Your business is a testimony to how you use resources, build systems, manage people, and get the ball rolling. Running a business isn’t exactly a loose, free-for-all party – you can’t afford to have loose strings or goof off. The result of a business-gone-bad is failure. So, it makes sense to guard, protect, and run your business with an iron fist.
However, running a business with tight control may not enable you to receive the best from your resources. In contrast, without control and steady guidance you risk building chaos instead of creating a brand.
Starting and managing a small business is a fine art. Not everyone is born to do it, but everyone with enough mettle can learn.
Grow, Scale and Profit with Results
Every small business needs to grow, scale, and turn a profit. To do this, you’ll need to run your business to produce results – better than your competition can, while earning customer loyalty, love and respect.
How can you do this? Here are five ways to create a business that’s built like a tank and grows like a vine:
Streamline and define processes for everything.
You should typically work on your business as if you’d look at franchising as an option tomorrow. While you might never want to develop a “franchise” business model, it’s important to develop systems, deploy defined processes, and create systems to make things happen. What happens after you meet a customer?
Develop a process that lists exact steps from meeting a customer to closing the sale and then routing it to customer service. If your business depends on a set of processes to ensure delivery of products and services, develop systems. Establish specific ways for everything that has to move, tasks employees and partners have to fulfill, and ways to operate in every capacity.
Don’t trust anyone, all of the time.
Most entrepreneurs can’t run a professional business simply by hiring family and friends. So, for those that you do hire, it’s important to operate with a certain level of trust and caution — especially with people you don’t really know.
It’s a fine and tight rope to walk on because you will have to trust your employees to get work done, deliver results, innovate, and pour in ideas. But you still need to be observant. Install surveillance cameras, or a complete surveillance system, to protect your business from possible theft and unforeseeable circumstances.
Keep security policies in place on Internet usage, and take precautionary measures to protect your customer data, profits and business. But as you take operational precautions, operate with transparency and instill trust.
According to Tony Schwartz, in a Harvard Business Review (HBR) post, “Employees who want to game the system are going to do so inside or outside the office. Supervising them more closely is costly, enervating, and it’s ultimately a losing game… Distrust begets distrust in return. It kills motivation rather than sparking it. Treat employees like children and you increase the odds they’ll act like children. You reap what you sow — for better and for worse.” The debate whether or not to trust everyone will rage on, but it’s your business at the end of the day and you should do what you can to protect it.