While you may think running a business is complicated, it can be easier and more streamlined if you have a solid plan. The simpler you keep it, the more you can focus on your company’s success.
The Essential Factors for Running Your Business
Regardless of your business’s industry, you can whittle down the key focus areas. Doing so can guide you towards success. These elements include the following:
- Creating and following a business plan
- Having a human resources team or specialist
- Keeping accounting and bookkeeping up to date
- Honing your entrepreneurial mindset
- Marketing your products, services, and brand
- Paying attention to customer relationship management
- Adequately financing the business for startup and growth
Creating and Following a Business Plan
All businesses need a plan. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should outline several key points regarding its process for startup and growth. Your business plan is like a roadmap that can also guide you toward making the best decisions in your day-to-day operations.
Many business owners wait until they need financing to create a business plan. But business experts recommend you have a plan from the beginning. There are many ways a step-by-step business plan can help, such as:
- Outlining the big picture
- Narrowing down your target customers
- Analyzing your competition
- Conducting marketing research
- Marketing your products or services effectively
- Showing how much capital is needed and what the money is for
After you have completed your business plan, review it regularly to ensure it is up to date. That way, you and your team can continue focusing on your mission while making any necessary revisions.
A solid business plan can save you money, as well, by allowing you to determine whether new product ideas make sense or if you should scrap them before investing too much in an unneeded offering.
Having a Human Resources Team or Specialist
Your business should also have a human resources team or specialist. Many small business owners feel their companies are not large enough to warrant a human resources area. But that is not the case.
Human Resources can cover several important areas, such as:
- Employee benefits
- Attracting top talent
- Managing employee problems
- Hiring and firing
A Human Resources department or specialist can also ensure that your company builds a diverse workforce. This can benefit the business in many ways because your employees may have different talents and skills.
Studies show that having a diverse employee team can:
- Improve employee morale
- Attract quality talent
- Strengthen employee loyalty
- Foster a sense of community
- Boost public relations
- Generate higher profits
Keep Accounting and Bookkeeping Up to Date
Accounting and bookkeeping are critical components of running your business. If you know your profit and expense figures, you will be in a better position to make important decisions, such as how much inventory to purchase, how much you can afford for office or warehouse space, and what to spend on hiring additional employees.
Many business owners track cash flow monthly. This can give you a good idea of your company’s operating income and expenses. Consider getting a cash flow calculator, which can help you get a complete picture of all the monetary figures like taxes, insurance, depreciation, and maintenance costs.
Experts recommend hiring an experienced accountant or CPA who specializes in business taxes. They can help to ensure that you claim all the business tax deductions and credits you’re entitled to while also keeping everything transparent for the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). You must research several CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) before you hire one. This can help you find a professional well-suited to your company’s specific needs and goals.
Honing Your Entrepreneurial Mindset
Being a business owner isn’t suitable for everyone. Some people prefer to be an employee and not take risks. But successful entrepreneurs are often more comfortable with potential failure and see it as a learning experience.
A mission statement is one helpful tool that can help you to stay motivated as a business owner. This should reflect your company’s greater purpose and vision. It can also help if you hire employees who fit in well with your business’s culture and are happy about working towards its objectives.
Marketing Your Products, Services, and Brand
A solid marketing plan can help your business acquire the right customers. Your marketing should “speak” to the customers that you hope to attract. You can broadcast your message from a variety of different sources, such as:
- Paid advertising (television, radio, print ads)
- Social media
The Internet offers a wide range of advertising alternatives, including content marketing, videos, webinars (i.e., online seminars), and one-on-one video conferencing.
Paying Attention to Customer Relationship Management
Managing customer relationships is another key factor in starting and growing a business. Once you have a customer base, you don’t want to lose them. There are many ways to show your customers you care. These can include:
- Giving gifts, discounts, or coupons
- Sending emails
- Offering bonuses if they refer a new customer to you
- Asking them for feedback
Adequately Financing the Business for Startup and Growth
In most cases, business owners need capital when starting, growing, and operating a company. This can come from various sources, such as:
- The owner’s personal savings
- Loans from family and friends
- Bank loans
- Small Business Administration (SBA) loans
- Angel investors
- Venture capitalists
Before you take on any business debt, determine your ability to repay it. In addition, read the “fine print” on any loan or financing deal you are considering.
Is Your New Business Running Seamlessly?
There are many elements required to operate a successful business. But it can be easier if you have a sound system for money management, customer acquisition and service, and hiring employees. It can also help when you know the professionals and resources you can contact if you need assistance.