A major problem that small products based businesses have is their inability to manage their business well. This interferes with their ability to make their business more competitive. While small business confidence is up this year, there are still some businesses that can find their growth being restricted because of bad management practices.
The interesting part here is that such businesses don‘t really have to do much to change things for the better. Their operations aren’t large and their small size provides them with a big benefit – flexibility. All they need to do is adopt smart business management strategies that can help streamline their business and see their profits go up.
Let’s take a look at some business management tips that will help you do just that.
1. Do Not Get Bogged Down Because of Size
There are small business owners who think their size is holding them back. This is erroneous thinking at its best.
So, the first step towards effectively managing your business is feeling confident about your size. The fact that there are larger businesses in your niche shouldn’t get you down.
Identify and play to your strengths.
One of the biggest advantages of a small sized business is the relative absence of hierarchy, which means decisions are taken fairly quickly. This means you can easily adapt to the changing market conditions and user needs.
For small products based businesses, it is easy to add a new product in their inventory or get rid of a product. In the cut throat world of business, where a truckload of products offering the same features/benefits vie for attention of the same target audience, there is a limited window of opportunity to make a profit. Small businesses can leverage this opportunity because their small size gives them immense maneuverability.
2. Institutionalize Use of Technology
Some small businesses are circumspect about driving their processes with the use of technology because they think it will increase their overheads. While this might have been the case in the not too distant past, things have changed now. Technology is now within reach of most businesses irrespective of their size. The emergence of cloud-based solutions means businesses can use the most advanced tech solutions available on the market without digging deep into their pockets.
One bottleneck that small products based businesses are unable to manage is their sales activities. In order to grow sales figures, it is necessary they are able to streamline their sales activities and at the same time keep on top of their business operations. At the same time they need to keep adding to their existing sales channels and make sure their back and front end operations are able to align themselves with these channels.
As a business owner, you must institutionalize the use of technology. It will help you take charge of your business and control it better. What’s more, such technology is now available for cheap, so why not optimize its potential?
3. Personalize Employee Motivation and Retention
When you are running a small business, you can personalize employee retention. You can invest your time and effort to get the best out of employees. A personalized effort always works wonders. If somebody has come up with an idea to improve sales figures, congratulate that person and make sure the person is rewarded for the effort. It’s a small business, so a small token of appreciation will do.
You might not be able to pay the kind of salaries or performance incentives that the larger companies offer, but if you thank your employees personally for their contribution, even a little ‘thank you’ goes a long way in motivating them to keep performing better.
The fact that you are running a small ship shouldn’t come in the way of your business being able to retain its employees. A small ship can actually be run tightly. You could think of your employees as a part of your larger family and ensure your employees are a tightly knit lot. Celebrate birthdays together, throw parties, go out on picnics, attend conferences; also do everything possible to show your employees you care about them and their needs. Again, this is a process that needs to be institutionalized. Irrespective of the growth of your business and subsequent increase in its size, personalizing employee motivation and retention is a best management practice.
4. Stay Hungry
Steve Jobs delivered the famous ‘stay hungry, stay foolish’ speech at Harvard University. It has plenty of learning for small businesses especially products based businesses. Small businesses cannot afford to stagnate. Your small business might be raking in the profits today, but if you stop trying to reinvent your product inventory to ensure it is able to meet the growing needs of your target market, you will find these sales will plateau soon enough and might even go down.
So, you must keep making an effort to reach out to a wider audience. We’ve already talked about using technology to streamline sales activities; well you can also use technology to reach out to a wider audience and trigger sales. Use channels like social media as an extra sales channel for your business. Also make sure to use inbound marketing strategies to attract more customers towards your business and the products and services it is selling.
A particular decision might turn out to be foolish in the long run, but a decision that looks foolish at first glance might go on to deliver sustainable results over the long term. The idea is to not get scared of trying out newer ways of generating sales. The day you stop exploring, that’s when the downfall will come.
These are not the only business management tips you need to keep in mind to ensure your small products business is able to rake in the big bucks. But, the four tips will definitely provide you a sense of direction in which you should take your business to fuel growth. What you will need to do is make sure you have an eye on the market, your competitors and also your target users. If you know what your competitors are doing and what your target users need, you will be better placed to have a competitive presence on the market.Tags: Business Management, Product Business