If you’re running a business, it’s essential to manage your time, finances and staff efficiently.
These eight tips will help you improve control of these critical responsibilities to make the daily running of the business easier and, ultimately, more successful.
1. Keep personal and business finances separate
If you can’t afford to create a separate legal entity to protect your personal assets, the least you should do is open a business bank account.
You can keep track of the money going in and out of the business and make budgetary adjustments if necessary. Using your personal account for company transactions is never a good idea.
Business benefit: separation of your personal and business finances removes the risk of a costly muddle-up with SARS.
2. Select the appropriate funding option
Finding the funds required to operate a business is always a challenge. The trick is to choose the funding option that has the best equity trade-off or repayment terms.
Getting all the cash from an investor can seem like a great idea. However, if you hand over too much of your business and lose the majority stake, you may find yourself reporting to someone else.
Similarly, when you agree to unrealistically tight terms, there’s a greater chance of business failure.
Business benefit: a suitable funding option supports business growth without creating an unmanageable debt burden.
3. Don’t rush the hiring process
Take your time to build a capable and committed workforce. Hire people who are looking for a long-term career, exhibit a strong work ethic and align with the company’s values.
Business benefit: recruit the right people, get your business off to the best start and avoid the disruption and expense of firing and re-hiring staff.
4. Make staff training a priority
Well-trained employees are one of the greatest assets of any business. Regularly upskilling staff promotes competency and self-assurance. It also enhances loyalty and makes employees feel valued and empowered.
Business benefit: proper training cuts down on expensive employee errors and avoids a high staff turnover.
5. Don’t micromanage
Constantly looking over people’s shoulders suggests that you don’t have confidence in their abilities. So avoid the temptation to micromanage.
Instead, focus on making sure staff are motivated. Give them access to the support and training they need. Communicate openly and honestly. Then trust them to get their jobs done.
Business benefit: when you allow your staff to do what they’re hired to do, you have more time to do your work and grow the business.
6. Automate business processes
Technology has made it easier to automate the most time consuming and tedious aspects of running a company.
Software, apps and digital tools have the capabilities to handle most processes quickly and efficiently. This includes staff rotas, invoicing and payroll to scheduling meetings, tracking and analysing data, and setting up appointments.
Business benefit: automated business processes free up time and ensure operations are agile, professional and client-oriented.
7. Invest heavily in marketing
Without marketing, the most innovative product or service won’t get the exposure needed to make an impact on the intended market.
Research the market to find the platform that’s best suited to your business model – search engine optimised (SEO) online content, social media campaigns, Google ads, events, competitions and so on.
Business benefit: the odds of success are much higher when you invest in an appropriate marketing strategy from the start.
8. Leave time to deal with business emergencies
Leave two to three hours a day free to deal with unexpected issues that crop up. It’s easier to resolve problems when they have your undivided attention.
If there are no emergencies, use that time to catch up on tasks you’ve been putting off.
Business benefit: you can avoid working after hours when you allocate time during the day for problem resolution.
If you manage a business, you can improve control of your time, finances and staff by leasing fully serviced offices.
At The Workspace, we offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking at a fraction of the cost of traditional offices. All our members have access to meeting rooms, boardrooms and a range of business services.