As you planned to start your first business, you probably did a lot of research, sought help from advisors, useful mentors, and got information from books, Google and other readily available sources. You could have invested a lot-in terms of money, time and sweat equity-to get your business off the ground to the stage at where it is currently. To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills.
Many business owners and managers of small companies, find challenges in lacking enough time to stand back from the day-to-day running of their business to take stock of performance and longer-term strategic issues. However, reviewing your progress and understanding how to get the best out of your business and where to take it next can be hugely beneficial. This is particularly true if there have been recent changes to your business, your market or the economic environment that you operate in. In our article today, we share with some of the tips that can help you get your business to the next level, despite the busy schedules:
- Follow up on what is happening in your market
Businesses always adapt to evolutionary changes, as production techniques and consumer preferences gradually give way to newer trends and tastes over time. In the previous years, prompt technological advances, like the Internet and increasingly modern machinery and equipment, have had a profound impact in the business world. Failing to adapt to market changes like these can cause even the most successful businesses to flounder. To understand your market better, it is important that you: listen to your customers and understand their needs, know your competitors, and understand other factors that you need to reshape your business.
Always look for ways to improve your business and to make it stand out from the competition. It is important that you recognize that you do not know everything and be open to new ideas and new approaches to your business.
It is important that you and your business develop new products and services in line with your business strategy and capabilities. This allows you to have multiple streams of income. It also broadens your target audience and increases your presence in the marketplace, giving you and your company the credibility to approach a wider market.
- Hire people and keep them engaged
Creating a successful business requires a lasting vision, especially when it comes to overcoming hitches. This can be difficult position for a single person (or even a group of people within a single company) to always make the right strategic decisions for long-term business prosperity. It is therefore important that you hire professional people and keep them engaged about your business. This helps to eliminate time wasted and also encourages creative input.
- Understand your company’s financial position
Understanding your company’s financial position is a critical thing in evaluating the health and success of your business. Finance is a very important aspect of any organisation and must be closely managed to ensure the business can survive and grow effectively. Understanding the basic concepts of cash flow will help you plan for any unforeseen eventualities that may occur. Some of the things you need to put in consideration as far as finance and business are concerned include:
- How much you owe
- What level of stock are you carrying?
- Your business’ daily/weekly/ monthly cash position and where it is taking you
- How much customers owe you over what period
- How cash in your business is being used
and very many others to mention but a few
- Selecting the right business structure
This is also one of the most important decisions a business owner can make, affecting personal liabilities, taxation and levels of control in the business. The wrong business structure can act as a constraint on the development of your business and cause you problems. Unfortunately, experience is the best teacher for this scenario and whatever structure you begin with will allow you to always tweak it depending on the results that it yields. The right financial structure is dynamic for effective management. Having the right information should enable you to determine the right structure for your business.
- Find help in time
No matter how successful your business is, financial difficulties will always come in. Do not wait until it is too late to seek for help. You can do this by: regularly reaching out to people that may be interested in your business, avoiding relying on best case scenarios, and understanding the value of being honest and transparent to your stakeholders. All this will help you easily access financial help in times of crisis.
If the above tips are put into practice, they will help you to understand how well your organisation is performing against the key areas, know which aspects need priotisation and provide useful resources to assist you with the next steps.
By Mackline Ampurira
Mackline joined BLEGSCOPE Team as an Intern and is now a Management Consultant Trainee. She previously worked with the Ugandan Ministry of Health in conjunction with (USAID) Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Team as a Research Assistant. She has interest in Marketing, Management and Human Resources. You can follow her on Twitter >>@mackampurira