It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re managing a small business, especially when you are starting out. Here are 8 strategies to simplify and make small business management easier.
Strategy #1 – Have a Mentor or a Business Coach
There is no reason why you should have to figure out everything by yourself. There are experts who have been where you are or are going, who can keep you from getting off track or going down the wrong path. My Fast Track Method™ training program includes coaching time with me during the first 12 months after completing the course. For areas I am not an expert in, I suggest you contact SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors and have assisted more than 11 million small business owners since 1964. You can find your local chapter on the SCORE website here.
Strategy #2 – Systemize Your Business
Document all your business processes and create a book or ebook of standard operating procedures. Documenting my procedures has helped me examine everything to make processes more efficient. A few processes and procedures to consider writing are:
- new client inquiry
- client intake
- organizing process
- onsite organizing session process
- virtual organizing session process
- client cancellations
- materials procurement and inventory
- client communications-email templates
- representing the company
- communicating with clients
- dress code
- time reporting
Strategy #3 – Automate
Save yourself time and sanity by automating everything you can. I use Acuity Scheduling to automate my client process, including signing my client agreement, paying for service, completing the needs assessment questionnaire, and scheduling sessions on my website in one single transaction. This has saved me a tremendous amount of time, and it looks incredibly organized to my clients! Here are 31 small business management automation tools.
Strategy #4 – Let Go of Control
Let go of control over things you’re not good at. For me, I’m not too fond of processing payroll and filing tax reports. However, for the first few years in business, I viewed hiring a payroll service as a waste of money because I could do all the work myself. I realized that I don’t enjoy filing payroll reports and making tax payments, and my time could be better spent building the business. Recently I moved to an online payroll service, Gusto. I quickly set up our company and employees, automated payroll runs, tax filings, and payments. Gusto can also handle employee benefits, time and attendance, hiring and onboarding, and more. Do what you’re the best at and lean on others, or find an automated way, to help you with things you don’t like to do.
Strategy #5 – Create and Stick to a Budget
You will know how many client hours you need to book to cover your overhead costs. It will also act as a guide to help your business grow! Many businesses see a budget as restrictive, but it is the opposite. It gives you enough understanding of your finances to know where you can improve and where you want to be in 12 months.
Strategy #6 – Keep On Top of Your Bookkeeping
At a minimum, schedule one day a month to catch up on all of your bookkeeping including, invoicing clients, depositing checks, balancing your checking account, and updating your financial software transactions. It can seem an impossible task if you put this off, but if you stay on top of your bookkeeping regularly, it will only take a small amount of time.
Strategy #7 – Set Goals and Evaluate Quarterly
The key to good small business management is evaluating your business progress at least every three months. A quarter is the right amount of time to determine what processes are not working. The worst thing you can do for your business is to continue implementing procedures that aren’t benefitting you. By enforcing a quarterly evaluation, you can avoid poor business decisions and the chance to grow in the right direction.
Strategy #8 – Declutter Your Business
This is a little bit like “physician heal thyself.” Let go of anything that isn’t helping your business be more productive and enjoyable. Whether that is a client who is draining you emotionally or physically or piles of old papers you don’t need to keep, let it go. Removing the unwanted emotional, physical, and mental clutter in your business will clear your mind to be more effective and productive in your life and business.”