6 Ways to Become a More Efficient Small Business Manager
When you run your own business, efficiencies ensure improved productivity and profitability. But how do you work efficiently, while still producing quality products and providing excellent customer service? Prioritize, automate, delegate, and always innovate.
1. Follow a Business Plan
A well-developed business plan gives you a roadmap to where you want to go and how you might get there. It helps you understand the market, your competitors, your target audience, and what makes your products and services truly unique. It also helps you keep track of your business’s financial health. With a business plan as your guide, you can stay better focused on your overall goals and the strategies that will get you there by the most efficient means.
2. Prioritize Business Responsibilities
Your attention can be pulled in many different directions during the course of a day or week. Whether you keep a notebook or a list on your phone or computer, you’ll need to track your to-dos and prioritize in order of importance. As tempted as you may be to place the easy or fun tasks first, make sure to think of the health of your business. For example, products need to be ordered when they’re in demand. Bills need to be paid on time or you will end up with service charges and a bad credit rating. And you need to prioritize tasks by the net revenue they generate at the most affordable spend. Prioritizing will also ensure that the most important tasks are already done when unseen events occur.
3. Automate Your Small Business
Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Keeping records by hand or entering data on spreadsheets is a waste of your valuable time and attention. As just one example, if you invest in a point-of-sale system (POS) that records your customers’ purchases and contact information, you will have all the data you need to personalize future marketing programs, provide optimal service at each visit, and track your inventory. You can provide better service more quickly. There is software available for just about any type of business, and consultants can help you choose the right one.
4. Delegate Some of Your Business Responsibilities
One of the best ways to free up your time to focus on the big picture is to delegate whenever possible. Determine who might be the best qualified to take a few items off your plate. Maybe you have an assistant who’s a rock star at social media. If you can trust them with your brand, let them take on the job of community manager. Instead of plugging in payroll numbers and generating your own checks and tax forms, consider a payroll service. And if money is tight as it often is, look for affordable—even free—help. Local colleges are always looking for companies to place students for internships. The student will get college credit, and you can assign them tasks that will help you out while giving them real world experience. Another possibility is SCORE, where you can receive free business advice and mentoring from retired executives, either in person or online.
5. Collaborate with Other Small Businesses
There are many other small business owners who are experiencing the same issues that you face every day. Consider joining a local professional organization where you can network and learn from one another. You could even team up with small businesses in your area or with similar services to yours and create joint marketing events. For example, if you run a hair salon, reach out to that local vendor selling organic cosmetics and create a joint venture. Another tactic for your up-and-coming salon might to be offer free services to influencers in exchange for a highlight on their blog or vlog.
6. Always Innovate in Your Business
It’s tough to be an expert at everything when running your own business. But it’s important to stay up to date with what’s happening in your industry. Taking some classes online can also help to fill in any knowledge gaps. If you want to learn how to be a more efficient small business manager, consider a well-rounded business program that provides foundational instruction and real-world examples of how to do things right.
At National American University, we offer an Associate degree in Small Business Management that will give you the skills you need to become a successful small business manager. Do you already have some experience or a certificate in a business field? You may be able to transfer those credits to your degree program so you can start ahead. Call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor or fill out the form to request more information.