When working as a small business owner, always keep an eye on the big, long-term picture, as well as taking care of the day-to-day details. Many small business owners and managers are overwhelmed by the amount of tasks related to both, and it can be tough keeping both the daily business demands and the future business growth in line.
There are different methods to tackling small business challenges. If you’re seeking expansion into new geographic markets, for instance, that may necessitate speaking to regional or city consultants in the market for insights into approaching that market. If you need to bolster your social media in your existing market for upcoming events, you may want to hire a freelance social media expert.
Each of these challenges requires a different response. We’ve compiled a few tips below to help you chart your course along the business highway.
Invest in a Great CRM System
Moving your small business to an online, automated customer-relationship-management (CRM) system is a big step for a small business. To save time and money, automate routine tasks and procedures with resource management software at www.netsuite.com or a similar service provider. Having such a system in place frees up billing and invoice tasks, supply-chain and inventory management, ordering and fulfillment operations, and lead-generation activity.
Strategize Growth Planning
Perhaps you run a group of restaurants in a certain city. The restaurants are a mix of classy and casual brands, with foods and environments to match. You’ve combined bulk ordering and liquor purchases to pool your resources, and all the sites are doing well on their own. Now you’re thinking of moving into the next biggest city in your state. Where do you turn?
You’ll definitely need to know the demographics in your new city; you might be able to find that from the city’s business consultants and coaches. You can review some strategic growth outlines and figure out what’s best for your business opportunities.
Invest Time With a Business Coach
Having an outside perspective can help immeasurably in your small business ownership. Business coaches often find areas of insight owners never saw before. A business coach helps owners see a long-term vision, focus more on the critical mission, expose the unnecessary areas of the business and develop a long-term plan for success.
How you choose to work with the information from a business coach is up to you. Some are worth their weight in gold, and others may offer only morsels of insights before becoming contracted for a bigger role. Be wary of some business coaches, but open your eyes and ears to their insights.
Increase Your Social Media presence
It’s important for a small business to have social media profiles in place and work them diligently, but only if they benefit the brand and the business. Too many companies set up social media practices without knowing what they want as a result of their effort.
Ask yourself or your team a few of these questions: What’s the mission of our social media? Do we want to engage customers with tips and answers? Do we want to drive readers to our website to order products? How often can your team keep the sites updated so customers think about your brand or business? What do you want to happen?
Using the tips above will help you find greater productivity and will add a vision and critical mission to upcoming growth and expansion.
About the Author
When she’s not writing about business, management and operations, Danielle Scott can be found hiking the Appalachian Trail with her Great Dane, Max.