While as a small business owner you’ll make lots of mistakes (and learn from them if you’re clever) you still want to make as few of them as you can to make your life run as smoothly and stress-free as possible – and to make your business a success.
Here are Pearl’s quick and easy tips on running a small business.
The customer is almost always right
Listen to what your customers are saying. They are the ones spending their money to keep your business going, so their opinions matter. Ask for their feedback and act on their advice to make your product or service better and more attractive in order to gain even more customers.
Get the numbers right
As accountants, we know that numbers are the most important aspect of running any business. Profits, losses, expenses, revenue, costs, cash flow – you need to know them all so well that if somebody asked you the figures you can come up with them instantly.
Becoming a great business leader and growing a business from a small one to a big one is a gradual process. There will be plenty of things you don’t know along the way. And that’s okay. What isn’t okay is to ignore these areas and not try to learn more.
Keep your personal and business finances separate
Remember that you are a separate entity to your small business. This means you should keep issues of business and personal finance separate from each other to avoid disaster later on.
If you are just starting out in the world of business, this might be tricky because you will feel like you don’t know what you are doing yet. But all good business leaders know how to make decisions. Look at the facts to work out how each decision will affect your business.
And remember: no business ever became a success without its owner taking calculated risks along the way.
Hold on to your best employees
Finding new employees is very expensive, especially for a small business. And losing your best, most productive employees is especially expensive because of what you are losing. So look after your employees, and do everything in your power to make them happy to continue working for you.
Reward good work and high achievers
If you start to play favourites with your employees, you’ll end up rewarding those who you like the most. But you are running a business and that kind of behaviour isn’t going to help your company achieve success. Instead you need to reward those employees who are productive and contribute most to your business’s success.
As accountants specialising in working with small businesses, we know how difficult it is to run a small business, especially if you are only just starting out. There’s only so much a list such as this one can help you when it comes to the day-to-day practical running of your business, but it should give you a good start.
Shoaib Aslam is the co-founder of Pearl Chartered Accountants, a UK-based chartered accountancy firm that has multiple locations across London. They are experts in helping startups and established businesses with all aspects of growth, strategy, scaling up, accounting and tax planning.