The balmy summer months are often referred to as ‘quiet’ months in the business world. But for small business owners there is hardly ever a ‘quiet’ moment, with long working hours and few breaks, no matter the weather.
We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy a stress free summer. So we’ve developed a series of guides to help small business owners work smarter and make the most of the coming months.
The second part of the series includes tips for getting the best results and having a smart summer:
Achieving Smart: Getting the right results
• Get the right results with solid project management – To ensure the successful delivery of any project (and that it stays within budget) make sure that all deliverables are mapped out prior to kick off. Plan the tasks, activities, roles and responsibilities in a clear and consistent method and communicate this with the relevant people. This will reduce the risk of things going wrong along the way and will give you peace of mind that everyone knows what they have to do and that it has been scheduled in.
• Automate process to eliminate error – It is important that small businesses focus on saving time, improving accuracy and removing any duplication of effort. Automating processes such as invoicing and payroll can allow small businesses to save resources, while also eliminating the risk of mistakes that are caused by human error.
• Access for all – Ensure that (where possible) vital business information such as financial accounts are easily accessible and can be updated by more than one person in the business, so an accurate picture is available of the business at any given time. This also allows the bookkeeper, business owner, the accountant, virtual financial director and anyone else in the company who needs to access the accounts, to update the information in their own time.
• Train to gain – Take a step back and ask yourself whether you have the right team in place with the right skills. Do you need to invest in additional training for certain individuals? Investing in training is good practice to ensure you and your business get the best of out of your team. Also remember that skills development does not only apply to your staff. You also need to invest in and develop your own personal business skills, such as good leadership, communication and organisational skills. Summer is perfect for some ‘me’ time and to get yourself up to speed with the skills that you may need to brush up on.
• Stop marketing your product and start selling your story – People are tired of always being on the receiving end of sales pitches. But real stories can help bring what your business does to life, and by telling customers how your product solves problems, you can develop a better relationship with them while selling your service. Most people understand better when things are put into context so make sure there is a human element to your marketing strategy for people to put a face or a voice to your brand.
• Keep your eye on ROI – Are you spending time with the right people, the right customers and are you carrying out the right actions? Your time is your most precious commodity, because time is money! Therefore this summer take a long hard look at how time is spent on and in the business and how you can increase that return on investment.
Missed the first series of top tips? Read them here!