Everyone dreams of being their own boss. Running your own business comes with a lot of perks. After all, you set your own hours, you make the decisions, and you decide the direction that you want your work to take you.
But running a small business comes with a lot of stress and responsibilities as well.
In fact, small business owners are often under more pressure than many in the working class. There’s just so much to figure out when it comes to how to manage a small business. From finances to marketing, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
Need help determining what you need to have a handle on to make your small business sing? Read on, and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Managing Small Business Finances
Managing money is one of the key challenges of any business, no matter the size. Proper management of financial assets is a key to success for any business. There are a number of basic steps you can take to ensure you’re set up for success when it comes to your business finances.
For one, you should know to always keep your business and personal expenses separate from one another. It’s never a good idea to mix money; it can be a huge headache when it comes to tracking your progress, doing your taxes, and other such activities.
It’s worth having a monthly tax calculator at your disposal so that you can do the math on what you owe from your business and personal expenses separately.
Open a business credit card as soon as you can when opening your business and put your expenses there. Have a separate savings account opened for your business that is entirely different than your personal one.
Make sure you’ve educated yourself on the basics of business finance. If you don’t understand what the terms profit, cash flow, asset, and others mean, there’s no way you’ll be able to properly communicate in the way you need to.
Ensure that you can read a financial statement and understand what you’re reading. Most financial statements share cash flow, income, balance, and a statement of shareholder equity. Depending on the arrangement of your business, yours may be different. The bottom line is to make sure you can read it like a pro.
Cutting Costs and Running a Tight Ship
The long-term life of your business will totally depend on if you can keep your business out of the red. Most businesses take on some sort of debt as they initially get started, but you want to push past this into profits as soon as you can in order to have a long, healthy life.
Getting to that point means running a tight ship and getting rid of excess costs that can bring your business down. You need to do this without hampering the quality of your service, of course, and that’s what can be a challenge. This is true of any business, but especially a small one.
The two kinds of costs you’ll run into as a small business owner are fixed and variable. Fixed costs are costs you’ll have to face no matter what scenario you run into with your business. These are things such as the rent for your brick-and-mortar location. It is out of your control to set this cost.
Variable costs, on the other hand, offer opportunities for savings. Maybe you use accounting software that charges you by the month for a subscription, but there’s another equally good software out there you can get for free. Cutting this cost can help you save money as each month goes by.
Where else can you cut costs in your business? Are there places you can compromise? Digging through a budget in this manner can yield results.
Marketing for Your Small Business
What’s putting all this hard work into your business worth if no one knows that you exist? That’s the struggle for many small businesses: getting their name out there to the public. At a larger business, this would be the job of an entire department.
As a small business owner, this responsibility often falls on you and you alone.
Cost also comes into play here when determining what marketing solutions work for you. Sure, you could rent billboards all around town, but would your profits even be able to cover the costs? Smart marketing is picking a solution that is worth the cost for you.
Social media is one of the best and cheapest ways to reach audiences in the modern era. Create accounts on the major networks and try to connect with your already existing customer base. Create opportunities and incentives for people to share a word about your business online.
You can give a 10% discount for those who share a post of yours with their followers, for example. This can help word about your business go viral online. Consumers trust the word of their friends and family above all else, so this kind of recommendation can go a long way.
No matter what direction you go with your marketing, be sure the benefits are outweighing the costs. You don’t want to end up in debt!
How to Manage a Small Business
It can be difficult to learn how to manage a small business all on your own. The above information can serve as an initial guide to getting your feet wet in this world. With a little work and determination, your business can be a local success.
Want more advice, tips, or tricks? Check out our business page for more information.