10 Commandments of managing a small business – Part 2

31st January 2015

As the second part of a popular blog post, here are the rest of the top rules for successfully managing a small business:

6. Motivate

Reward individual performance that exceeds agreed upon standards. Performance above the expected level needs to be looked at for each employee individually.

Most people have more than enough energy, which they use in free-time leisure and activities. Channelling such excess into activity beneficial to the business requires a tailored approach to each individual.

A manager must first ensure that there is understanding of the minimum results to be achieved – this is the basic level to be reached if they expect to continue to be employed. Then, for performance above the minimums, forms of compensation important to the performer or in some cases, teams of performers, must be used.

This isn’t just about cash – additional annual leave days, or a thank-you in the form of vouchers, can be equally effective.

7. Conserve Energy

Concentrate all available resources on accomplishing two or three specific operational objectives within a given time period.

Your business has limited resources. A smaller company achieves competitive advantage when playing for limited, explicit gains in a market place of its own choosing.

Specialisation allows you to be sensitive to opportunities and quick to act. But any advantage withers if follow through is weak. It will be weak if resources are dissipated. Resource dilution is a sure formula for mediocrity, a state of being that aspiring growth businesses cannot afford.

8. Let There be Cash

Project, monitor and conserve cash and credit capability. Cash flow is the blood of a growth business.

A company’s ability to continue is determined daily, not at the year-end, by the contents of the bank account rather than the financial statements.

Keeping money in hand or readily available for both planned and unplanned events is not only prudent but also necessary in unsettled times. Cultivation of financial sources is an enduring duty.

9. Be Not Greedy

Expand in a planned way from a profitable base toward a balanced business.

Optimism is both the poison and the antidote of the growth company manager. It may be possible to accomplish all things but not simultaneously. With limited resources, planned, systematic growth is the best route towards prosperity.

Seek logical, incremental extensions of existing activities but avoid a ‘growth for growth’s sake’ mentality. Bigger is not automatically better. More is not necessarily merrier.

10. Test

Continually look forward and test out new ideas and approaches whenever possible.

The past will not come again. Neither isolation nor insulation from tomorrow is possible.

The problems and challenges you face are the same things that will allow you to thrive and grow. Everyone else is facing these things as well. How you react will determine whether you are mediocre or great in your marketplace.

We hope you find these 10 commandments useful. Of course, you may disagree with a few, but even if they get you to think about aspects of your business, they’ve done their job.

If you have any questions about how we can help you succeed, then please look around the website for the services we offer, give me a call on 01634 540040, or email me at: andy@aktax.co.uk