Running a small or medium sized company entails staying on top of an awful lot of things. Successful entrepreneurs who are able to create a profitable small business that’s greater than the sum of its parts must be efficient problem solvers. In this blurb, we’ll look at five of the biggest things that SME owners must stay on top of while managing their business.
1. Maintaining The Operations Structure Of Your SME – Think of your small business as a series of tasks. Hundreds or more of them, that must be completed efficiently and in the correct order. Making sure these “nuts and bolts” tasks are met on a day to day basis is what your operations strategy is all about. If operations are hap hazard and random, you’ll find more fires popping up and will probably need a longer time to extinguish them. A robust operations strategy will assign specific tasks and responsibilities to specific employees, and have some back up plan of action for each task to mitigate any unforeseen problems.
2. Digital & Traditional Marketing – It’s impossible to underestimate the importance of marketing in the wider picture of business survival and growth. Without a sustainable marketing budget, and a disciplined semblance in spending it, your business is unlikely to generate the sales it requires to meet its costs. Getting the marketing part of your business bang on is not only crucial, it’s quite challenging too. Traditional bricks and mortar marketing is often too cumbersome to measure, while digital marketing evolves at breakneck speeds. The proliferation of the internet into countless authority sites means that your already sparse SME marketing budget needs to be spread wafer thin over the online marketing promotion techniques that you believe will reach the most targeted prospects.
3. Long Term Planning (& Implementation) – A tight and prudent SME will always keep one eye on its business landscape. Longer term planning is important because it can help an SME leverage its business strengths and piggy back on market opportunities while watching business threats like a hawk. However, understanding the importance of planning and having the time to create detailed plans and executing them are two wholly distinct things. The ugly truth of entrepreneurship is that time is almost always scarce. It’s often why in most SME’s, the planning process isn’t always as good as it should be.
4. Keeping Accurate Accounting Records – Fewer things are more scary from a business perspective than being hauled in to HMRC just because your SME accounts are a bit of a joke. There are statutory minimums when it comes to creating your financial books. It’s important to get these right, not only because it can save you a spanking from HMRC but because your books can help you stay on top of the business evaluation process. Good, accurate bookkeeping can be the backbone of more detailed management styled accounts that can illustrate business strengths and weaknesses.
5. Cashflow & Financing – Can’t pay the bills without money. It’s the simple reason why a well controlled business will stay on top of its cashflow 24/7. Aside from ensuring that more money is coming in than going out, it’s a good idea to have back up financing plans in place – in the event you do come a cropper!
There are probably other aspects of your business that could make the list – however, controlling the above five facets of your business should help make sure you’re keeping an eye on the right things to protect and grow your company.