If you have a small business, or if you are planning on starting a business in 2019, it’s important to know the challenges you will face ahead. From financial management to technology, there are key business processes business owners need to master. Bust mastery is not easy!
“From dealing with slow cash flow to product mishaps, I’ve spent many unglamorous nights lying in bed wondering how I was going to make my company work,” Arianna O’Dell explained in an Inc. article. “If you’re trying to “get rich fast,” starting a business might not be for you. Entrepreneurship is a long-term game that often takes years of commitment.”
You may have already tackled a few, but having a wide range of processes maximized for efficiency can help your small business grow fast and be successful. Let’s take a deeper look at the small business processes you absolutely need to master.
1. Have a Working Business Plan in Place
Due to the nature of a small business, an actual business plan is often overlooked as a key process to master. Mainly because many people think they are solely useful for large companies. However, this is simply not true, and could be a big time mistake for a small business owner who wants to achieve growth and success.
Sit down and write out a detailed business plan. This is not an end-all document, but something that will evolve over time. An initial small business plan includes:
- Initial processes needed for the business to operate
- Market opportunity and key demographics
- Your founder story (the need and solution, and how it came to fruition)
- Business requirements and guidelines that need to be in place
- Product and service definitions
- Business model
- Sales process with sales cycle information
- The overall structure of your small business (founder, director, departments, vendors, etc.)
2. Small Business Financial Management Process
The number two reason startups fail is lack of money, second to lack of market. This is a very important aspect to any business, and having your financial management process streamlined can help you avoid becoming a statistic. First, figure out all your monthly costs. This could be rent for a facility/office, payroll, vendor payments, your salary, and more. Next, look at the money you have and make a plan that fits with the monthly spend. Once you have this, track all financials.
3. Have a Streamlined Invoicing Process
This may seem pretty obvious, but you would be surprised how many small business owners don’t have a streamlined invoicing process. Why is this important? By having an invoice system that is easy to use, track, and examine when needed, you get a clear picture of what’s happening in your small business. You can also ensure client satisfaction when payments are easier for them too.
4. Ensure Your Technology Process is Strong
We live in the digital era, and not leveraging technology, or having a technology issue can spell disaster for any small business. This is even more true for those in specific tech industries. This makes staying up to date with technology and having a strong technology process very important. This will require you to hire or contract an IT professional. This IT pro will develop protocols for internet accessibility, server needs, applications required, backups, database development, and more. If you’re IT savvy, then be sure you make a technology process your priority.
5. Make Your Customer Support Process Efficient
If you want to stay in business, you’ll need to have an exceptional customer support process in place. There is way too many choices with the internet to think you don’t need to be customer-centric. Chances are, if you don’t provide a powerful customer experience, you will not get returning customers.
Streamlining this process can free up time handling customer issues, requests, etc., as well as reduce associated costs. “Clearly, for anyone who is serious about “making it,” so to speak, it’s imperative to realize the utter importance of rock-solid customer service. It’s not just about the customer always being right. It’s about treating your customers like you’d treat your family,” R. L. Adams of Entrepreneur said.
Wrapping Up . . .
The above five small business processes you need to master for success are not the only ones you will need to focus on. There are a dozen others, but these are among the most important for your small business right out of the gate. Be sure to research how to best move these processes forward by implementing them into your current workflows with ease. What is your top small business process? We want to hear from you.