23 Jan 2024
Small Business Management: An Extensive Guide
Written by Doug D'Aubrey

As a small business owner, a fundamental way to grow your business and profits is to become more effective at management – in all its forms.

The term ‘management’ is often mis-associated with the management of people. However, it’s vital to recognise that its application spans all aspects of your business, regardless of size – whether you’re a sole trader or SME.

This guide aims to help business owners identify and implement simple improvements to the management of your business. Effective management will free up your time as a business owner, delegate responsibilities efficiently, and help increase your awareness of your business. In turn, you will experience increased efficiency, grow your business, and increase your profits.

 

The different types of management you need in a small business

 

Organisational structure

Establishing a transparent command structure within your organisation will give people authority, demonstrate a clear promotion path, and define responsibilities. Often, people work best when there is a healthy balance of autonomy and structure. As small business owners, you cannot do everything, so you need people you can trust to take responsibility for specific tasks.

 

Building a management team

With the right people, your business will flourish, especially if you foster a culture of respect, collaboration, openness, and trust. While it’s important to diversify your management team, you also need to ensure goals and values align. For example, you need to mix people with different skills, but you may find conflict if some of your management team members are too driven by revenue while the others are on customer service. There needs to be a respected balance and cultural alignment.

 

People management

Managing individuals is often viewed as more of an art than a science, especially for small businesses. People form the heart of your business, and people-related disturbances can become a massive drain on resources. You must understand the unique goals and motivations of each team member. This understanding becomes the cornerstone for devising strategies to inspire, motivate, and foster an environment where each individual can contribute their best.

 

Management Meetings

It’s essential your management team, no matter how big or small, are all working towards your business objectives. Regular, structured management meetings are great for disseminating information and aligning company activity. The key here is to keep these meetings purposeful and avoid disrupting day-to-day operations.

 

Time management

Every business owner wishes there were more hours in the day. However, as much as we’d like to, we cannot control time, just how we use it. It’s important that you continually seek to be more efficient with your time. This includes setting deadlines, tracking time spent on projects/tasks and making time for reviews to reflect on performance and identify ways to become more efficient in the future.

 

Statistical management

In business, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Understanding how to interpret business data and key performance indicators will help you optimise performance and make informed decisions.

 

Change management

Change is inevitable, yet it is often met with resistance. Typically, humans don’t like change, and this can be most apparent with staff and customers when trying to implement unplanned change in an organisation. To reduce resistance, it’s always best to foster open communication and provide support to help any transition. Effectively managing change is integral to long-term business success.

 

Project management

A well-structured plan should always be the foundation for any undertaking. When starting any project, you should always clearly understand timelines, resources and projected/desired outcomes. Clear expectations and efficient resource allocation will always increase a project’s success.

 

Financial management

As a small business owner, you should always know your financial position; this isn’t your accountant’s job (as strange as it may sound). Accountants can tell you your history and provide a factual account of how much money you have. However, this information is only helpful if you combine it with your market experience and your sensitivity to risk.

 

How ETC can help

If you need help streamlining your business management and increasing your profits, please get in touch.

If you are new to ETC, why not contact us for a free new business review? We’ll spend two hours with you, giving you professional coaching and will leave you with actions for immediate implementation.