1. When you are a small business it can be easy to focus on one client but it is a risky move. Your business can be more like a sub-contractor than an independent business. Try to see where you can find and retain more than one profitable customer to diversify your risk. Join networks such as the local Chamber of Commerce, BNI or Network Ireland to name a few.
2. Cash flow can make or break your business. Money management is key. If you over extend yourself, even if your business and sales are growing, it can close your business. Spend time on your cash flow and make sure you have enough to keep you a float. No point in over investing in assets if it means there is nothing left for the payroll at the end of the week or month.
3. Time management when you are a small business owner cannot be underestimated. If you are exhausted through being overworked and overwhelmed mistakes will happen. Look at areas where you could introduce automation, delegate tasks that can easily be done by others, seek expert advice when needed. You cannot be the expert at everything, seek the help and support that you need before you burn out.
4. Motivating employees and retaining good staff are key to successful businesses. Open and honest communication can eliminate so much stress for both you and your staff. Employees don’t just work for their wages, acknowledgment of a job well done, knowing that they are being listened to and heard will reap you rewards every time. One of the biggest wastes of a small business is under utilisation of your most important asset, your employees. Job satisfaction can be their number one reason for staying or leaving.
5. Marketing and social media can have a huge impact on growing your business. Reviews for businesses available so easily in everyone’s pockets can be the difference between a full and an empty cafe at lunchtime. Promote your business online, use PR, run promotions, donate prizes. It may not require a huge budget, be inventive (see if one of your employees would like the responsibility of it).
Lisa qualified as an accountant with ACCA and worked internationally with PWC and JP Morgan.
She has spent over 15 years in industry here in Ireland with a wide range of companies from Start ups to Management Companies, Construction and Developers to Hoteliers, Manufacturing to Property companies.
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