Running your own business is a lot of work—no questions asked. When you run a successful small business, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes: late night inventory counts, early morning deliveries, payroll, staff management, and seemingly never-ending amounts of paperwork.
Sure, being a business owner is not an impossible job. With 32.5 million small businesses in the US, lots of people run small businesses. But that doesn’t mean it’s not grueling, time consuming, and sometimes frustrating and isolating.
And let’s not forget, there’s a difference between being a small business owner and running a successful small business. One in five small business owners are not sure they can fully recover from the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic, so we’re here to make sure you have the tools and resources you need.
Whether you’re a veteran entrepreneur or are wondering how to start a small business, there’s likely a few things you could learn to make you a better business owner down the road.
Lots of small businesses fail—we don’t need to tell you that—so how do successful entrepreneurs succeed in business?
1. Focus on the Big Picture
Every business owner wears a lot of hats, but none more so than the small business owner who is personally responsible for at least 4.2 different roles within their organization. The most successful small business owners can complete day-to-day tasks while focusing on long-term goals.
Whether that’s remembering to keep track of food waste costs while still perfecting your new dish, or remembering to file payroll while designing the latest fashion—keeping the big picture top of mind while meeting short-term objectives will keep your business moving forward.
2. Stay Budget-Minded
The most successful entrepreneurs are financially savvy and forward-thinking with their budgets. In 2021, only about half of small businesses had a budget—just 54 percent.
It may seem rudimentary, but making a budget, and sticking to it is one of the easiest ways to help your business succeed. It gives you a starting point to measure success, performance, and profit gain.
Once you begin tracking your finances, ensure to save an appropriate amount for taxes and establish an optimal business structure for liability. The most successful business owners pay themselves a salary from business earnings. Every step you take towards monitoring your business’s finances will keep you in tune with potential financial problems—before it’s too late.
3. Delegate and Trust Employees
There’s a lot you can do as a business owner—but you can’t do everything. Building a team that you trust and can delegate to is crucial to running a successful small business. A recent study found that business owners who successfully delegated work saw a 112 percent higher three-year return rate as opposed to those who didn’t.
As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to relinquish total control over the business you worked hard to build but an important step in growing your business is expanding your team. Small businesses create 1.5 million new jobs each year, but make sure you’re landing the right employees who will positively impact your business.
Hire people who can think on their own, have the right skill set to help grow your business, and can comfortably manage day-to-day tasks without needing to be supervised or micro-managed.
4. Build Your Network
No matter how niche your business is, you must find a network. Networking is a great way to generate new business and grow your business’s audience. Whether it’s your food services contact, accountant, or another small business owner in your area, increasing the number of people who have a stake in your business will not only positively impact your bottom line, but will allow you to stay up to date on emerging trends, money-saving techniques, and other tips.
Check to see if your community has a local business association, a local chamber of commerce, or an industry-specific organization to help you stay involved in the local business community.
5. Get Savvy About Online Marketing Efforts
Just because you have your brick and mortar up and running doesn’t mean your business can’t keep expanding. One of the easiest and cheapest ways for independent business owners to market and grow their business is by building an online presence—whether through social media, a website, or other online marketing avenues.
Studies show that 70-80 percent of people research a company online before visiting the business or making a purchase with them, so it’s important for your business to be accurately represented online. Don’t rely on third parties to provide accurate information about your business—create a professional looking website that describes what your business does, how to contact you, and if possible—start selling online.
With or without a robust website, you can grow your business with social media. 75 percent of small business owners say that social media has increased traffic—if your business isn’t on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, join today. Your social media pages don’t need to be groundbreaking, simply keep your audience connected with your business by sharing updates, news, promotions, and specials.
6. Invest in Operational Technology
30 percent of small business owners say that keeping up with technology advances is a major concern. But when there are so many different tools available, it can be overwhelming to identify the right business services software.
Understanding which technology will benefit your current and future business needs—like inventory management for restaurants, or HR policy for growing small businesses—will help you streamline your business operations and save money.
It can be tough to stay up to speed on all the changing and emerging technology trends, but you don’t need to jump to adopt every new technology you hear about. Savvy business owners find ways to integrate new technology and enhance their current processes by adding a few simple features to existing equipment and software.
From building an online store to upgrading your POS system, rolling out new technology shouldn’t be stressful or difficult. Ensure you are working with a company you can trust to be there for you and continually optimize to meet your business needs.
7. Remain Passionate About Your Business
The past two years have been exceptionally challenging for small business owners. The one thing business owners have total control over is how much they care about their business. No matter how grueling the work may be, the very best business owners stay passionate and excited about what they do.
When a business owner is enthusiastic and driven about their entrepreneurial endeavors, it permeates to the entire organization, creating a more welcoming and positive environment for both customers and staff. Entrepreneurs who convey passion for their business have more income, sales revenue, and growth in sales and earnings compared with entrepreneurs who are less passionate.
For more business tips and information from Beyond Payments, visit www.getbeyond.com.