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Running a successful business is hard. Statistics show that 20 percent of new businesses fail in the first year, half fail within five years, and only about one-third make it to the 10 year mark. Fortunately, YouHaveGotThePower offers these best practices for small businesses that can help you beat the odds.
1. Streamline Your Payroll System
Paying your employees on time is one of the most important tasks your business must complete. It is also one of the most complex. You must comply with all state, local and federal regulations, get your tax and other withholdings right, deal with garnishments, process benefits and more.
It isn’t always practical for a small business to have an in-house payroll department. Automated software solutions are an option, providing among other features automated timesheets for productivity that track employees’ times clocked in and out and allow admins to approve submitted hours. Some apps like QuickBooks Time can be used via smartphone, allowing you to manage workers’ schedules even when you’re not in the office or out of Wi-Fi range.
Before investing in full-fledged automation, it makes sense for some small businesses to use a payroll template instead. In addition to simplifying your payroll process, payroll templates can be integrated with time tracking, scheduling and billing tools.
2. Network With Local Business Owners
It can be tempting to view other local business owners as competition, but there is significant value in collaboration. You can work together to attract more business to your town. You can refer customers to each other’s businesses. You may build relationships with vendors who will provide you with priority service or discounted rates. You may even find new business opportunities. BusinessStudent.com notes that joining your local chamber of commerce is one of the best ways to build your network.
3. Focus Your Marketing Efforts
The advent of social media has expanded the opportunities for small businesses to market themselves. The downside to that is that it is easy for your marketing message to get muddy. While it is important to optimize your message for each platform, your core message should remain consistent. Your social media efforts should funnel customers to your website, and your marketing efforts through other channels should mirror your messaging on social media.
4. Keep Your Records Organized
Running a business comes with a lot of paperwork. Some of it is internal documentation necessary for your business operations, and some paperwork is required to fulfill state, local or federal regulations. There are a variety of document management software programs you can use to organize and store your digital records. You can also scan in paper records so that you can organize and search for them digitally.
This makes it easier to find information when you need it and reduces the amount of physical storage space needed for paper records. However, check with an attorney or tax professional before you toss your paper records to make sure you aren’t required to keep a paper copy of some records and dispose of them securely.
5. Motivate Your Team
Few things can sink a business faster than unhappy employees. Take time to recognize your staff for the work that they do and you’ll find your team getting stronger. There are many ways you can improve morale and incentivize employees to produce quality work. Extra paid time off and other bonuses can be a good motivator. Rippl says you can also establish an employee recognition program to reward your staff with perks, public accolades or other forms of compensation.
The best way to avoid your business becoming another statistic is to be proactive, implement helpful technology and keep a flexible approach. Implementing best practices can increase success and help you avoid common issues that lead to business failure.