You own a small business. You want to help it grow and improve, but you also understand that all effort and positive results stem directly from you. And you’ve pretty much exhausted all your ideas. Hey, it
The good news is that there are many ways you can advance your business interests further. In this article, we look at accessible ways that small businesses can improve their operations and grow.
Upskilling is all about picking up new skills.
You don’t say.
Well, as a matter of fact, we did say. It’s something that takes place routinely at big companies all over the world. There, management will pay for their employees to refresh and expand their skills in a way that will be advantageous for the business.
Unfortunately, you probably won’t have anyone footing the bill for you. However, you can still take advantage of some of the many affordable online education programs that can teach you about everything from marketing to data implementation.
Most businesses understand that they should have a social media presence. However, to have an impact at all, you need to think strategically about how your followers prefer to interact with your page. What time are they online the most? What sort of messaging do they respond to?
What about branding? Are your social media posts telling a consistent story, or are you all over the place with your tone? You don’t need to be a marketing professional to use social media the right way. You can make a big splash simply by getting a little more strategic with your outreach efforts.
Data implementation is an important factor for businesses of every size. Previously the exclusive tool of big business, it is now available to anyone willing to take the time necessary to learn how to use it.
Most social media platforms come with analytic tools that will help you learn how your messaging is being received. You can use this information to not only expand your reach but also receive keen insights into what your existing customers respond the best to.
And, of course, social media is far from the only place where data is being used. You can also look at sales figures, email engagement rates, and other relevant factors to optimize your business practices.
It’s exciting getting the opportunity to make new hires. As we mentioned in our last section, you’ll find yourself with a lot of work in the first months of your role as a small business owner. Bringing someone else on means releasing some of that pressure.
Still, it’s important to hire smart. Network and look for people who have skills that you lack. The more diversity of experience you can get, the better your business will be. You will, of course, learn more about all aspects of the job as you go along. However, finding people with the right specialties will be a big leg up.
Once you get a proper staff, you’ll also want to think about team-building opportunities. Creating a strong company culture through employee-centric policies are important elements of retention. You don’t need to be able to afford lavish corporate retreats to keep your employees happy.
It’s hard to focus on your own needs when you are trying to get a small business off the ground. While you will need to work on building your skills and get used to logging long hours, you also need to know how to take care of yourself.
Self-care will not only help you stay happy, but it will also keep gas in the tank, allowing you to continue slugging it out for the long haul.
Know when (and how) to bring in the professionals
Even small businesses can and should take advantage of a wide range of professionals who can help advance their interests:
All routinely consult with businesses of every size to help them navigate complicated situations and grow. Some of these professionals are more expensive than others but for the most part, there are affordable and accessible ways to take advantage of all these services.
You don’t have to be Marriott to get targeted by cybercriminals. In fact, the majority of small business owners experience attempted breaches each year. Some of them are simple, such as phishing emails and dicey website links. Other attempts can be more complex.
The problem with breaches isn’t just that they complicate your life. Although they do. It can take most of a year to recover completely from a serious one.
The even bigger issue, however, is that customer information can get compromised in the process. For big businesses with lots of sensitive customer information on hand, this has led to class action lawsuits.
Even if that isn’t in your future, data compromises can lead to a loss in consumer confidence. And of course, it’s also just your ethical responsibility to handle the data with care.
Get serious about cyber security. Update your software, guard your passwords, and train your employees to do the same.
Ok, we know. This is kind of corny advice, but it comes from a sincere place. Many small business owners struggle with a psychological concept known as “imposter syndrome.” Basically, it means that they tend to fear that they don’t belong where they are and everyone around them does.
Self-validation can be hard because when you own your own business, there is no one there to give you feedback. You are entirely in charge of securing your own fortunes.
Anxiety can have its benefits, encouraging you to continuously put your best foot forward. Still, too much of it, and you’re only holding yourself back.