Any owner of a small business develops tactics to succeed with the resources available. Given the limits on time and budget, the wise leader focuses on the strategies that help the most. To start you off, here are four suggested best practices for small-business entrepreneurs:
1. Optimize Communication
Open, effective communication is vital, and your workers will realise when it’s working well. A Gallup poll states that only 27% of employees believe feedback helps them do their jobs better. That statistic leaves a lot of room for improvements from their managers. If you would like to improve communication in your workplace, you can start by:
- Telling people what they do well: Make this a daily practice to encourage your employees and help them better understand their strengths.
- Giving specific praise: Tell vendors and employees precisely what they do well. Instead of saying “You did a great job” you can be more specific such as “Turning in your report a day early helped me meet my deadline.”
- Use constructive criticism: Like praise, specific criticism is helpful. Instead of getting angry at a staff member for being late to a meeting, you can explain that in being late she missed hearing critical project changes that will affect her deadlines.
- Enabling ego-free discussion: Make it clear that all ideas and suggestions are welcome.
2. Secure Your Network
A reliable network security system reduces the risk of getting hacked and having personal data go astray. Cybercrime is prolific and can hit companies of any size. You can take steps to prevent your data from being compromised by:
- Changing your passwords regularly, at least once per quarter.
- Training your employees on the importance of security.
- Watching out for spam emails and deleting them without opening any attachments.
- Updating your software automatically to remain current in terms of current software and any urgent security patches.
- Installing a network firewall.
3. Reward Employees
Rewarding your staff for their hard work is an excellent way to increase employee engagement, job satisfaction, and to encourage them to do their best. Rewards don’t have to be expensive. If you’re on a budget, how about these ideas:
- Offer extra time off: This is a welcome reward, especially after a long project.
- Give a small present: A gift card to a coffee shop or a bouquet of fresh flowers expresses gratitude for a job well done.
- Thank employees publicly: It makes your workers feel appreciated and can improve loyalty to your organisation.
- Offer 15-minute massages: Hire a massage therapist to come to your workplace and give quick shoulder massages right there in the office.
4. Plan for Growth
While you may be operating comfortably now, preparing for growth sets you up for long-term success. You can grow your business by:
- Staying flexible: Watch the market closely and see what’s trending. Be prepared to change your strategy to adapt your product to the current and emerging market.
- Improving your customer service: When you exceed customer expectations, they are more likely to tell others about their positive experience with your business.
- Investing in your own education: An advanced degree can help you build business acumen, and doesn’t have to be expensive. Look for affordable schools with online courses that let you set your own schedule.
- Finding networking opportunities: Connecting with other small-business owners exposes you more to fresh ideas and perspectives.
With these suggestions running a small business doesn’t have to drain you or your resources. Why not use your time and budget wisely to set you up for greater success now and in the future.
Gloria Martinez: Gloria loves sharing her business expertise and hopes to inspire other women to start their own businesses and seek promotion in the workplace. She started WomenLed.org to celebrate the advancements women have made and inspire women to become entrepreneurs and seek promotions in the workplace.
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