small business

10 Timeless Small Business Management Tips to Manage Your Business Effectively

A smiling small business manager

Launching a small business takes enormous courage, but managing it well takes enormous willpower. The weight of responsibilities on your shoulders can get overwhelming. But those who master the art of management, emerge on the other side, victorious. 

So what is the secret to managing a small business successfully? Well, we defer to former U.S. Defense Secretary Colin Powell’s words, 

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

So how do you chart your path and steer your business towards success? Well, reading this blog can be a good start! Our blog contains tips to help you prepare and run your small business effectively. 

Each tip is listed below, feel free to click on any of them and start reading: 

Keep on keeping on

  1. Set your goals
  2. Revisit your business model
  3. Implement standardized workflows
  4. Automate your operations
  5. Training your employees
  6. Boost workplace communication
  7. Avoid multitasking
  8. Improve team productivity
  9. Delegate tasks
  10. Start networking

Let’s dive right into these effective small business management tips!

1. Set your goals

Vision is everything when it comes to the world of business. The greats attribute their success to setting achievable goals and developing a clear roadmap to achieve them. 

When it comes to setting goals for your small business, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

Firstly, consider what you want to achieve business-wise and accordingly, set quantifiable goals [and commit to achieving them!].  

Next, set SMART [specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound] goals and write them down. This turns them into tangible steps, that you can cross off as you go (and get that oh-so-satisfying feeling of accomplishment!). 

Make sure you revisit these goals periodically to stay on top of your progress and setbacks. You can also track a few business metrics such as the number of customers served, quarterly revenue, or any other metric relevant to your particular stream of work. 

2. Revisit your business model 

A business model is essentially the company’s plan to earn profits. If you are just starting out, you can use the following steps to create a business model from scratch. 

If you have been managing your own business for a while, you already know what the real-world scenario looks like for it. Just answer the questions and look for ways to optimize your cash flow.

  • How will my product or service benefit the customers?
  • How will I generate revenue?
  • What does my ideal customer look like?
  • What are the costs associated with running the business?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can visualize your estimated expense and determine a budget for the same. Look at the detailed table in front of you and try to gauge if any of your expenses can be cut down. 

For example, if you feel that your stocked products are in excess of their use, you can always cut back on your next order and free up some cash.

Next, chart your projected expenses for the next few years to determine your estimated profits. This gives you an idea of your business’s financial health and unlocks long-term value. 

3. Implement standardized workflows

How to manage a small business so it runs smoothly, you ask? Well, by introducing workflows in each of your departments!

Just as factories create production lines to speed up their operations, your business can improve efficiency and ROI if your workflows are standardized. 

Ensuring that the same people do the same tasks day in and day out helps them achieve greater outputs in a dynamic business environment. 

But don’t forget to enable your employees to be adaptable! After all, in a small business, each person wears multiple hats, and being flexible is the key to avoiding chaos. Trust us, the result will be a greater amount of control over your daily operations. 

4. Automate your operations

Automated small business operations on a laptop

Changing times means changing technology. As people say – “These days, there is an app for everything!” Now your job here is to explore the tech available to find something that works for you and reduces your manual work. 

A great advancement in the field of automation is software for small business management. A scheduling software such as Appointy can reduce your admin workload and free up your time, so you can focus on doing what you love. You can:

  • Let your customers choose a booking time at their convenience
  • Automate your working calendar
  • Send email and SMS reminders

That’s not all! Explore more Appointy features here.

5. Training your employees

While employee training may never make it to the urgent and important list, it surely is a pressing task. You have selected your new hires after careful consideration, and brought them into your team. But if you don’t set them up for success by properly onboarding them, they may not achieve their full potential. 

Help the new employees settle into their new roles in the business. You can ensure maximum results by-

  • Clearly highlighting their roles and responsibilities in their department [in an orientation session if possible]
  • Assigning a mentor that they can freely reach out to in case of any doubts 
  • Making sure they take charge of their individual schedules and prioritize working hours

6. Boost workplace communication

Misunderstandings happen in any workplace. A task might not have been delivered the expected way, or perhaps a deadline provided must have been misheard. The only way to avoid such scenarios is by improving communication within your team. 

These are a few ways to communicate effectively at work:

  • Create templates for common documents (e.g. a report) or emails.
  • Ensure your employees are able to discuss their thoughts and opinions with you easily.
  • Make an effort to check in with the team regularly. It could be via weekly team syncs or individual meetings. 

And lastly, let your team know your doors are always open to help! 

Team sync to improve small business management & communication

7. Avoid multitasking

Multiple studies have confirmed that true multitasking — doing more than one task simultaneously — is a myth. And hence, single-tasking should be encouraged

Mind you, we’re not talking about managing multiple tasks while at work, which every worker should be able to do (aka prioritization, which we will talk about in the next point). We are referring to the ‘sitting down and doing actual tasks’ part of the job. 

In the workplace, let workers know that single-tasking is preferred. If anyone is struggling with managing their time between multiple tasks, don’t hesitate to help them prioritize.

8. Improve team productivity

This might be among the most important management tips for a small business. Finding ways to squeeze the most work out of a day is a primary aim for all managers and owners. Here are a few proven ways that may help – 

A. Prioritize the tasks at hand

As a small business owner, we’re sure you wear many hats and juggle multiple roles. With numerous tasks at hand, how do you make sure you’re doing the most productive work? 

The answer is simple – by following the urgent-important matrix.

Urgent important matrix to improve team productivity

Sort your tasks into your own matrix as per the image above. For reference, 

  • A quarterly report that you have to complete goes in (2) Important, not urgent
  • Whereas a call by the end of the day, finalizing an order with your vendor is sorted into (1) Urgent and Important

Now all you have to do is complete the work from matrix 1 first, followed by 2, and so on. Sounds simple, right?

B. Take regular breaks

Now, this may seem counterproductive when the goal is to complete the maximum possible work in the day, but trust us when we say it works

Our mind is not designed to work 24/7 (our respect to those who do). Regularly scheduled breaks, let’s say one 10 min break every hour, can help unwind it, and ultimately, improve the quality of work, and even the speed. 

C. Set aside “me-time”

This tip is especially for all the business owners and managers out there! When running a small business, it is easy to lose the hours of the day solving crisis situations throughout the day. 

To get some work done yourself, you need to start setting aside uninterrupted time blocks in your day, where you are just focused on churning out productive work. 

Don’t miss: 8 Time Management tools that can help you speed up your workflow!

9. Delegate tasks

As the manager in charge of the business, your time is very valuable. You need to choose what you do with it wisely. And so a pro tip here would be to delegate the mundane or “not-so-important” tasks whenever possible. 

This will free up more hours in your day so that you can focus on more pressing tasks that require your attention.

10. Start networking

An important part of the entrepreneurial world is networking. Forging valuable connections often leads to hitherto unknown opportunities and gives your business a chance to expand. Not only this, but such communities also provide guidance to the newer startups in the industry. 

Being part of such associations can help you find the right way for your business or even find you a mentor who has trodden the path before. A few such communities to follow are Small Business Development Centers and StartupNation.  

Keep on keeping on 

Launching and running a business is no mean feat. It is full of challenges and opportunities, each one unique. And hence the most important tip we can give you is to keep an open mind and be relentless in face of each problem. 

We hope our blog on small business management tips helps you grow and run your business well. As Michael Caine said in Interstellar, “Do not go gentle into that good night…” we urge you to be ruthless in face of your adversities.

All the very best! 😊

About Appointy

We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day. 

If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below. 

We love a good talk!