As a business owner there are no doubt countless tasks on your to-do list, constant crisis situations, and plenty of micro-managing to be done. It can feel like a constant battle to stay on top of things. And even if you are the most organised person in the world keeping on top of a business is no small feat.
Small and medium sized enterprise (SME) make up over 99 % of all businesses, and are responsible for stimulating the economy. These businesses are vital for a healthy market economy, but are nonetheless some of the most vulnerable to deterioration. In layman’s terms, small businesses are at risk of not only going out of business, but a whole host of other business risks that not dealt with properly can be catastrophic to the health of that business.
As the owner of an SME you will want to know what you need to be concerned about, and what you can pass on to other people. Efficiency in business is crucial, and can be the difference between your business moving forward, or floundering under financial and logistical pressures.
Running a business comes with many potential risks- some avoidable. Knowing how to identity and minimise risks is a crucial part of strategic business planning. Hiring a risk management consultant is a useful investment for many companies. If you simply don’t yet have the budget for this, then going through and having a strong risk-management strategy in place will ensure you stay on top of this important element of your business.
Common workplace risks include physical risks such as fires, human risks such as alcohol and drug abuse by employees or illness and injury. Technology risks may include power outages, and anything that poses a critical threat to business systems.
The most effective risk insurance is risk prevention. This risk prevention can be achieved by a variety of different factors, including but not limited to, employee training, background checks, safety checks, equipment maintenance, and having a designated risk-management leader. Of course, even with all of these prevention strategies in place, accidents can happen. And knowing what to do in this situation is crucial. Having people who are trained to deal with emergencies is crucial in business. It shouldn’t fall to you to deal with all emergency scenarios, and while you need to know how to deal with emergencies, you need to have people who can respond and deal with scenarios when you are not around.
After identifying the risks, you will need to put them on a scale of how likely they are to occur in your business. A scale of probability will allow you to prioritize risks and manage them accordingly. For example, risks may be on a scale from very likely to occur, to having very little chance of occuring. A risk assessment can help reassure investors by assessing the likelihood of an adverse event taking place, providing facts and figures to determine the probability and how they can be avoided.
While this project may be very important to you and it can be very difficult to be confident enough in someone to delegate some of the responsibility, it is crucial that you take some pressure off your back and delegate some of your workload to other people. Doing so will allow other people to take on some of the responsibility from you and will increase the efficiency and success rate of your enterprise. Instead of one person attempting to cover all bases, each individual will be able to focus on a particular element or branch of the business. In the long run, it is much wiser to take on competent individuals to help you out, rather than spreading yourself too thin by attempting to do it yourself. In a similar way, you can pass on some of the responsibility of your marketing to other companies, or even to manufacturers who can help you develop your branding. Take a look at this pressure sensitive label manufacturer to get an idea of the kind of marketing materials on offer that can meet your marketing needs.
While it is important to take on a strong and efficient team of workers (when you are financially able to) it isn’t a good idea to employ people you are friends with. Bringing your friends into your business can be difficult when it comes to making difficult decisions and holding people accountable. Having a friendship as well as a business relationship may lead to professional misunderstandings that can go over in to your friendship. In situations that require sanctions, it is difficult to reprimand an employee when you have personal ties with them. Making tough business calls is something you will have to deal with at some point, this may mean reprimanding people and perhaps having to let them go. This may be more difficult with a friend, and you may find yourself compromising yourself at the expense of your business.
If you do work with friends and family – perhaps with a family business, having very clear cut roles for each individual can help keep things professional. Being able to maintain a professional distance is easier if you have a system in place whereby people are expected to be accountable for themselves and to the company. At the end of the day, having a good working relationship is important and it can be achieved with family and friends if carefully managed.
Build a strong marketing strategy
Everyone knows that if you want your business to be viewed by as large an audience as possible, the internet is the best way to do this. Keep up-to-date with the various social media platforms and build a name for yourself across the board. You may need to bring someone onboard to help with the PR and marketing strategy for your business if you can, as this is an investment that will pay out in the long term. Once again, delegation is key, and knowing how to manage this successfully will enable you to build your business forward.