When you first set up your small business, chances are that you’re going it alone. You’ll begin from home, coming up with a product concept and figuring out how it can best be manufactured. Once you have something tangible to sell to the public, you may start outsourcing parts of your working process. You might bring in a web designer to create your E-commerce store or a product photographer to take pictures of your stock. However, these tasks are generally carried out remotely or from a neutral location. It’s not until you have launched your product and start experiencing demand and success that others become involved in your company. You’ll suddenly find yourself dealing with members of the public and taking on full or part time staff. This is when you will begin to gain authority and responsibility, and is also when you will have to start taking management of your business extremely seriously. This will help to ensure that the cogs of the machine keep turning smoothly and that any interaction with your brand is a positive one. So, here are a few steps that you can take to manage your small business as effectively as possible!
Preparing for the Worst
When you are running a small business, you should generally take an approach of seeking out positives. However, there are situations where you should dwell on the negative a little for the sake of your business’ progression. One of these situations is preparing for the worst. If you effectively prepare your business for potential problems, you can prevent these situations and incidents from occurring and protect yourself, your employees, your clients, your brand image, and your money along the way. Here are a few ways to achieve this.
Conduct Risk Assessments
In business, something that referred to as a “risk”, is something that has a significant probability of manifesting or happening. As a business owner, you need to conduct various risk assessments throughout your workplace, so that you and your employees can be aware of any risks involved in tasks that have to be undertaken. Once a risk assessment has been carried out, you can then focus on implementing risk control measures into your business plan. You can offer training to anyone that is involved in any activity that poses a risk, which will minimise chances of problems developing down the line.
Implement Health and Safety Measures
As we have previously established, when you run a small business, you take on a position of responsibility and hold this responsibility over numerous individuals – from employees to members of the public. You need to ensure that any individual who comes into contact with your business remains safe and well until they leave. Preventing accidents from happening can help to protect your employees (meaning that you always have a reliable workforce rather than members of staff away sick), your customers (ensuring that everyone who comes into contact with your brand has a positive experience), and yourself (as you then won’t have to face expensive court cases and fork out compensation). Now, there are various health and safety measures that you can focus on. Start out by surveying your workplace or commercial property. You should ensure that any potential hazards that cannot be altered are clearly labelled. This could include putting up “low ceiling” signs, “mind the step” warnings. You should also signpost temporary hazards, such as wet floors by using “wet floor” signs. Keep walkways free and ensure any damage to the space is rectified immediately (this could include calling an electrician, plumber, or construction worker out).
Know How to Deal With Unexpected Incidents
Any small business owners should seriously consider carrying out an emergency management online degree. Sometimes, your business will fall prone to threats that couldn’t possibly be anticipated. Perhaps there will be damage from criminal activity. Maybe there will be damage from natural disaster. While you can’t anticipate these issues, you can learn how to deal with them when they arise. This degree will help you to identify potential emergencies that your business could face, as well as endowing you with the knowledge of the best way to go about rectifying issues and putting wrongs to rights should they come to life. One argument against studying that many small business owners put forward is that they “don’t have the time” to study. But with online degrees, you can fit study around your other commitments. This allows you to benefit and progress all round!
Establishing Yourself as a Leader
In order to maintain control in your company, you need to establish yourself as a leader, placing yourself at the top of the ranks. Many small business owners allow themselves to come across as overly soft and many staff members or clients will take advantage of this, trying to get away with unacceptable behaviour or wangle unreasonable deals out of you. Instead, you need to be reasonable, but firm. This will ensure that you maintain a positive atmosphere in the workplace at the same time as being respected. You will then be able to guide your business in the direction that you want it to go with as little hassle or confrontation as possible.
Establishing Managers and a HR Department
If you begin to take on increasing numbers of staff, chances are that you won’t have sufficient time on your hands to manage them all effectively by yourself. If you were to dedicate adequate time to properly managing your team, you’d fall behind in other important and progressive areas. But not to worry. You can have the best of both worlds. You just need to recruit individuals who can manage your stay on your behalf. To start with, you should consider recruiting managers and developing a HR department.
Managers will often carry out similar tasks to your other employees, but they will also manage their colleagues on top of this. They will monitor progress, report problematic behaviour, and can act as a middle person between you and your employees. They should have strong leadership skills and should be stern enough to reprimand negative behaviour. However, they should also be someone that staff feel they can reach out to for help and support.
HR is absolutely essential when it comes to promoting any growing company’s success. The role of a HR department is to enable your business to distribute staff effectively and ensure that all staff are content with their working conditions. The individuals working within this department will carry out various jobs for you. They will:
- Establish a framework for the policies and procedures that come hand in hand with the employment of new staff.
- Establish a framework for the policies and procedures that existing staff work by.
- Organise employees’ annual leave.
- Process sick notes.
- Note complaints and help to resolve workplace drama or conflict.
Now, seeing as the role that a HR department workers carries out is so wide spanning, you may initially find it difficult to find the right person for the job. What’s more? There aren’t really any specific courses for people to take to specialise in HR. So, you’re going to just have to focus on a few traits that should make a good HR employee. Some of these include:
- Good communication
- Good organisation
- A balanced outlook
- Empathy and compassion
- Administrative skills
As you can see, your business journey really isn’t over when you launch your products and start taking profits. In order to succeed, you need to take hold of the reigns and manage your business as effectively as possible. Hopefully, the above information and advice will help you to achieve this!