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Tips for Running a Successful Small Business

Running a business is challenging. Running a successful business? Even more demanding! There is a lot of time and effort put into a business for it to run smoothly and profitably. The information below can reduce your stress, increase your business’s productivity and give you the satisfaction of having a well-run business.

1. Hire wisely.

Your business is only as good as each individual employee’s contribution. Check for the “3 I’s” before hiring people:

  • Intelligence
  • Initiative, and
  • Integrity

For every position, from the receptionist to the shipping clerk, hire the best you can find and always be on the lookout for new potential.

2. Build a team, not an ego.

Many employers let their egos dominate their interactions with their employees. Stop the pattern. Trust your employees to do their jobs instead. Let all your employees know that they are an integral part of the company’s end product. Set the example for positive interaction at all times between the members of your team, even when their performance must be corrected. Ask yourself every day: What am I doing to make my employees successful?

3. Reward good employees well.

When you find good employees, reward them financially and emotionally. Pay them well but more so, take the time to acknowledge each employee’s contribution. The two biggest loyalty builders are the words “Thank You!”

4. Be hands-on.

Know each employee’s job and how to do it. This not only gives you a reserve employee and trainer (yourself) but has an added bonus. If you show employees that you are willing to learn their jobs, you are letting them know that you believe that their work has value. You may also find ways of changing the processes if they are too cumbersome or taking too long.

5. Communicate.

You must talk with your employees, solicit their suggestions and correct their mistakes in a positive way. Conversely, you must create an atmosphere in which your employees are willing to talk with you. The two best sources of information about your business are your employees and your customers. Pay attention to both.

6. Give your best and always encourage the same in your employees!

Pride in a company and its products or services always begin at the top. If you give a half effort or let a sloppily constructed products go out the door, you are sending a message that you do not respect your clients or your work. Your employees will adopt that view as well. On the other hand, if you set the example of giving the extra effort and working as a unit to be the best in the business, your employees will follow your lead.

7. Encourage innovation and creation!

Give your employees a stake in the future. Once a month, have a meeting where the employees make suggestions on how to improve your product, service, efficiency or bottom line. Give monetary rewards when the ideas pay off.