Technology seems to change every day and new tools for small businesses are available all the time. With all the changes it can be easy to forget the basic business skills that will always help you grow your business and get customers. Even if you try the latest in artificial intelligence, don’t forget these business basics.
In order to always be closing you need to always be selling. Don’t wait for business to come to you; go out and get it. Revisit your marketing plan and advertising campaigns. Make sure you have plans for a regular sales email to your existing and potential customers. Your website should be offering a discount in exchange for an email address as soon as a possible customer enters your website. Your employees should be familiar with your products and always offering upsells when closing a sale.
If you want to have a great team you’ve got to be a great leader. Sometimes business owners started out as a one-person operation and never expected to get any larger. It didn’t matter if they were good at motivating other people because there were no other people. As businesses grow and change, these owners find themselves in leadership positions. Leaders who didn’t expect it might not be ready for the challenges of leadership. When you’re unsure of your current skill set it’s a good idea to look at what makes a great leader and then practice. Consider reading books and blogs on leadership and practicing a new skill until you have it down before adding another. Always feel free to ask your employees what they want from your leadership.
Another issue that can overcome small business owners as they grow is not delegating appropriately. If your business is your baby you want the best for it. It can be difficult to let go of the reins sometimes and allow other employees to take part. Delegation is important though for several reasons. First is a matter of time management. If you never let anyone do anything for you, you simply won’t have the time to do everything a growing business needs. It’s not good for you or the business. Focus on what you are best at and delegate to other’s strengths. Not only will more get done and have more time, but you will create invested employees. Employees with responsibility feel trusted. That trust creates loyalty and job satisfaction reducing turnover. In turn, you’ll have time to guide your business and focus on owner responsibilities like networking your business.
Running a new small business and making sure it succeeds can be all-consuming. It doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day, but with proper time management and delegation you’ll have time for networking, and you need to make time for it. All of the benefits of networking for a career are equally true for your business. You’ll be able to get fresh insight and new ideas. Perhaps you’ll come up with a collaboration that will benefit both your businesses. Networking also simply raises your profile and makes your business more well-known in the business community, and the people in the business community are individuals that may also want your products.
If you truly want scalability in your small business it is important to start documenting right from the start. Create standard operating procedures and training your employees. Even if you are the only employee document what you are doing so that when you have your very first hire you’re able to train them effectively and they have a source to go to even when you aren’t available. As your company grows you’ll appreciate that your business doesn’t have a large pool of tribal knowledge that could potentially walk out the door any time a long-term employee moves on.
Technology means that a lot of business has moved to remote meetings and social media marketing, but never underestimate the value of taking care of the basics. In the end, you are dealing with people, and being able to do that effectively will always be a cornerstone of a successful business.