Every person in your operation is critical. You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘you’re only as strong as your weakest link.’ It’s especially true in business. One poor performer can have a significant negative impact on your entire organization. That’s why it’s critical to hire exceptional employees.
It’s vital for small businesses because many owners cannot afford to hire an unsuccessful employee, whereas big corporations can. It’s expensive to train and bring a new employee onboard.
According to some estimates, the total cost of onboarding can be up to three times the position’s salary, and it takes an average of 30 hours to find that person. With these challenges, it’s no wonder many owners try to take shortcuts and hire a quick fix—a person who often turns out to be wrong for the job.
If you’re planning on hiring somebody, you need to do it before it becomes necessary. You don’t want to be hiring staring down the barrel of a shotgun. It would help if you blocked off at least an hour a day to go through resumes and conduct phone screenings and do interviews. The other option is to hire an outside HR consultant who can find the right person for you.
The number one reason small businesses fail is that they don’t understand cash flow. Cash flow requires adequate planning and oversight. Owners need to keep track of incoming and outgoing cash. Surprisingly, most small businesses don’t know where their money is going. To help create basic financial reporting, you might consider using a program like QuickBooks, or even a simple spreadsheet is better than nothing. You should also create and examine a Profit & Losses statement. While it’s good to look in the past at sales reports, they don’t always predict future outcomes. Most businesses don’t look toward what is called Lead Measures. According to the book ‘4 Disciplines of Execution’, these are predictive and influential goals. For example, a Lead Measure goal could be looking at your inventory and keeping a particular bestselling item in stock.
Marketing is critical for any business, no matter how big or small. Your marketing decisions will become more pivotal as competition intensifies (And you thought that wasn’t possible). You’ll need a great brand strategy to ensure you can differentiate yourself from the other company that can do it for cheaper. We can’t emphasize this enough: you need to make it a priority. When you start your own business, there is no guidebook on promoting your business — not that it would do you any good with the constant changing in technology. Marketing is becoming more challenging to keep up with than ever before.
However, there are plenty of resources to help you. Many companies offer marketing training. Basic Bananas is one example of a great company that teaches you how to promote yourself. They have excellent one-day workshops to get you started.
It would be best if you also read trustworthy blogs. Many great online resources cater to your specific niche. Do a little digging and find out what they are.
You should also create a marketing plan that includes your target audience and measurable goals. If you can’t do it all yourself, hire a marketing company to handle your workflow. It’s a worthwhile investment. Do your research and find an agency that fits your budget understands your brand and helps you achieve those goals.
As a small business owner, you face many distinct challenges that large corporations don’t. You must be on top of your business. You must be agile. Otherwise, your competition will take your clients. Focus on your advantages and leverage them in ways that your competition can’t.
If there are any other small business problems you need assistance with, please give Kipling Media a call for a consultation today.