Running a small business during the pandemic has not been easy. From retaining your customers and employees to managing your finances, the pandemic has only amplified the challenges of small businesses. And you wonder if there’s more you can do to protect and grow your business during these challenging times.
Improving your business doesn’t always mean big, costly change; focusing on your existing resources and investing in low-cost decisions can likewise strengthen your business. Focus on these three aspects of your business you might have missed:
Back-Up Your Business Data
As you run your day-to-day operations, it can be easy to neglect backing up your database. After all, you have not lost any essential files or been hacked. Why worry about something that may not happen?
While more small businesses continue to go digital and work remotely, it becomes ever more crucial to protect one’s business data. Besides safeguarding your productivity and confidentiality, your business has an obligation to protect your customers’ personal information. Data loss can easily breach the trust you worked hard to build with your customers over time.
Reach out to data backup professionals for the most suitable protection for your business data. While reviewing your files, do a data purge of those you no longer need (i.e., old logs, duplicates, etc.). If you can simplify the way to categorize your files, don’t put it off. This one-time effort can improve productivity for your business in the long run.
Your archives can also inspire old-new ideas to improve your workflow or business offering. Prioritize what you can implement now and keep a log of other ideas to revisit easily. As you declutter and organize your work files, it may also help you reflect on your entrepreneurship journey. During these challenging times, focusing on your business’s new and existing challenges alone may leave you feeling doubtful and despair. Use this opportunity to celebrate the growth of your business; it can help renew your perspective and recharge during this difficult period.
Build Your Team
How much do you prioritize your team’s needs? As a small team, each member plays a vital role in your business. To reduce employee turnover, be proactive in understanding the people who work with you.
Whether your team is working remotely or together physically, check in with them for 20 minutes each week. Understand their strengths and concerns, and consider ways to show your appreciation to them often. It will allow you to delegate and enable them effectively, helping them reach their potential at work and grow your business.
Even if they were to leave for opportunities elsewhere one day, their experience with you can have a lasting impact. Make their time with your business meaningful. Their testimonials can inspire and draw other like-minded and talented individuals to want to join your team, helping you recruit new hires easily.
If you are a one-man team, are you wearing too many hats? Managing everything alone can significantly reduce your productivity and efficiency. Be open to bringing others on board; it can help you manage your business effectively and grow your business sustainably.
When looking for a new hire, consider someone who 1) shares the same work ethic and 2) has strengths that match your shortcomings. These two criteria will help ensure that your new hire can contribute meaningfully to your business and work up to speed with you.
However, there is a chance that you may not hit it off with the said candidate as well as you hope. As much as you want to have an immediate connection with them, remember that they are an employee first. Developing trust in your professional working relationship can set you up for a more meaningful friendship over time.
Set Up A Business Bank Account
Set up a business bank account if you don’t already have one. As a small business entrepreneur, it may be easier to manage your business transactions through your personal account. But having a business bank account is essential to your business’s bookkeeping strategy and growth.
Many businesses fail due to their inability to manage their finances. Separating your business finances from your personal finances can provide you with a clear overview of your cash flow (i.e., income and expenses). Your banking app may have in-built analytics to further categorize these figures. Use these data to identify areas to reduce your expenditure and new or existing areas to invest more to grow your business meaningfully. Having separate accounts can also save you time and effort in sorting out your expenses during tax season.
Besides allowing you to manage your internal workflow better, a business bank account also creates a more professional image for your business. It helps build credibility amongst your customers and vendors. It also allows your business to receive credit card payments, providing your customers with a wider range of payment options to finalize their transactions.