As a small business owner you can be a master of your own destiny, be creative, make your own decisions and be your own boss. However, to be successful in business an owner must have or learn two essential skills entrepreneurship and business management. So let’s start with my tips to help master those essential skills.
Have a Vision
If you have no vision, it is a like being a captain of a ship with no destination. You are just sailing all over the place going with the currents. To be a successful entrepreneur you need to have a detailed vision of what you wish to achieve and steer your business in the right direction.
Have a Business Plan
Many business owners, especially start-ups do not have a business plan. Having a business plan is very important because you will be able to see if your idea or business is commercially viable. A business plan does not have to be fancy but it must include your vision and goals, strengths and weakness, budgets, market place conditions, outline competitors and strategies to running your business. Download a free simple business plan template from the internet and put all your ideas and research onto paper. Alternatively, you can have a business consultant analyse, research and prepare a business plan for you. Make sure you keep adjusting the information and your goals as your business grows or changes. A business plan is a vital resource for helping you manage your business and achieve your vision.
The old days of going into business and hoping it all falls into place are over. Today you need to have a more sophisticated approach. Business education plays a vital role in keeping you informed and up to date with the ever changing business environment. I strongly recommend doing short modules of coarse that suit your specific needs. The SBAA in conjunction with Connecting Southern Gold Coast currently have the SME Business Learning Forum Series running. The first forum covers sales, retailing, e-commerce and staffing. Check out our events page for more information.
Be aware of your compliance obligations. You can be running a business successfully for years, but run fowl of the law or council regulations and it is very likely you will be out of business due to the fine and other penalties. Attending industry related short courses on compliance or health and safety will help keep you in the know and out of trouble. Later this year we have a learning forum covering compliance and industrial relations.
Sales and Customer Service
No matter how big or small a business is, if you do not make sales or have customers you do not have a business. Know who your target market/s are, invest wisely in marketing to them and keep on top of marketing and retail trends. Quality products or services and excellent customer service is what sets a business apart from its competition. Offer the best quality products and services you can and treat your customers well.
Staff and Industrial Relations
Employees are the true creator of value. Employees who feel valued and are trained properly have greater productivity and will look after your customers. The performance of your staff directly effects a business’s ability to reduce cost and drive up revenue / sales. Our next learning forum looks at how to get the most out of your staff and briefly cover employer’s obligations and responsibilities. See our events page for more information.