Five Practices to Help Small Business Operations


Five Practices to Help Small Business Operations

Running a successful business relies on having a solid foundation of operations. So how do you establish a groundwork that keeps the company running smoothly? We’ve rounded up the best tips from experts who share what they felt was most important to building solid small business operations:

1.  Collaborate with each other. While working individually is important, too, working together helps everyone be on the same page at the same time. Setting up a designated time for everyone to meet means that questions can be answered and tasks can be assigned, which helps operations run efficiently.

“Setting proper team expectations and accountability has become one of the most impactful things to my business,” says David Schwartz of EMMDeavor (DBA Qruber) & Wireless Watchdogs. “Twice a month we bring all managers and executives together for a big meeting to discuss each department and their accomplishments and challenges. It is also a time for other departments to give feedback to management. At the end of these meetings, everyone leaves with follow-up tasks.”

2.  Provide necessary text. One of the best ways to minimize errors in the workplace is with documentation. Having written documents makes it easy to refer to when you forget a certain process when things get a little crazy (relying on your memory may backfire).

“If you are able to provide clear and concise documentation for your team, it leaves very little room for things to be miscommunicated,” explains Dave Nevogt of Hubstaff.com. “It also leaves little room for your team to not know what to do or for them to be confused. These are the biggest time wasters in an organization. Documentation makes it easier to onboard new employees and saves your business from being reliant on any one person.”

3.  Keep the future in mind. Think about how businesses operated five years ago. Ten years ago? Fifteen years ago? In just a few years, it can change dramatically, and that’s why it’s important to plan for the future.

“Although it’s important that systems and processes address today’s pain points for your business, it’s much more imperative that they are built to handle changes that could be coming years down the road,” says Brittany Hodak of ZinePak. “You have to look ahead and plan for all plausible changes in your business to ensure the operations you’re building do not become quickly outdated.”

4.  Ask for advice. Feedback from your staff is essential to making sure the business always stays on the road to success.

“To build a solid set of processes for your business a lot has to align. But the bigger you scale, the more you’ll likely need to delegate,” says Doreen Bloch of Poshly Inc. “So how does a business owner stay efficient when the day to day may be further away from the core operations? It’s important to gather feedback from your team often to make sure you’re addressing inefficiencies and constantly improving as you grow.”

When you have higher-ups who don’t take into account their team’s feedback, they risk failure, adds Travis Steffen of Cyber Superpowers.

“Many CEOs, COOs and executive level staff have various methods that they swear are the best ways of doing things,” he says. “But what many people don’t take into account is that there are other variables at work, such as the dynamics of the company and the people within it. Solid operations come from management who can admit when their systems are failing and are willing to change to improve.”

5.  Get the right people onboard. Knowing your team on a personal level helps you delegate which roles they’ll be best at. So if you’re still in the hiring process, it’s best to hire someone who you feel a strong connection with. If a potential colleague comes in with all the traits you’re looking for (even if it’s not the person who, say, earned the highest GPA), go with your gut.

“No one person is going to be the best at everything. It all comes down to choosing the right person and personality type for each role so that no one is doing tasks that they resent,” says Amanda Aitken of Girl’s Guide Courses with Amanda Aitken. Also, don’t forget to praise their strengths.

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