Experts
As a manager, your main role is to set your company’s strategy, ensure your business is able to pay its bills and make decisions on new products and services, to lead and inspire your team, and more. Because you will be very busy with the most challenging aspects of your business, you should hire professionals in areas which are not of your expertise to ensure your company is up-to-date with its obligations You will need to hire a good accountant, tax specialist (who will inform you of any existing tax breaks as well as obligations), and lawyer. With respect to your managing duties, you will benefit greatly from older, more experienced mentors who can provide valuable advice on issues such as diversification, where to invest earnings, rates of expansion, and which agencies to deal with when it comes to everything from website building to branding, and social media.
Your small business may just have a handful of employees, but small teams should be seen as fantastic settings in which employees can learn and help create a new strategy for your business through the information they obtain from each other. In addition to investing time in team growth, you should also make continuous learning a priority, to boost employee retention and increase your employees’ set of skills. Finally, make sure you aren’t wasting time taking on duties that should be entrusted to professionals, or delegated to staff. Time means money, so use it in a way that brings in ever increasing profit margins to your company.