The art of running a small business…

Nobody ever said that setting up and running your own business would be easy. Fulfilling, exciting, terrifying; but easy? No.

First Steps

The first step in many ways is often easiest, setting a goal based on a vision for the business. If you have got to the point of deciding that you are going to make it happen then chances are you have a real dream, a drive to do well and an enthusiasm for the business you intend to set up. Obviously in the long term you want that business to be profitable, why wouldn’t you? But for that to happen your intent must be clear, focused and honest.

Now, it is unlikely that you are going to be a supernova overnight and if somethings worth doing, it is worth doing properly, and that takes time. Time, that thing that we never seem to have enough off, but that you are probably going to give every ounce of what you do have of it; to begin with at least.

There is no escaping the need for dedicating your time , but good management of it is key.
As tempting as it may be to do everything yourself , ultimately this can only result in burn out, and striking a balance between work and down time will make for much better results and a much happier you. Set aside time to concentrate on different elements of your business and if funds allow, ensure to enlist a good accountant who can deal with the monetary side of things as this is one area you do not want to make mistakes in.

Delegate

Delegate. It may be to start with that you need to take on most tasks alone, purely as you are unable to afford staff, however in the long run, good delegation of tasks will make for a much smoother course for your business. Work with people that share your passion but are willing to challenge you. You will cover much more ground if you share the load, leaving you to get on with effective delivery for your customers.

Hubspoke Marketing – Director Adam Walker says

“When I first started out I remember the feeling of having to plan and develop so much in order to establish my business. The first lesson I learnt was patience, allowing things to take the time they need to get up and running. The second lesson was delegation and collaboration, this can either be through your own team/staff or it can be working closely with other organisations who share a common interest and goal.
The final thing was one thing was doing the client work and the other was finding the client work, both important jobs, one secures your existing revenue and one secures your future revenue. Both elements need time and care.”

Focus

You need a focused marketing strategy, with a clear understanding of who you are trying to reach and set about the task of how best to do that. What are you offering your customers and why would they chose you? Its not all about self promotion though; its about networking, creating relationships, and engaging with people. You want customers to keep coming back and keep you in mind in-between!

Don’t ever forget the tides will change and you need to be able to evolve and grow in the same direction as your customers. Use all of the marketing tools at your disposal, social media platforms are your friend and can help you reach a varied audience in seconds.

Accept that you will win some and you will lose some, fairly and unfairly at times. Competition is rife in business but you need to celebrate your highs and learn from the lows. Take them as opportunities to learn and develop. Why didn’t you win that job this time? Constructive feedback can be just as useful as a great review. Work in cycles of continuous improvement in all elements of your business.