It’s Time to Update Your Management Style!

It’s a strange thing that, just because you’re the kind of person who has the drive and passion to start a business, you’re then expected to be able to be a great manager as well. Of course, there is a pretty good chance that the part of your that was able to create a business will also help you stay on top of everything, but even with the bird’s eye view of the business that you have, it’s still not always easy. The truth is that managing a business is a whole unique skillset that not everyone has. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t learn those skills. With that in mind, here are just a few of the ways that you can update your management style for the good of your business.

Treat your employees like people

Far too often, business owners think of every part of their business in terms of resources. They try to quantify everything from equipment to time. Of course, this can often be very useful, but there’s one place where this method simply doesn’t work: people. Your employees might be the most valuable resource that your business has, but that doesn’t mean that you can treat them like machines.

You need to remember that your employees are people with needs and limits that you have to be aware of. Otherwise, you’re going to end up overworking them and causing them to become frustrated and resentful of your business as a whole.

Keep track of your data

In the modern digital world, data is more important than ever before. However, far too many business owners simply aren’t good at managing it properly. Whether it’s keeping data secure or simply being able to analyse and understand it properly if you’re not managing your data properly your business is going to pay the price.

Luckily there are things in place which can help you. Whether it’s Excel data analysis or the use of things like cloud storage, managing your data has never been easier. Being able to better understand your data and keep it secure is going to be incredibly useful for your entire business.   

Plan for everything

There is no resource in your business quite so important yet tricky to manage than time. The thing about time is that it’s the one resource that, once used, you can never get it back. Because of that, you need to make sure that you’re planning for just about everything as carefully as possible. Otherwise, you’re going to end up wasting time and working inefficiently which can have serious consequences for your business down the line.

Not every business owner is going to be good at everything, and that’s something that you should come to terms with as quickly as possible. However, there are certain things that you need to be responsible for, and management is one of them. If you feel like you’re not able to manage your business properly, the best thing that you can do is to put in the effort to improve and develop those skills. After all, if you’re not going to manage your business, it’s unlikely that anyone will.

3 Ways for Small Business Owners to Engage with the Community

As a small business owner, it is vital to engage with the local community. Your company has a number of unique traits that makes it integral to your community. This includes the fact that you are dependent on the local economy, you are locally minded, and you are more personal than large businesses. As such, you will likely offer a more personal experience to local customers.

By engaging with the local community, you can create a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Not only will you give back to the community, but the community can support your company too. So, let’s take a look at the different ways to engage with your community.

Get involved in community projects

The best way to show that you care about the community is to support projects in your local area. There are bound to be various projects you can help in the form of sponsorship or hosting fundraising events. One of the best options is to assist with brick fundraising projects. Fundraising Brick is the answer to any community project involving building a wall, church, school, library, or any other type of structure or building.

The idea is that people buy bricks to contribute to the project. You could buy a number of bricks, which have your company’s details engraved on them. This is a great way to help with a community project while also getting your brand name out there in a positive manner.

Become a community board member

Another option is to become a community board member. It is likely that there is going to be at least one major community board in your city that is relevant to you. You should have no problem getting yourself on the board if you are committed to getting involved. This will enable you to connect with similar professionals and company owners in the area while also supporting the community too.

Image Credit: Pexels

Attend local events

One of the best ways to become more involved in the community and gain brand exposure is to participate in already existing local events. Most cities, towns, and even villages, have parades, festivals, and other events that bring everyone together. You can attend these events in a number of ways — of course, you can simply turn up and talk to people, but you could also get more involved by hosting some type of contest or setting up your own tent.

Not only does this give you the ability to attract people to your brand, but you can create a blog post about your attendance to add to your SEO content. This will improve your social followers while also giving you higher local relevance for search engine optimization.

All in all, getting involved with the local community is important for any small business owner. From attending local events to getting involved in community projects, use the three suggestions that have been mentioned above to get started, and you will find that you are able to give back while also benefitting your business in the process.

Could This Be Why Your Business Is Failing?

When you think about businesses failing, your mind is often filled with images of huge disasters or serious mistakes that cause everything to fall apart at once.

Now, there’s no denying that this is definitely something that happens, even big companies are capable of making some pretty deadly missteps, but that’s not really the reason that many businesses, even some with huge amounts of potential, tend to fail.

The reality is both much less interesting and much harder to spot. The reason that businesses fail is usually that there is some small problem with them that slowly grows into something more significant.

Only by the time that it’s causing serious issues do many business owners take note of this problem and actually start doing something about it.

The best thing to do is to try to pay close enough attention to your business as a whole in order to avoid falling into this trap. 

In order to help you do just that, here are some common things that can grow into the kinds of problems that could potentially doom a business.

Poor Infrastructure

No business can function without decent infrastructure. It might not be the most interesting or glamourous side of your business, but without it, things are likely to fall apart pretty quickly.

Keeping things up and running is a challenge that even the most experienced business owner often struggles with.

This is why it’s a good idea to put your infrastructure in the hands of dedicated professionals. Outsourcing things like your data centre infrastructure solutions means that you’re going to be sure that they are getting all of the attention that they need while you focus your energy elsewhere.

It’s all too easy to start taking things like data storage, your internet connection, and even your phone lines for granted, but without proper care and attention you could end up with some serious technical problems.

Smartphone with compass app held up to sunset

A Lack of Purpose

There’s a fantastic sense of momentum in the early days of your business.

The strength of your idea combined with the motivation you’re feeling to turn your business into a success is often enough to propel you forward and get you through that incredibly challenging first year.

However, once that starts to wear off, it can be surprisingly easy for a business to start meandering around with no real sense of direction. This is the moment to start looking at your business plan and reminding yourself of the goals that you set out at the very beginning.

What is your business trying to achieve? Once you can zero in on the answer to that question, you’re going to able to focus your efforts more effectively to help you achieve it.

Your Leadership

It’s sad to say, but the problem might be you. If you’re not able to provide your staff with the kind of leadership that’s going to encourage them to really give their full effort all the time, then things are going to fall apart pretty quickly.

The most common reason that this happens is that business owners are trying to keep themselves above their employees to give a sense of authority.

If you really want to connect with and inspire your staff then communicate with them directly. Give them a reason to care about what they’re doing beyond the promise of a decent paycheck.

If you can help your employees understand why they should give one-hundred percent every single day, then your business is going to be in a much stronger position.

Can the Cloud Help Your Business?

I have no doubt that you’ve heard of the cloud in the context of modern business. Specifically, a lot of business owners are wondering if they should be using it. If so, exactly what should they be using the cloud for? What good can the cloud do for my business?

This is, of course, a very good question to ask yourself. The quick answer to the title question would be “Yes, the cloud can help your business”. But this answer really isn’t as helpful as it may seem, if we take it at face value. The fact is that what “cloud computing” means isn’t very specific. It covers such a wide range of capabilities and technologies. And it’s not accurate to say that any feature of the cloud will help any business.

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Image Credit: Flickr

It’s certainly true that cloud computing is one of the best things to happen for small businesses in many a year. The first thing people will probably think of is the amount of money it can save. The use of cloud computing, by definition, greatly reduces the need for specific hardware. Instead of achieving many complex tasks locally, we’re doing them over the Internet via external hardware.

The most common use of such a feature is in hosting. Modern businesses create an astonishing amount of documents and other digital content. These things need to be shared with people across the company. They need to be easily accessible and editable by multiple people, often at once. This can usually be achieved by the installation of a private server.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

But having a local server installed on your business property isn’t cheap. It’s not necessarily an easy thing to run, either. This is why cloud services are so often used for document and content management. Look at a company like DOMA Technologies. This is the sort of thing we’re talking about here. By outsourcing and using the right software, the cloud makes all of these things faster and more cost-effective.

The cloud is also very accessible and easy to use. After all “the cloud”, at the end of the day, essentially means “the Internet”. As long as you have a fast and secure Internet connection, there’s no reason for you not to explore cloud options for your business. Of course, I’d like emphasis to be placed on “fast and secure Internet”. A lot of businesses aren’t running with very efficient Internet providers. If you’re going to be using the cloud, then that’s something you would definitely have to fix.

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Image Credit: Pixabay

As I implied earlier, not every business is going to benefit from the cloud. Restaurants and farms, for example, are going to find quite limited use for such a thing. It’s really all about using technology and content collaboratively. This isn’t really something that would be useful to everyone. But if you consider the average modern small business that operates from an office or home? Then it’s very difficult to see how such a business wouldn’t benefit from cloud services.

A lot of these services come with free trials, or are free to begin with. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little with services until you find one that’s right for your company.