Running a small business can become very tedious very quickly, especially if you don’t have all the funds you need to hire an expansive staff and get all the equipment to make your work more convenient. Many entrepreneurs have made massive success from their small businesses though, turning them from tiny endeavours to corporations spanning countries and continents.
You can too, if you find the right combination of innovation, hard work and luck. To that end, I asked some business leaders for their best success tips. Here are 11 of the most actionable tips that can help you manage your business properly and set yourself up for great success.
1. Get Legal Advice as Soon As Possible
“Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of trying to go it themselves when it comes to contracts and other legal activities. Many times, it results in serious issues that could even sink the company under legal liability. For instance, signing a contract with an employee or a supplier might seem like a routine, innocuous thing until issues arise and you realize that there were clauses in the contract that could be used against you.” - Jesse CdeBaca, CEO of Kingdom Countertops and Cabinetry.
2. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
“There’s the popular saying that “if you want something done right, then do it yourself”, but that mindset will only set you up for stress and frustration. You can’t do everything necessary by yourself, and if you attempt to take on too much, you’ll just end up doing a shoddy job with everything. Instead, identify what the essential tasks are and designate members of your team to handle each aspect. That way, you’ll only have to supervise and keep things on track across board. If necessary, you can still step in to troubleshoot once in a while but if you’ve hired the right people and are delegating appropriately, you won’t need to do that much.” - Julian Webb, Marketing Coordinator of Experience Ibogaine.
3. Hire Right
“Talking about hiring, one good way to ensure that your team is maximally effective is to hire only based on real needs in your company. There’s always the temptation to bring more people into the team when they are close friends or recommended by someone close. Regardless of any personal relationship, the basis of bringing someone into your team should be that they have specific skills they can bring to the table which would are essential to the company’s strategy.” - Todd Tinker, Owner of The Tinker Law Firm.
4. Outsource All You Can
“Outsourcing is a good way to keep staffing costs low while getting top-notch quality. Working with freelancers will help you access a global pool of talent that is not limited by the proximity to your office space, and you’ll likely pay much less. Evaluate all the work you do and what your staff do, then consider if it would be more cost-effective to outsource. It’s an especially good idea for tasks that are not continuous, such as writing or graphics.” - Michael Tario, Owner of Tario & Associates.
5. Keep Fit
“The effects of your physical health on your business cannot be overstated. If you’re healthy and feeling good, you’ll be able to accomplish much more than if you were stressed and sick. Even 30 minutes three or four times a week would go a long way, and you’ll begin to see the effects almost immediately in terms of increased focus and stamina. You can use gadgets like Fitbit as well as various apps stay on track.” - Valerie Wang, President of Makai HR.
6. Continue to Learn
“There’s a lot of the information on the internet, and tons more are being added every minute. That means there’s more opportunity to learn, but it also means that it’s easy to get distracted. To succeed in any industry, you’ll need to carefully curate a collection of news sources where you’ll be able to get up-to-date information about best practices, new innovations and government regulations. Apart from helping you run your business even better, you’ll be able to identify trends that could show you where to target your strategy.” - Scott Rabe, Owner of Accel.
7. Get a Mentor
“Many people benefit from the added motivation that comes with having a mentor who is regularly checking up to see how you’re doing and if you’re keeping to your strategy. Even if you’re fully self-motivated though, a mentor can be very beneficial to your business success in other ways. With a mentor, you’ll be able to draw from their wealth of experience when making crucial business decisions. Since they’ve been in the same position as you currently are, their advice would be much more practical and likely help you in avoiding many mistakes that you would ordinarily have made on your own.” - Cody Peterson, Owner of City Seamless.
8. Promote More Efficient Communication and Collaboration
“Emails have been the standard means of communication in business for a long time now. So long, actually, that it has become difficult to change that and adapt to using more efficient means of communication. To maximize your collaboration, make use of tools like Trello and Slack to plan and work on ideas in real-time, share files instantly and automate your workflow. You’ll be able to deliberate and reach conclusions on crucial issues much more quickly than if you had to make use of an email chain.” - Keith Heffernan, CFO of Kinona.
9. Automate Social Media
“An active social media presence is non-negotiable nowadays, considering how a lot of interactions on those platforms eventually turn into business deals sooner or later. The problem a lot of business people face is that it takes a lot of time to be consistent with posts. The solution to this is to make use of one of the various social media automation apps available to schedule content for a period and then engage directly when time allows.” - Michael Washburn, President of High Purity Northwest.
10. Set SMART Goals
“SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant , and Time-Bound. Set goals that meet these criteria and then break them down to smaller chunks that you’ll tackle over the course of a day, week or month. It’ll be easier to visualize your strategy that way, especially if you set KPIs that cut across various sectors to enable you to grow personally and professionally.” - Rob Richardson, President of Newcastle Training.
11. Monitor and Track Everything
“The only way to know if you’re on track to accomplish the goals you’ve set is to track your progress and see if you’re hitting the KPIs you’ve set. If your business is based on the internet, then use Google Analytics to track your web traffic and see if you need to shift your marketing focus. Track everything else too, from social media engagement to conversion rates across various channels, then set some time aside to study all the data and try to find patterns in them. The insights you draw could be pivotal to your most important business decisions.” - Andrew Hedreen, CEO of Strasser Woodenworks.