As if starting a business wasn’t hard enough, maintaining and keeping it afloat is just as hard, if not more so. Every business owner does his best to keep his business running as long as possible. This often reaches a level where everyone around them starts to see them as a maniac. However, this does not guarantee positive results, and you can waste a lot of time if you only focus on the hard work that is needed.
Running a successful business requires a lot more than just endless hours of work. Entrepreneurship is all about being smart and putting in the effort where it counts. Success in business depends on strategy.
In this article, we will look at some important life hacks that will help you take your business to the initial stages of growth and take it to the next level. These life hacks are nothing more than tips based on experience. This is a short, smart list. And it’s practical. You can review the performance of your business for every hack, identify and fix gaps, and then create an action plan to keep improving.
1. Lay a solid foundation
Many people make the mistake of trying to swing at the start. This is a sure way to waste your time, money and resources due to the many challenges you will encounter along the way. Without a proper plan and a solid foundation, you will have to keep fixing the little problems that keep popping up. The most common mistake is to start without sufficient funding.
This is a particular problem for women in business who start with third of the level of finance what their male colleagues are doing. Insufficient funding will hinder your business from the very beginning. You will have to save on everything from image to staff, equipment and facilities. Of course, this will hold back business. And besides, when you face a cash flow spike, as most companies do, you won’t be able to survive it.
So do your homework properly when you start, allocate the essentials properly and get lines of funding or credit to make sure you have enough liquidity to help you overcome those hurdles.
2. Use of technology
At the same time, while providing adequate funding for your business, you also need to look for reasonable efficiency. Given the speed at which technology advances, it’s no surprise that most businesses have begun to understand its vital role. Even though companies know that technology is an important enabler in their operations, few actually use it to its full potential. You should also try to integrate various new technologies if you want to gain an additional advantage over your competitors. One of the things you can try is automating your business by eliminating any inefficiencies and saving you time. In the medium term, you will also save money.
There are many activities that require human intervention and cannot be done by machines alone; then there are mundane and repetitive activities. They are still needed, even in the early stages company formation; these processes can be done much faster and more efficiently when automated.
Conduct a technology audit of your business and consider what elements can be automated or accelerated with technology. Obvious areas include inventory management, appointment booking, accounting, contact management, sales channels, social media management, and so on. Study all your systems and processes and learn how other companies use technology at every stage.
Hiring people is one of the most significant costs for any business. And it’s not just about financial costs, but also about potential inflexibility. If your business is not very large, your employees will have a limited set of skills and knowledge. They cannot do everything well.
Outsourcing hiring freelancers or specialists for specific, limited tasks means you can move staff costs from fixed to variable costs. This makes your business more lean and adaptable as it grows, and allows you to quickly turn around and change direction without being burdened by large fixed costs. It also means that you can recruit the best people for specific tasks.
4. Create a healthy workplace
This is the most underestimated and underused technique that all companies should use due to its exceptional effectiveness. When you create a healthy environment for your employees, you increase their efficiency, morale, experience, skills, and more. This is because a healthy workplace means a better mood for your employees. They will be able to communicate better with each other and with their superiors, which will facilitate the management of business processes. Happy employees are also more likely to do more serious work than dissatisfied employees.
Although it may seem that the amount of work done by both happy and unhappy employees is the same, there is a huge difference in quality that is clearly visible upon closer inspection. Try to instill loyalty by rewarding every employee for good work and creating a tension-free environment. And research shows that the rewards that employees value most are simply appreciated. This is the most effective hack you can use and it’s free, so try it out from day one.
These are some of the most useful hacks any business can use. There are plenty of other tricks you can use in your business, but they are geared towards businesses that are in the early stages of growth and want to survive. Once you learn how to successfully run your business, you can start thinking about how to make it even better and expand its horizons. However, you will have to master the basics first. All the life hacks that we discussed will help you with this.