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SME Guide

How to grow that your small business

The best thing that can happen to your business is for it to grow. No matter how small you started, if you consistently do the right things; your business will continue to grow from one point to another.

These are how you can grow that your small business.

1. Have a simple business plan
Without a simple business plan, your business idea may just be an ordinary dream. It doesn’t have to be a book, but you need a few pages outlining specific objectives, strategies, financing, a sales and marketing plan, and a determination of the cash you need to get things done. Writing it all down is a crucial first step. You can view our simple business plan format for your start-up.

2. Manage your time wisely
Time is one of your greatest assets as a small business owner. You can lose money and get it back. You can even lose a business and get it back. But time is irretrievable. On a daily basis, learn to identify your big time waster activities by taking a proper record of activities you spend your time on and try to eliminate activities that are not yielding or contributing so much to your business.

4. Keep track of all your business transactions
Keep track of all your business transactions, because you will reap benefits from them later on. This is how you train your employees and retain consistency. Know your numbers and check them daily and make all decisions based on what they tell you. One of the most important calculations is cash flow. Determine how much cash you need to do the business, and do not start without the required cash on hand.

5. Employ people with great attitude
Do not hire people because of their qualifications alone; rather hire those with great attitude and train them for the skills you want them to possess. We live and work in a world where survival of a business depends on employing people who will do whatever it takes to keep costs low, quality high and continually be on the lookout for new ways to add value to the business customers. Even in the most technical jobs, skills are only half the package. Many businesses have made the mistake of hiring for skill rather than attitude under the assumption that they can re-engineer any bad attitudes through sophisticated training programs. Don’t get me wrong, if you need to recruit a technically qualified individual, make sure they have the basic technical skills required for the role but also ensure the individual’s attitude towards everything is right and culture fit.

6. Delegate when necessary
One of the best management tips for small business owners is to learn to delegate tasks that can easily be handled by a team member. More specifically, let go of control over things you’re not good at. Do what you’re the best at, and lean on others to help you with things you don’t like to do. Effective delegation starts with a desire to offload some of your work so you can focus on growing your business.

A manager’s job is to delegate and then inspect progress. If you delegate effectively, you will get more and better than you expect. Have an actual written training and orientation plan so your employees know what is required of them. Use an incentive-based rewards system, and maintain a no-problem attitude about issues that crop up.

7. You have to set realistic goals and targets
In determining your vision, you have to be realistic about it. It’s critical to define where you want your business to be in the next 5 to 10 years and set realistic goals to help you get there. With goal-setting comes transparency and team alignment on these goals. The best way to keep an eye on the big picture is to set concrete, quantifiable and realistic goals and check in regularly to make sure that you’re moving in the right direction. Your goals may reflect a certain number of customers served, a certain number of products sold, or some other measure of success. Perhaps you want to expand to a second location – that’s another goal that you can track.

8. You have to separate business from personal finances
Always keep your personal and business finances separate. Keeping your business’s money separate will make gauging profitability easier and help you to keep proper track of your expenses.

9. Keep your employees happy
The best way to build your business is to always make your employees happy. Make them to always want to work for the growth of your business knowing fully well that they matter so much in your organization. Retaining a loyal team should be important to you. And always make your employees’ opinion count.

10. Build solid, lasting business relationships
The relationships you build matter a lot. It will either help build or mar your business. To be successful in business, you need to build relationships with a wide range of people, including investors, peers, employees, and of course customers. Learn to spend time with your most important customers, your most productive employees, and leaders who can make the most difference to your organization. These relationships will generate returns in the immediate future and in the long run.

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