Running A Small Business
If you run a small business, you’re no stranger to the various stresses, responsibilities and tasks that pile up every day, day in and day out. While you’ve probably got a fine-tuned system whereby you manage your everyday responsibilities, it can be stressful and time consuming to keep up with everything on your own or with a very small team of employees. You may be wondering how you can streamline your business practices and utilize your time and tasks more efficiently, but in an affordable way.
Luckily, there are many tried-and-true tips for how to make your small business more efficient and productive without breaking the bank, things that successful small business owners all over have been using with great results. We’ve listed out a few ideas below:
Utilize Social Media
While we’re all plugged in pretty much 24/7, there are many businesses that don’t consider themselves the right type of “candidate” for a social media presence. But you’d be wrong!
Pretty much any business, no matter the industry, product or service, can greatly grow their client base and brand loyalty by using social media.
There are so many options available and different approaches to take, whether you just have a splashy LinkedIn Profile, run giveaways and contests on Facebook, or simply advertise your product with high-quality photos on Instagram.
Most social media sites offer promotion packages, sponsored posts, and more. Engaging with your customers and clients this way will ensure that your brand gets seen, and that those who want to give you their business don’t forget about you.
Creating a Google Business Account and having an online presence in other areas, beyond social media, is also a necessity. You want to show up in searches, to be accessible on sites like Yelp or Angie’s List, and have relevant information come up with customers search for you.
If using social media just isn’t your bag, even a well-designed website and/or app, or an email marketing campaign can go a long way. Try something and see if it sticks!
Hiring Out and Delegating
Many companies make the mistake of trying to take on every single task on their own, or delegating duties to a small team that simply can’t handle the workload. You may get everything done, but at the end of the day, the quality of the work suffers because you’ve got too many irons in the fire.
While you may not have the budget for hiring lots of new employees, you might be able to delegate or hire out certain facets of work to professionals who can assist you off-site. Many of these freelancers/sub-contractors/companies offer professional services for affordable prices.
Whether you’re interested in hiring out for HR and payroll, utilizing managed IT services, hiring a graphic design superstar, a marketing firm, or all of the above, you can find amazing professionals who will do amazing work for you for cheaper than you think. You’ll be pleased with the results you get and the time that is freed up for you to focus your energies elsewhere.
PR and Advertising
As we said above, hiring a PR/marketing whiz to handle your advertising and promotions is a great idea if you can find it in the budget. But there are also ways you can handle your own PR without taking up too much of your own time or money.
The aforementioned social media is a good bet, as are email lists/campaigns, but you should also be looking for cheap-or-free marketing opportunities both locally and nationally. Magazine ads, website ads and other similar marketing tactics still go a long way, but think outside the box.
- What about cross-promotions?
- Could you appear on a podcast to discuss your brand, or write a guest article for a local newspaper or magazine?
- Could you take part in a local business event of some sort?
- What about sponsoring other local businesses when they participate in charity events or fundraisers?
Businesses these days are even working together to create unique products that highlight both of their brands equally (think a local coffeeshop pairing with a local graphic design company to create a one-of-a-kind blend with a collectible tin, or a local restaurant pairing with a charity to donate proceeds of an aptly-named sandwich to said charity?).
Getting creative with PR and marketing, especially at the local level, is a game changer for small business.
When in doubt, of course, good old fashioned advertising is still very much in style.
Invest in Your Employees
We know that small business owners and startups don’t have tons of cash to sink into cushy perks and benefits for their employees. In some cases, you may not even have enough employees to qualify for certain group benefits and incentives.
That doesn’t mean you should neglect your employees, however.
Striving to take good care of your employees, especially in times of economic uncertainty, creates the kind of loyalty that will pay off in dividends down the line. It will build your reputation as not only a company that provides great goods and services, but one that treats their employees well. People remember that sort of thing and spend their money accordingly.
Making sure your employees are happy, provided with safe and useful equipment to do their jobs, are paid a decent wage, are treated with respect at work, given adequate breaks, sick leave and other forms of leave, and are offered some type of insurance are all good ways to ensure that your employees are happy and healthy.
Employees that feel they are treated well are scientifically proven to be better, more productive employees. So it pays off in more ways than one to be good to your staff.
These are just a few ideas you can utilize to grow your small business and ensure that your company runs smoothly and productively, while on a budget. Businesses face a lot of stress and uncertainty, especially in their first year, but if you take care of your employees, find creative and affordable ways to market yourself, delegate tasks when able, and hire professional services when you can, you’ll see your small business grow into something that is successful and sustainable.
© New To HR