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MANAGEMENT - the coordination and administration of tasks to achieve a goal. Such administration activities include setting the organization's strategy and coordinating the efforts of staff to accomplish these objectives through the application of available resources.
As the owner of a business, your definition of small business management includes the following steps for each activity which you manage, whether that is for the entire company, a division of the company, or a product or service line:
Plan - including identification of resources
Goals including KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators)
Accounting for results
You might already do some or all of these things, instinctively, but a well-run small business management includes being very aware of these steps, and all training will include communicating how each employee or supplier fits into this scheme.
The rest of the business of running a company is the application of this process to the following
list of small business management tips for owners.
62+ Small Business Management Tips for Owners - Tips For Business Owners That Will Help You Dominate Your Market in 2021
Full content: Tips for Business Owners
The first set of tips may seem to be related to your first start up. However, I would encourage you to use this template for any major new product, new territory, new division, new acquisition, and even as a way to take a 35,000-foot view of your current business, from time to time.
Most of the following small business management tips are linked to either a video or a written tutorial that describes the tip in detail including the steps needed to execute. A few are still under development and will be linked in the near future. In some cases, there will be additional outside resources suggested for further depth.
business management tips
Know yourself - In this video you will be given access to a number of resources that will help you to identify your personal strengths and weakness. The goal is to gain clarity about who you are and are not. No one can do everything, so it is very important to know what you need to hire done.
Be clear about your vision and mission - Elon Musk is the perfect example of an owner who has a clear vision and a well-defined and articulated mission. This video will dig into how you can follow his lead.
Put together a business plan including a SWOT analysis - In this video, you will be provided many tools and step-by-step methods for putting together a useful business plan.
Create clear strategies for each product, department, distribution channel, facility, asset, and marketing approach. A plan without a strategy is just a wish. In this video, you learn how to develop business strategies.
How to launch anything: business, location, product. You are ready to go. Now you want to give the new business or product a proper launch. It might be a grand opening or a trade show unveiling. In this video we look at methods and preparation for a new business launch.
Now that you have the basics in place and operational,
the small business management of all aspects of the business is key.
Great ideas, products, and opportunities have been tragically wasted due to sloppy management. Here are tips on managing a small business:
6. Hiring is such a critical part of business, and yet how many owners have ever taken a course, read a book, or even an article about hiring. Here is a tutorial and two videos that can provide a lot of guidance regarding hiring employees.
7. Onboarding and training employees: It costs real money to find and hire a recruit. The onboarding and training will either augment the potential from that investment or result in a big loss. Check out this tutorial on employee training.
8. Managing and motivating employees: Now it is time to benefit from the investment. How can you use best practices to maximize output and create a well-oiled machine? Here is a tutorial on managing employees and a video that can help you with motivating employees.
9. Retaining employees: Forty percent (40%) of your employees have considered quitting in the last year. The reasons are many. How can you create an environment where nobody wants to leave? Answers are in this article on employee retention.
10. Contract labor, gig workers, virtual assistants (VA’s): Much of what your employees do now may be able to be done much more efficiently by outsourcing. I personally use VA’s (virtual assistants) and gig workers for 100% of my staffing needs. One of our most popular articles covers virtual assistants and gig workers.
11. Legal issues regarding employees: There are many, many regulations, taxes, requirements, laws, and legal traps regarding employing people. How can you stay up with everything you need to know and do? Check out this article on employment legal issues. This video also looks at ways to protect yourself against employee legal issues.
12. Firing: Most owners hate to lay off or fire employees. However, there are ways to manage these events that reduce the emotional and financial impact. Here is a tutorial on terminating employees.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES OFFERED:
13. Product (Service) Development - Check out this article for a step-by-step approach to bring a new product or service into existence.
14. Packaging - Often the packaging is more important than the product with regard to how well the product sells. Start here for thoughts on packaging.
15. Cost and Pricing - Our most popular article. I never realized how many business owners are poorly equipped to figure out how to price their products to maximize profits. Also see the video on product pricing.
16. Sourcing - In small business management, finding raw materials, product suppliers, and other vendors is more important than finding customers. For most businesses there are millions of customers, but there might be only one or several good suppliers for some critical parts of the business. Here’s a tutorial on supply chain issues.
18. Distribution Channels - Your product or service may be useful in dozens or hundreds of different markets. You may be able to grow your company substantially through merely taking the same or similar product or service into these other channels. See the tutorial on distribution channels.
20. Promotional and Advertising Strategy - Later, we’ll look at the specific ways to advertise, but here, we’ll look at how to create an overall strategy. Subject under development.
21. Terms and Conditions - Terms and conditions related to shipping, payment, guarantees, chargebacks, and other aspects of the relationship between you and your customer are all part of your costs. Figuring out how to include these in your pricing structure is an important, often overlooked, project related to product development. Subject under development.
Accounting and Counting - All of these subjects are covered in Making Money Out of Thin Air. Some are also covered on this website or at Small Business Daily.
22. What to account for? - What you don’t count, you can’t manage. Some of the most obvious items follow.
23. Accounting for Sales - Total sales, sales by territory, sales by salesman, sales by customer, and by profit. You will want to be able to evaluate your sales, so that you can analyze results and make adjustments. See Making Money Out of Thin Air
24. Accounting for Cost of Goods Sold - If you don’t have a “real” cost of goods, then you can’t determine margin, which means you are not going to be able to develop a meaningful approach to profit in your small business management. See Making Money Out of Thin Air
25. Accounting for Variable Overhead - Sales commissions, advertising expense, and some other costs not included in cost of goods are variable. They change based on sales. How do you account for these? See Making Money Out of Thin Air
26. Accounting for Fixed Overhead - Rent, electricity, salaries unrelated to production, and other similar overhead costs do not vary with sales. How do you account for these? See Making Money Out of Thin Air
27. Accounting for Materials - You need to have inventory flowing through your company. You don’t want too much inventory or all of your profits will be in product, which is a “wasting” asset. You don’t want too little invenetory or you may not be able to fill orders. Inventory controls are very important to your bottom line. See Making Money Out of Thin Air
28. Accounting for Receivables - You need to be able to manage the “loans” that you’ve made to your customers. It is so easy to have these amounts get to 60 or 90 days. Sometimes customers never pay you. See Making Money Out of Thin Air
29. Accounting for Cash. Cash is always moving in from customers, lending lines, or capital and moving out to suppliers, employees, and taxes. Making sure you have enough to pay your obligations is a top-of-mind issue. See Making Money Out of Thin Air
30. Accounting for Purchasing, Shipping, Receiving - Companies can suffer significant losses due to errors or theft in the purchasing and shipping departments. Setting up safeguards is important. You also need to be buying everything, including shipping, at the same or better costs than your competitors, or they will have an advantage. Subject under development
31. Accounting for Profit - It is easy to think you're making money since there’s a bunch of it in the checking account. Or you might despair that you’re losing money since there’s no money to buy more goods. Being able to analyze a well-prepared profit and loss statement will help you know the truth. Covered in great detail in Making Money Out of Thin Air
32. Processes and Procedures - How do orders get entered? How do they move through to a delivery? How does the customer get billed? How do they pay? How does the money get into the checking account? How do raw materials get ordered? How are they received? How do they get paid for? How do employees get onboarded? On and on. Subject under development
33. Computer, Internet, and Phones - Who is in charge of purchasing, implementing, fixing, improving, and training on these devices. Subject under development
34. “Paper Flow” - It may not be on paper, any more, but how does information flow through the company to accomplish the business of the company? Subject under development
35. Customer Service (Customer Relationship Management CRM) -
Managing customer information has become a huge business of business. You may use Excel or you may have a sophisticated CRM app. Here is a tutorial on CRM’s.
36. Warehouse - If you buy and sell physical products, it is likely that you have or will need a warehouse. How is it set up? How do things move? Efficiency in this space has become a very hot topic in business. Subject under development
37. Security - If you have physical premises, you are likely to need or want security against theft or personal attack. See this tutorial and these videos on the subject.
38. Equipment - Purchasing, installing, maintaining, updating, and training on equipment is necessary for almost every business, even if it is just computers and printers. Subject under development.
39. Fixtures - Most retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, importers, and some services have a major investment in fixtures. These fixtures require at least some management. Subject under development
40. Insurance - You need various kinds of insurance relating to asset protection, employee benefits, and catastrophic events. There is a fine art to making sure you have the insurance you need and keeping the expense down. Finding great agents is part of this process. See the tutorial (I think)
41. Legal - We live in a litigious world, and you are very likely to be sued or threatened with lawsuits. Here is an article and a video you can watch for legal issues in business.
42. Entity - Should you have an LLC, a C Corp, maybe a Sub S, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship? Here is a video (day 86 with Dan Lopez) that will help you think about how to structure your business entity.
43. Local Rules, Licenses, Certificates - Government is everywhere, and they want you to abide by the rules and pay them. We have no plans for an article on this subject, as it would be a massive undertaking. Check with your local government, chamber of commerce, and your attorney.
44. Contracts, Intellectual Property, Other Agreements - I attended and graduated from UCLA Law School. I learned one thing. Never sue or be sued, as there is only one winner in every lawsuit, the attorney. Pay your attorney to help you with contracts, intellectual property and such. Here’s a video on business law issues.
45. Online Marketing - The vast majority of marketing is now done online, especially for small enterprises. Here is a good article and a good video to get you started thinking about your online marketing.
46. Website - You must have a website, and many small business owners don’t have one. Here is an article and a video that will supply you the basics about what is important for your website as a part of small business management.
47. Local - Google My Business - If you are a local business, you have many local business options for visibility and for advertising. Start with Google My Business. It is the most important real estate on the Internet for small, local businesses. We have an extensive list of articles and videos on Google My Business. Start with this article and this video.
48. YouTube - Video is already king and will only become more dominant in the future. Here is a video to get you started or help you become more successful with video in general and YouTube in particular.
49. Social Media - Social media represents a huge potential source of business and an endless learning curve to get to that business. Start with this video on social media marketing.
50. Email Blasting - Email blasting is still the #1 highest ROI of any business marketing approach. Here is the video to get you started with email blasting.
51. Reputation Management - Your company and your products are going to be subject to review. You want to manage those reviews, both the good and the bad. Here is a tutorial to help you with the basics of reputation management.
52. Traditional Marketing - For many companies, traditional marketing approaches are still a huge plus. Subject under development. Please see the following specific categories.
53. Print - Newspapers, mailers, trade magazines, brochures, and other printed materials are still a thing. Check out this article on print marketing.
54. Trade Shows - The trade show business is alive and well. It is possible that you should be showing in trade shows. Local shows are also very popular. Here’s an article on trade shows.
55. Outdoor - Billboards, bus benches, front lawn signs, vehicle wraps. The outdoor advertising opportunities are abundant. Here’s a primer on outdoor advertising.
56. Media - Radio and television continue to be a very substantial resource for advertisers. Here is a very basic article on traditional media.
57. Networking - If anything, networking is bigger than ever. You should be joining or participating in national, regional, and local events, chambers, business referral groups, service clubs, and other meet-ups. Here’s an article on networking.
58. Salespeople, Hiring, Training, Motivation - You might be the company’s main sales person, but at some point you need sales people. Maybe you hate selling, and your first hire should be a salesperson. Either way, here’s an article about hiring and managing sales personnel.
59. Sales Managers - Very famous saying: Don’t ever make your best salesperson your sales manager. You will likely end up with a so-so sales manager while losing your top producer. Here’s an article on sales managers.
60. Finance - Understanding the world of finance is a must. What do those with the money want from you before they will turn over some of that cash. Here’s a video about bankers and what they want from businesses before they will lend money.
61. Borrowing - Most companies borrow from their retirement fund, their credit cards, their mother, their uncle, and finally they need a bank or to sell stock. Check out this article about banking.
62. Equity Offerings - You may think you want a partner, a handful of partners or stockholders, an angel, a venture capitalist, or to go public. You may or may not know about crowdfunded equity opportunities. Here’s an article that walks you through the basics of equity offerings.
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