Guest post by James Daniels.
The Internet is full of articles about launching startups, but the rules of maintaining a business aren’t as straightforward. While there is a wealth of information available to new business owners, entrepreneurship doesn’t come with a manual. As such, you’re bound to make a few mistakes when you’re first starting out, but some of those mistakes will have more costly implications than others.
While there are many variables to consider when deciding what makes a business successful, there are certain things that no entrepreneur can afford to neglect. Here are five essential areas of business, and how to pay better attention to them.
Your employees are the driving force of your business. Without them showing up to work each day, your company simply would not exist. You don’t need to offer extra holiday or throw a staff party to make your staff feel looked after. Merely thanking them for doing a good job and having an open door policy can work wonders at maintaining happiness in the workplace. Contrary to what a lot of employers seem to think, treating your workers well is not an option – it’s essential if you want them to work hard for you.
No one likes bookkeeping, but keeping records of all your inflowing and outflowing business transactions is vital. You can’t possibly assess the results of your venture or calculate your tax correctly if you don’t know your bottom line. If numbers aren’t your strong suit, you can hire an accountant to take care of your bookkeeping for you. Alternatively, there are a number of affordable accounting solutions online, some of which are free, so you don’t need to hire someone to sit in your office and punch numbers.
A third of small businesses will be affected by a cyber attack at some stage. To avoid becoming another statistic, you need to take preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of a breach. Make sure your company network is protected by anti-virus software and firewalls, and don’t forget to apply the same corporate controls to phones and tablet devices. Similarly, you can’t afford to take the security of your buildings or company vehicles for granted. Use a trusted insurance company like Bluedrop Insurance Services for straightforward, comprehensive cover.
If you’ve hired employees but not provided them with structured training, you only have yourself to blame if they’re not performing. You need to continually upgrade their skills and offer them chances to improve, as well as telling them what’s expected. Even better, have all these training documents available so your workers can check them at any time, and remember to hold regular appraisal meetings.
Marketing means something different to what it meant a decade ago. Now, social media should be an integral part of your strategy. You don’t have to be an Internet whizz to get the best out of these platforms. Simply register on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, then use a platform like HootSuite to manage them all in one place. You should also link your social media profiles with your website and hire an SEO consultant to optimize your content for search engines. Embracing Internet marketing is essential for modern-day businesses, and there’s way too much competition out there for you to opt out of an online presence.