For a small business, getting the core job done often means neglecting important management tasks. Be sure that you are managing your business as effectively as possible given the limited resources of a start up. If you don’t see the forest for the trees, problems will pop up that could have been avoided with some preparation.
Here are some tips for managing your business as effectively as possible.
Are You Controlling Costs?
Investigate cost saving measures in all you do for your business. One of the newest ways to save money is by using a wholesale VoIP provider if your business has a high volume of phone calls.
Also look at group rates through trade associations for phone, health or liability insurance, and car rentals. Many groups are able to negotiate lower rates for their members and use it as a perk of membership.
Do You Include Financial Planning?
It’s easy to lose track of costs when you’re trying to balance your own profitability against finding and retaining customers.
First of all, use a solid financial software program like QuickBooks instead of a simple accounting package. Getting reports on profit and loss as well as cash flow will help you better manage your business. Financial software programs will also help you prepare documents you need for your bank such as line of credit applications.
How’s Your Tax Planning?
Don’t forget to take full advantage of IRS deductions for businesses. These often require planning ahead so that you purchase strategically throughout the year. Review home office deductions, estimated tax payments, and incentives with your accountant on a regular basis. The savings will be impressive when April 15th rolls around.
Do You Take Advantage of Support Groups?
A challenge for small business owners is feeling isolated without colleagues from an office setting. A group of like-minded people can help you see you’re not alone facing business problems and often are set up to foster innovative solutions. These include the local Chamber of Commerce, but also there are organizations targeted to a particular industry or demographic. Women often form local groups to support each other’s businesses. As an added plus, potential customers often come from these types of professional affiliations.
Do You Tap into Social Media?
Stay on top of social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. Twitter in particular is a quick and easy tool to reach reporters, potential customers, and colleagues.
Social media is just that, social, and not a billboard or print ad. Interaction is key, and it’s far easier to meet people from the comfort of your office than running around to networking meetings.
A good rule of thumb in social media posting is 90% interaction and 10% posts about your business offerings or special sales. And by interaction, it doesn’t mean asking what your cyberspace friends had for lunch. If you see someone post something interesting, reach out and comment on the post, or better yet, ask a question about it. A question will get a dialogue going, hopefully one that will naturally circle back to your products and services.
Positive answers to these few questions can help you access how well you are managing your business. Whether you simply integrate VoIP or add some Tweets to your daily routine, these changes can guide you toward more effective procedures for the health of your company.
Sarah Boisvert is a business writer who has extensive experience in marketing, public relations, and sales. She also covers topics in manufacturing such as 3D Printing and digital fabrication.