Running a sustainable small business is a bit like being a boxing champ — if you get flabby after a knockout debut, you’ll be knocked out the next time you’re put to the test.So if you’re looking to trim the fat and streamline your startup, here are four ways to keep your small business fighting fit.
If your business model means you don’t need face to face contact with customers, buying or leasing a business property might be an unnecessary overhead. Running a small remote squad which works from home is the most cost-efficient way of operating without compromising service standards. You can use project management and CRM software to keep on top of teamwork and track ongoing client requirements — meeting up occasionally in person for brainstorming sessions and even to socialise.
Staying connected with your remote team makes everyone feel as much a part of your startup as if they were sitting in the same room.
Whether your team works together in an office or in the comfort of their own homes, they’ll expect to be paid on time and for their employment to be compliant with tax regulations. But there’s no need to splash out on an expensive HR team to perform these crucial functions. Human resource software can automate precise payroll payments, store vital employee data securely and cut out many time-consuming admin tasks completely. And if you eventually employ an HR partner, continuing to use this solution can help them concentrate on employee wellbeing and engagement rather than onerous data entry duties. So outsourced HR is one way of keeping your startup slim and sharp from the very start.
Rate ideas over rank
Business culture might not seem too important in a small business with a handful of employees. But if you don’t set out a clear vision of your guiding principles form the beginning, it’s easy for bad habits to embed themselves as you expand. One forward-thinking business philosophy is establishing an ideas meritocracy — the business develops a way of rating suggestions objectively regardless of the level of the hierarchy they emerge from. So a really great innovation from the shop floor is implemented rapidly — while a woeful idea from management is abandoned (or vice versa). If you adopt this mind-set for your small business, you can be confident that its success is driven by intelligence rather than ego.
If employees have more say over when and how they work, they can feel more empowered and become more productive. And flexible working is an excellent idea if you want to recruit and retain workers who appreciate having the freedom to fit working hours around family and study commitments. Plus, it can create a level playing field for employees who may have health problems that make a traditional nine to five shift difficult to sustain. Being flexible brings benefits to any business — and the loyalty it inspires in employees is very valuable to a small business that relies on highly-motivated staff. These four ways to keep your small business fighting fit should help you become a champion in any sector you choose.
Do you have any tips for a startup firm? Share your advice in the comments section.