Owning and operating your own small business is a big challenge and responsibility, but it is also incredibly fulfilling. If you’ve been at it for a while, you know by now how rewarding it can be to weather ups and downs and come out on top.
However, you don’t want your venture to become stagnant—you need to keep growing. It can feel overwhelming to change the habits and procedures you’ve established. Still, the chances are that making some changes will make everyone’s lives easier and make your small business more productive than ever before.
1. Reassess Your Structure
Your company’s organizational structure is a map of how you arrange workgroups to achieve your goals. Take a look at the organizational structure of your business, including all employees, their functions, and who supervises whom. Consider where you could streamline by changing the chain of command, consolidating roles, or hiring new help.
Deciding to change your organizational structure isn’t a light decision. As you consider potential reorganization, be sure that you:
- Note the cost to benefit ratio of each department, both financially and in terms of other retargets and assets
- Track the flow of communication—are departments communicating well with each other, or are there task repetitions and misunderstandings?
- Measure the effects of any changes you do make. Hopefully, you will see positive changes, and this will become a template for future assessments. If not, then you can adjust and correct the situation
You can hire a consultant to give an objective assessment of your organizational structure. They can bring an objective perspective on your productivity, workflows, or the development of economies of scale.
2. Outtarget IT
As your business grows, you may need to consider outsourcing some tasks to stay agile and profitable. Chief among these is IT. IT is a highly specialized function that is continuously evolving. Keeping pace with it can become onerous.
Building an in-house IT department requires staff with specialized skills, whom you need to train continuously and equip with the latest hardware and software. If you opt to outtarget your IT by hiring professionals like local laptop technicians, you can permanently cross those things off your to-do list. Your costs are fixed unless you change your package, and you can quickly scale up or down your services. In the end, you’ll save money on training and space, and you’ll have 24-hour service that isn’t on your payroll.
3. Cut Costs, Streamline Processes
You likely made a budget when you initially started your business, but things have changed, and so has your business. Take a look at your cost centers and identify where you can save money. You can also look at making your operations more efficient.
Technology is very effective at making your operations cheaper and more efficient. For example, you can automate things like maintenance scheduling and reordering of supplies. There is no need for paperwork in this day and age, so you can cut down on printing, paper, and filing costs if you switch to a digital system. Digital communication platforms also come with additional features like document sharing or video conferencing that add to efficiency in collaborating.
As the world turns digital, industries are becoming smarter by using data. Data collection and analysis are bringing new insights and capabilities to companies. With automation and AI, even small businesses benefit from the technology’s accuracy, efficiency, and effectiveness.
4. Add a Blog To Your Company Website
A company blog is a vital content asset. It enables your business to stand out and write its own story to compel customers. You can use a company blog to give your brand a voice, share company updates and establish yourself as an authority in your industry.
Creating regular, well-written blog posts is also essential for your search engine optimization (SEO). If your content is good, other websites may provide links to it for their readers or backlinks. Backlinks are essential for SEO, as they lend credibility to your website. SEO is a vital digital marketing tactic. Consumers no longer use the yellow pages to search for something; they use internet search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. So if you rank well on internet searches, you can drive traffic to your website, leading to sales or leads.
Google reads backlinks as a stamp of approval from one site to another. For example, if you write great blog posts about the law, then other websites may link to your articles to explain legal issues, which will make your site a legal authority in Google’s eyes.
5. Consider Next Steps
It’s clear that whatever methods you’ve been using are working for you. However, to get to the next level as a small business owner, you will need to build on your initial plans with new ideas. The inspiration can come from the leadership, employees, or customers. You can have a brainstorming session with your staff to tap into their insights and unique perspective on your company.
Another option is to ask your customers for insights. For example, you can use a survey to get their thoughts. This will also make your customers feel involved and like their opinions are valued, forming a positive brand association.
Growth is a natural process in business. As you grow, you need to change and potentially adopt new practices. As long as you can keep your business’s core values, change and adaptation will make your business better.