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Simple Steps to Running a More Efficient Small Business
As fuel prices continue to rise and the economy continues to suffer, it’s more important than ever to run your business more efficiently. Here, “efficiency” doesn’t mean a tight schedule or a rigid set of work rules; it means making the most of your money and your time. Operate your small business more efficiently with the tips below.
Learn to Effectively Manage Your Time
Set aside time each day to handle issues with employees and customers, financial and administrative duties, and communications with customers and vendors. Keeping up with these jobs will help you be more in touch with the day-to-day operations of your business.
Keep an Eye on Performance….
Designate a time each week where you’ll examine your business’ status. If you have employees, ensure they’re working at their peak, and that your efulfilment service is shipping customer orders promptly.
….And the Other Eye on Finances
Part of being a small business owner is taking on the role of an accountant. See how the money is coming in, and where it goes each day. Stay on top of accounts receivable, and if customers are carrying a balance, be persistent about collecting. Pay your bills and your vendors on time, every time, and don’t treat petty cash as your personal piggy bank. In an ideal situation, you and no more than one other employee should be able to access those funds.
Make Your Employees Happy
If you have employees, hold regular meetings where everyone has a chance to air their concerns and grievances. Listen with an unbiased ear, and resolve their problems as quickly as possible. Offer performance incentives, and be sure to reward your workers when they go above and beyond what’s expected of them. If your employees are happy to come to work, they’ll put their best into their job every day.
Keep Your Customers Coming Back
The key to a successful business of any size is happy customers, and the easiest way to gauge their level of satisfaction is to interact with them regularly. Get them interested by offering discounts and other incentives, and keep their business by promptly dealing with questions and complaints. If your customers are satisfied, your business will have more staying power.
Use the Media to Your Advantage
Leverage the power of social media, word of mouth and newspapers, radio and TV advertising. Become an expert in your field; offer your customers something of value BEFORE they make a purchase. Establish a presence in your community- donate your time and/or money to a non-profit or a charity. Doing the above will lend a more personal feel to your brand, and customers will appreciate it.
Running a more efficient small business doesn’t mean overhauling it completely. With a few minor changes in philosophy and habits, you may be able to streamline your daily operations. When your company is being run in a responsible and resourceful manner, you’re more prepared to withstand the changes that are part of our unstable economy.