How to Successfully Run a Small Business
Creating a successful new small business isn’t easy, the business owner can very quickly become swamped in the day-to-day activities of maintaining their business, just keeping it going and therefore losing sight of the overall objectives and outcomes desired.
SALES & DELIVERY
Assuming that the business plan and the overall objective to become successful and grow that small business are in place, the only two functions that the owner needs to focus on are sales and delivery. Everything else should directly contribute to one of those two areas. Any activity that doesn’t directly contribute to either sales or delivery is potentially superfluous and is taking time, money, and energy away from activities that would be better utilised in achieving those overall objectives.
Money is what grows small businesses and the only two places that your business makes money is in sales and delivery. Sales are when you generate the revenue and delivery is where you earn the income. Therefore, if an activity or a part of a business plan is not directly focused on either of those two, it is not making money for the business and therefore potentially detracting it from its overall objectives for growth.
Once you as a company or business owner have itemised those functions and those activities that directly contribute to either sales or delivery, the next job is to acknowledge that not all activities are equal. Running a business can be challenging, therefore, it’s important to prioritise those activities that yield the greatest result. For example, you may have 10 activities that all lead to sales success, however, if one or two of those activities yield 60%-70% of the overall success and the other eight or nine deliver the remaining, it makes sense to make cuts to those lower value activities so that you can put that more focus and energy into the activities that create the greatest rewards. The same goes for the delivery side of your business.
This laser focus can stop the business owner from getting distracted by functions and activities that may or may not be important to the new business but aren’t necessarily directly aligned to this overall objective in a way which is going to maximise your efforts.
A clear example of this would be marketing activity. Many business owners find themselves, spending far too much time, money and energy on marketing because they are not making the direct link between their marketing activity and their sales results and their overall business success. All marketing should be directly contributing to generating leads, which is obviously directly contributing to sales and therefore the overall object of the business, which is financial success and growth. Any marketing activity in this example that either isn’t directly contributing or is only minorly contributing to creating sales is potentially superfluous and taking vital time, energy and, money away from other activities that would be better utilised.
It’s important within the delivery side of your business, that you become increasingly more efficient, becoming more effective whilst also maintaining high standards. When focused on delivery, the business owner should be focused on the result that they are selling and not the hours they are spending on their service. If you can get the same result in half the time, that is still worth as much to your customer as if you’d spent twice as much time to get that result. For some small businesses, it may be worth more because the result comes quicker. So stop measuring how long you are spending on clients, and how many hours you spend on a project and instead stay firmly fixed on the overall result and outcome that you are working towards. This is the real value you are selling through your services, not the time taken to create the outcome.
Your job has become more efficient and more effective with getting those results, maintaining high levels of service, and ideally charging more in the process. By streamlining your thinking into just two functions, sales and delivery, and then prioritising all the other tasks in order of the degree that they positively impact the overall objective of those two, more sales, more efficiency, and more effective delivery. Then the owner stays aligned with their overall objectives.
They’re focused on the overall outcome, are less consumed and overwhelmed by the day-to-day activity and a successful business will follow.