on May 30, 2017
A lot of people assume that the hardest thing about running a company is the beginning period, when you’re starting up something brand new, when you’re full of optimism and starry-eyed hopes for the future. But the truth is something different — a lot of people can start their own companies. What separates the wheat from the chaff is what happens in the future — whether you manage to keep your company running smoothly or not. Here are ten tips that will help you keep your business running well far, far into the future.
Invest in your employees
First of all, your company is only as good as the people who are working for it. Remember that even though your business was your idea and your dream, you need to open yourself up and share it with other people. Make sure that your employees feel valued by paying them a competitive wage as well as managing payrolls on time and ensuring that when you give them feedback, you focus on complimenting the positive aspects of their work as well as giving them areas where they can improve.
It’s important to make sure that they continue to develop their skills — keep your eyes open for training courses where they can further develop themselves so that they can come back to you with more knowledge about how to make your business as great as it possibly can be. It’s important to invest your time as well as your money in your staff — take them out for drinks or dinner and treat them with schemes like summer Fridays, where they might get to leave a couple of hours early, along with snacks in the office. A positive working environment will make them loyal and invested in your business.
It’s important that you stay organised and make sure that you don’t have any money issues with your company. If that isn’t your area of expertise, don’t tell yourself that you’re suddenly going to become incredible at accounting if you’ve had no training at all. Instead, hire someone who is really good and skilled in that area so that your money is kept safe and so that you don’t exceed your means and make poor decisions.
Staying organised with your finances is the best way to make sure that you keep running for as long as possible, so it’s crucial to either acquaint yourself with the basics of money to ensure that your books are correct, or to hire someone who really knows what they’re doing. It’s true that you have to spend money to make money, but you also need to make sure that you always have a comfortable cushion of cash in the bank for a rainy day.
Improve your technology
Technology is something which is constantly changing and updating itself, which means that you need to move with the times and ensure that you keep up with it as much as you can. Invest in new tech for your office, whether it’s as simple as ergonomic chairs that will keep your employees comfortable, a new business phone system, or a smartboard in your meeting room so that employees can give interesting and interactive presentations with ease. It’s important that you keep training your staff when it comes to technology so that they feel comfortable and happy and so that they can use it with ease – after all, technology doesn’t come easily to everyone.
Make sure you go green
If at all possible, it’s time to turn your whole office green. Being environmentally friendly is something that a lot of companies are focusing on these days, whether it’s going paperless, lowering the amount of energy you use in the office, or simply making sure that there’s a recycling policy in your office. The best way to make sure that your company is as green as possible is to implement a lot of small changes that people could think about making, in order to foster a company wide eco friendly way of looking at things.
First of all, make sure that your office is green – provide different bins in the kitchen area so that your staff can recycle their food containers, and ensure that all the paper in the bin is recycled. Encourage your staff not to print off too much and to be as paperless as possible. Another benefit of that is that you won’t have to store quite as much, which means in turn that you can rent a smaller office space. In the office itself, use energy efficient bulbs. Not only do they use less energy, but they also last for longer, meaning that they’ll be just as good for your bank account as they are for Mother Nature.
Add plants and greenery to your office space. Succulents don’t require too much care, which means that they won’t get brown and wilt too quickly, so they could be a good option. You could also provide a small outdoor space so that your staff have somewhere full of nature where they can go to take breaks and eat lunch.
Focus on your client relationships
It’s important that you focus on your client relationships as you move forward in your company. Chances are, you spent the first year or so attempting to drum up business and find clients — but now you’ve got them, you need to make sure that you figure out how to keep them. Other companies will start springing up and offering similar — and possibly even better — services than the ones you provide, and if you work at a small company then you need to remember that the number one thing that you can get right and do better than anyone else is customer service.
Make sure that you get to know your clients, that you meet them in person and have phone calls with them instead of only using impersonal emails. Make sure you’re aware of each client’s individual needs so that you can best help them out and provide a service that will work well for them specifically – bespoke products and services are something that will keep clients coming back to you for a long time. Make sure that you’re easy to contact — pick up the phone, reply to emails promptly, turn up on time for scheduled meetings. Reliability and great customer service are key to success.
One of the best ways to make sure that your company keeps running for a long time is to network. If you’ve never tried networking before, it can feel like a slightly strange thing to do – you go to events and make sure that you talk to as many people as you can to ensure that they know what you do, where you work, and so that you can talk about how what they do could work for you. Having the gift of the gab is great but let’s face it – not all of us do. That means that you need to work on your small talk – make sure that your face and body language are open and welcoming and that you ask people plenty of questions. One of the keys to having a successful conversation is listening carefully – hear what they say and respond to it, instead of thinking about the point that you want to get across. Once you’ve established a relationship you can move forward with business.
Learn when to delegate
Learning to delegate is sometimes not easy. When you’re running a company you might want to micromanage everything – after all, the company is your baby, and you probably want to supervise the running of everything with your own eyes. But the truth is that as time goes on and you expand your business, that simply isn’t possible if you also want to do things like go home, enjoy your weekends, and occasionally sleep! That means it’s important to know who you can delegate tasks to. That means you should figure out what your own main skills are, and stick to them, while employing people who excel at the things that aren’t your favourites that you aren’t quite as good at. Take a deep breath and learn to let go.
Keep developing yourself
No matter how well your business is going, don’t start to think that you’re perfect and that you don’t need to develop and keep getting better – let’s face it, that’s what we all need to do in life. Go to conferences to share your ideas and to talk to other people in your industry about what’s currently going on, and make sure that you keep your eyes open and that you take in a lot from the world around you. Creativity and new ideas are key to keep breathing fresh life into your company over and over again as time goes by.
Take a breather
Finally, make sure that you take a break every now and then. It’s important not to burn out, so even if you work long hours you need to switch your phone and computer off for part of the evening, to see your friends and spend quality time with your family. If your mind is tired, you simply won’t be as good at work.