How to manage a small business

Starting a business is a courageous decision. It is tantamount to venturing into the dark with no guarantees of achieving your objective. It is synonymous with taking control of your destiny, mindful of all the risks and responsibilities involved. Despite the challenge, the following guidelines would help to assure your success.


Always have a plan. Written plan. A good plan is necessary for informed action. Taking on any activity without a plan can lead to chaos. Any good intentions without a plan is a mere dream. A plan would outline the specific objectives of the business, strategies to achieve it, financing resources, a sales and marketing plan and a budget to encapsulate all the financial requirements.


The success of every business is dependent on setting smart goals. It is critical to define where you want to go and develop goals on how to get there. With goal-setting comes clarity of intentions and alignment of activities. Setting goals allow everybody to understand the structure and directions of the company and critical success factors.


Pay attention to the daily activities. Manage all aspects of the business paying critical attention to product and service delivery. Quality product/service will sustain the service. A check list may be necessary to manage the daily activities. It serves as a memory aid. Record keeping is very important when managing daily activities.


A good business structure is important to support a functional business system. When a business is well organised, it becomes easier manage. It then functions and create value. Keep each aspects of the business organised and functioning at peak performance.


A budget is a quantification of your business plan. The financial numbers are necessary for quality financial decisions. It helps to know the sources of the business funds and the business expenses. It helps to place the business on an even keel. It act as a guide to help your business grow. It also gives you enough understanding of your finances and helps to determine action lines to achieve business objectives. A budget should act as an action plan.


Business processes are critical to establishing an effective and efficient business set-up. It is important to have documentation of all of the business processes. A typical business operating procedure serves as a standard for promoting business effectiveness. It also serves as a reference manual for the staff. It helps to run the business in detailed and efficiently.


Business systems are necessary for business development. A business system inter-connects all the functional aspects of the business to form a cohesive unit. It connects Human Resources and Sales to Accounting to create a harmonious working system. It is critical for overall business operations.


Related: This 29-year-old startup founder shares her advice for entrepreneurs



The formula for business success is to maximise business income and minimise cost. It behoves on the business manager to ensure that cost is managed in every aspect of the business in order to create a margin. Decisions should be taken to ensure that waste in operation is reduced to barest minimum. Maximising revenue as against minimising cost creates an opportunity to maximise profit. A typical objective of a business entity.


The success of every establishment depends on the quality of the human capital. Recruitment of quality staff is important in this instance. Quality staff would create business growth and success. Be prepared to hire qualified and hardworking persons and fire lazy persons. Motivated and train your staff as part of business development.


It is worthy to reposition your business as and when in the continuously changing business environment. Many a well-established and performing business have failed dramatically because they failed to update their business concept. In this modern business environment, you either innovate or die. The strategy is to create a competitive advantage continuously. This can be achieved by monitoring the changes and dynamics in the market place and upgrading to match the changes. Being an entrepreneur is your choice, so make it work.


Business digitisation is the way forward in business development and success. Automation and speed of delivery is critical in entrepreneurship. It is incredible powerful and very cost efficient, but it takes time and small skill. It is about creating a community, using social media networking such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blogging to build rapport with your market. You need to be computer literate and savvy.


Financial information is crucial for business decision making. Financial literacy is the difference maker in terms of understanding the financial performance and position of the business. If you want to sustain your business then monitor the cash flow. The financial reports impact on quality decision making. Know your numbers and check them daily for quality decision making.     – Johnny Quarshie, The Spectator


This 29-year-old startup founder shares her advice for entrepreneurs



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