5 Rules for Small Business Success That Really Make a Difference

Whether you’ve just started your small business or have been running it for a while, it’s a good idea to take stock of your management techniques to be sure you are doing all you can to keep your company successful.

New business owners may not be aware of what works and what doesn’t, and sometimes even seasoned entrepreneurs can fall into bad habits.

Give yourself and your business an impromptu review to make sure you’re implementing methods that are proven to keep small businesses thriving.

Put together a great team.

When you only have a few employees, it’s especially important that they all be talented, driven, and committed to your company. They should be able to work well together, support one another, and feel comfortable swapping ideas. In order to have a team like this, you need to invest in your employees so that it truly is worth their while to give your company their best. As well as offering competitive pay, emphasize a positive workplace environment where everyone feels that their voice is valued and everyone’s contributions are recognized.

Trust your employees to do their jobs.

When you’ve hired excellent workers, you know you can rely on them to make excellent decisions. You shouldn’t feel the need to micromanage every aspect of their projects. Give them responsibilities that they will rise to and space to use their judgment. Employees who are constantly nitpicked tend to become frustrated, second-guess themselves, and — eventually — quit for greener pastures. And what if they make mistakes? The occasional error is part of the process. Don’t play the blame game when an employee messes up, but do work with them to make sure they avoid the same error next time.

Be a communicator.

Good communication is not just an extra when it comes to business management; it is an essential component of good management. No one can read your mind or predict your actions, and expecting people to do so — or the ball to be perpetually in their court — is unfair. Whether it’s with your partner, team, clients, or investors, communicating clearly is the first step on the path to a good outcome. This means initiating engagement, asking people if they have questions, and making sure all bases are covered in advance. It also means listening and acknowledging what others have to say.

Find ways to streamline important tasks.

As a small business owner, you can’t afford to hire employees to oversee every aspect of the business. You and your team need to be able to multitask from time to time. Since too much multitasking is detrimental to productivity and quality of life, you want to minimize this as much as possible.

One way to do this is by using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system — to free you up to manage your business efficiently and save you from making serious mistakes. Paying your employees on time is crucial, but it doesn’t end there; you also need to be judicious with time tracking and inventory, among other important tasks. A good Enterprise Resource Planning system will integrate all these systems for you and give you the peace of mind that you’re doing it right.

Keep on learning.

You never stop learning when it comes to running your business. Seek out opportunities to gain more knowledge and experience, especially from those who have proven successes in your field. You don't even have to earn a business degree; you can further your business education by attending seminars, listening to podcasts, working with a coach, and taking courses.

Connecting with other entrepreneurs is also essential. You can do much of this via social media, but don’t neglect face-to-face networking. Your local chamber of commerce is an excellent venue for making valuable business connections in your community, as well as possibly engaging new clients.

Being a good business owner requires that you are willing to evaluate your own performance and, if you are not doing your best, see how you can revise your methods and set better goals for yourself. If you find you need to do better in any of the above areas, don’t be discouraged. Make a plan for success and believe in your ability to achieve it.

Michael Stephenson created The Entrepreneur Hub to inspire, assist, and motivate his fellow entrepreneurs. He updates the site with helpful resources and advice fit for all entrepreneurs, regardless of where they are in their startup journey.

With over 23 years of experience, Mastery Coaching & Consulting helps business owners and employees thrive through coaching that builds on your strengths and abilties, improve leadership skills, and be satisfyingly productive. Get your free Mastery self-assessment here.