Starting a successful company isn't just about having a great idea and executing it. Giving your teams the right tools and systems is crucial too, to help the day-to-day flow smoothly. Think about it: Every bit of time you save by streamlining a process can go toward ideation and innovation.
Whether you're launching a small business or wanting to expand the one you've already started, here are seven tips to help you and your young company grow.
Emailing certainly has its place at the office, but it's not always the best way to communicate or collaborate; sometimes all that back-and-forth can lead to wasted time, overlooked steps and buried attachments. That's where cloud-based, work sharing software and apps can come into play, allowing you to create dedicated channels for projects or teams. Here are some top ways to use these tools.
Many day-to-day business tasks can take up valuable time, especially if you're operating with a lean staff, which is why you may want to harness the power of automation tools. Consider these options to streamline processes and help you feel as though you have another set of hands.
Your type of business and early growth goals will likely play a major role in determining the amount of money you'll need to get it off the ground. These are some sources you might tap for potential funding.
Enlisting the help of someone with credibility and widespread recognition among your target audience can be a useful marketing move; if they're willing to promote your business or product, it could mean a major boost for your brand awareness. You might not land a major celebrity endorsement, but you can create a beneficial business relationship with someone who adds value to your enterprise.
Start by searching social media for people who are respected in your industry and have a big following. You'll want to choose a person whose image and reach resonate with your marketing goals and ideal client. Popular bloggers, prolific authors and thought leaders can be good options too.
Keep in mind that certain legal disclosures are needed if you do engage an influencer. It must be clear in your posts and the influencer's post that they are paid by you and that it is a paid promotion.
Hiring the right people is always a smart way to cover the workload and bring in experts so you don't have to know (and do) everything. If you aren't ready for the commitment and cost of a full-time worker, consider hiring a part-time employee or freelancer to tackle necessary tasks that are too time-consuming or outside your area of expertise.
The gig economy is only growing, and so is the pool of skilled people who are able to step in quickly for short-term projects in a range of fields, from accounting and graphic design to building maintenance and order fulfillment.
Getting a small business off the ground takes focus, so it can be easy to lose sight of the grand plan. To tackle things efficiently, it can help to disconnect from day-to-day tasks long enough to take in the big picture and prioritize next steps.
Try the "eat the frog" approach, which means taking care of your most challenging task first. By allowing you to gather momentum and power through your lighter tasks faster, it can give the rest of your day a boost.
No matter how many smart processes and systems you have in place, their usefulness can't compare to the effect the human element has in determining your company's success. Ensuring your teams feel appreciated and have what they need is essential to building a business that runs smoothly.
"[Employees] are more valuable than key technology, fancy offices or even money in the bank," says The SnapBar co-founder Sam Eitzen, and regularly recognizing your team's accomplishments can ultimately help build camaraderie and foster a sense of pride for your brand.
— With additional reporting from Life and Money by Citi editors.
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