Operating a small business can feel like you’re a small fish in a big pond.
You’re up against tons of competitors from large corporations to the whale of a store down the street. You need a strategy to grow in that pond so you can stand out, like the big, beautiful fish with iridescent scales you are. But, there is a difference between you and the whales out there. Not everyone has the same resources.
Or maybe you currently live with a small business mindset that keeps you operating a certain way. While this may be true, there is no harm in playing with the big guys’ playbook. The key is to maintain your small business operations while looking at those who are already winning. Especially if you want to run your small business like a major CEO. Strive for those sweet profits. Ever heard the phrase, “Imitation is the highest form of flattery?” Well, there’s a lot to learn from those who have already found success.
Two Months to Playing Big
It’s okay if you’re operating like a small business. To be honest, there are tons of big business hustlers out there who believe smaller is better. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to grow and expand—distribute your craft beer in new regions, offer your onesies in a bigger range of sizes, and don’t be afraid to start sharing your coaching tips on TikTok (we’ll follow you).
Look to The Bright Side
Keep an upbeat attitude, but there’s no need to get all giggly and smile like a clown. Authenticity is key, amirite? This doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t feel upset, sad, or angry. These are natural emotions, and it’s healthier to get them out. Just don’t dwell on them. Keep your enthusiasm and passion—they are why you’re operating a small business in the first place, so don’t lose sight of that. Easier said than done, right? How about we leave you with some cheerful advice. Let’s turn the mic over to the most famous orphan ever. Annie once sang in her chirpy yet melodic voice, “The sun will come out tomorrow.” And as much as it seems like the end of the world at times, it sure will. Sometimes it really is mind over matter.
Ready, Set, Goal
The beginning of the year is a great time to make business plans to keep you on task. If you’ve ever done a personal vision board, this is no different. Instead of clipping images from magazines and creating a collage of a bulletin board on the “New Year, New You” agenda, it’s time to set out goals and to-do lists. Break it down by assessing monthly and quarterly goals. For example, you may hope your dog grooming website gets over 20% more traffic for the first quarter. Now you know to set aside a larger advertising budget and increase your social media engagement. Keep
Clear on Your Vision
While you don’t need to have the gift of clairvoyance, it’s essential to have a clear vision of where you want to go with your small business operations and management. Start off with a mission. This is the purpose of why you do what you do. Big companies like Adidas and Apple have core beliefs shaped into a mission that trickles down to the entire organization.
In times of uncertainty, this will pull you through and bring you back to your purpose. Create a team that believes in the mission, so your company values are instilled throughout. Keep your employees accountable for their objectives because that is what drives results. If your employees have the same values, everyone strives towards the same goal. You can’t just flaunt rules and not follow them. You need to set an example by embodying the mission yourself. So, be a leader and guide them down the path to success.
Manage Your Resources
Obviously, we want to make tons of cash and swim in it like Scrooge McDuck. However, we want you to be conscious of how you’re making profits. How much money and time are you spending on your small business operations, management, marketing, and accounting? Money isn’t everything, but money is something—something fundamental in business.
Remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself. If you have employees, utilize them as resources and delegate. If you don’t have a team, employ software instead of punching in numbers all day long. We know you have better things to do, like focusing on your small business operations. You know what? Outsource if need be. Be mindful of where you put your time to get the most return for your investment.
Build A Superhero Team
Different individuals have different skills, and no one person can be a pro at everything. Establish a strong team where everyone can lean on each other’s strengths to get things done. No need to assemble an Avengers-worthy team to break down doors and bust criminals (although, please let us know if you do). But it’d be super cool if you could find the equivalent for your business.
When you hire new employees, be sure to be clear and outline what role they will be taking to ensure they’re a good fit. Let’s say they were brought on for an accountant’s excellent position (not jealous, but okay, maybe a little), don’t assign them tasks in social media. That’s not what they specialize in, and it’s a waste of time, money, and energy. You wouldn’t ask Spiderman to shoot arrows from the sky, now would you? Same here. We know Peter Parker would much prefer to sling webs overshooting miniature spears at villains.
Opportunity Knocks Once in A Lifetime
The fine American poet, Sir Eminem, said that. When dealing with a client, it’s essential to be respectful and mindful of their needs and seize it as an opportunity. Operating your small business with next-level customer service will create positive interactions that will benefit you in the future—like retaining their business.
Let’s say you run a creative design studio, and someone needs to have invitations created for an event. You want to avoid going back and forth for every little detail. So, make sure that the initial conversation covers everything to align with their vision. This way, you can cut through loads of nitty-gritty emails, and you’ll look like the badass small business owner you are. Plus, they feel like you’ve prepared a delightful charcuterie board of options. A delicious surprise!
Open A Business Account
What’s another power move that will have you managing your small business like the big guys? Set up a bank account that’s separate from your personal account. This isn’t like a burner phone situation where you’re trying to hide something. Creating a business account allows your small business to operate as transparently as possible. When it’s tax season, you’ll have your income and expenses all in one place and won’t have to nitpick through everything. It makes life easier, especially in the case you ever get audited. Creating a business bank account shows the level of seriousness and dedication you have to step up your game.
Ensure Your Small Business
You prioritize car insurance, home insurance, and health insurance, so you sign up for business insurance when it comes to your business. In the case someone robs your store of all its lovely glories, you have business insurance. In the case someone trips on the stairs on route to the bathroom, and they sue you, business insurance. If a nasty storm hit the area and a fallen tree branch broke a window, yes, business insurance. From manmade to natural disasters, you never know what to expect and whether your business could temporarily shut down. Manage your small business operations by keeping your business safe. That way, you can also sleep soundly at night.
Technology Is Bae
We’re no strangers to tech. There are so many helpful apps and software out there. Remember those automated accounting tools we talked about? We absolutely love automated accounting tools. They keep everyone connected and are accessible anywhere in the world. By utilizing these tools, you can cut costs and increase productivity as you focus more on analyzing and strategizing from the data you receive. And think about it, it’s cost-effective. Some of this software is even free! That’s almost as cool as the free samples you hoard during your Costco run.
Stop, Look, And Listen Up
People are drawn in by good listeners. Why? Because listeners are more likely to take things into care and consideration (they’re so thoughtful). In the same way, listen to your business’s needs. Take time to reflect by analyzing and measuring how you’ve progressed. Observe and evaluate everything from sales, marketing, income, cash flow, management, etc. What works and what doesn’t in your small business operations? By measuring progress, you’re able to see areas that need improvement.
Onward We Grow
Naturally, you’ll learn as you go, and that’s how you grow. As you gain more experience, continue to work on your own professional development. Notice what you may lack and what you can do to make up for it. As time goes on, you’ll become more seasoned, as will your team. This will get your small business operations well-oiled and moving like a locomotive. Empower yourself and those around you by sharing knowledge and skills that will get you to your goals.
Big Year, Bigger You
This year will be a big one. In two short months, your small business can operate like a big business! Sounds crazy, right? Well, crazier things have happened (like 2020, wtf was that, seriously).
Being ambitious is good. It’s what got you running your own small business in the first place. Be that little fish in a big pond. There’s no shame in the numbers game—well, unless you’re walking out of the casino with empty pockets.
First of all, give yourself a good pat on the back for coming this far, and two months from now, you can use your other hand to pat the other side of your back (you know, for balance). You deserve to be acknowledged for the process and progress you’ve made (stands up and claps wildly). By implementing the tips above and looking at the big picture, your small business operations will improve leaps and bounds.
At Alchemy Accounting, we are rooting for you, and we understand that it’s a learning process. That’s why we want to help as much as we can, from the nitty-gritty details of tax deductions to broader themes of how to allocate expenses. Although you should keep business and personal bank accounts separate, we don’t make that distinction when it comes to you. We want to help with both your business and personal finances. Let’s reach for the skies this new year! And maybe start our own Avengers team. No? Any takers? Okay.