Startup founders deserve a lot of credit. They work hard and contribute a great deal to the economy. Even so, startup founders who enter the entrepreneurial race without business management skills could find themselves at a disadvantage.
Startups are often launched by people with skills or products that they convert into sales. In reality, these business owners offer themselves to the world. Often, they simply don’t have the time to attend business classes while trying to jump-start their business. Realistically, though, good business management will increase your chances of success.
The good news is that many startup owners have created thriving businesses without the benefit of an MBA. If you can’t find the time or money to take classes while trying to run your business, here are some of the key areas to focus on (a mini, mini, mini MBA):
1. Manage your strategy
Figure out how much revenue you hope to make for the year. Anticipate what your expenses are likely to be as well as your expected gross and net profit margins. Doing this will help you with strategizing, as you’ll have definite targets to work toward.
2. Manage your finances
As a startup owner, you don’t need to be a CPA. It is important, however, to have a thorough understanding of your company’s finances. This will help you make sound decisions that will help your business become more profitable.
3. Manage your processes with automation
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Try to automate as many of your processes as possible. There’s a host of workplace automation tools (Zapier is our favorite!) that you can use to make your life easier. They can streamline your business, cut down on errors, and increase the efficiency of your back office processes. The time you save by doing this can be put to good use in other areas to increase your profits (see a theme?).
4. Manage your team
Hire innovative people who can help you grow your business. Once you have them on board, make sure they feel involved and valued. Invite suggestions and encourage collaboration by listening to and implementing the ideas of those on your team. When people feel valued and respected, they become more invested in making the enterprise a success.
5. Manage your marketing
Tap into the goldmine that is word-of-mouth advertising. Get feedback from your customers, then act on it. Applying feedback is a tried-and-true method of converting customers into repeat clients. This will get them talking, and they will spread the word about your business. This is important because 92% of consumers trust their friends over traditional media.
6. Manage your expectations
Setbacks are bound to happen in business, and the most successful business owners are those who are able to recover quickly from disappointment. The key is flexibility; being able to adjust your strategy is an asset in a constantly changing world.
With good business management, your enterprise will run smoothly. You will then be able to focus fully on maximizing your startup’s profit-making potential.