Small Business Tips

    1. All businesses need a specific level of margin and resultant gross profit to be able to meet their monthly commitments. If you are unsure what that figure should be you are headed for serious trouble. Get some immediate advice.
    1. You should know your fixed expenses accurately and have a good idea of the variable expenses you will incur during the month. If you do not know what they then find out and control them on a daily and weekly basis. The only surprises you want are good ones!
    1. Manufacturing facilities can be inherently untidy and unsafe places. Don’t allow poor conditions to exist. People work more efficiently and enjoy their job much more if they are in a clean, safe environment. Allow employees the time to pause and tidy up their workstations and insist that high standards of tidiness and safety be adhered to.
    1. As the owner of a business don’t be afraid to share the good and the not so good news with your staff on a regular basis. Good staff are hard to find and even harder to keep. Being kept informed about the business gives a feeling of belonging and responsibility which results in employee loyalty, an important factor when the pressure is on to improve results.
    1. Be prepared to reward your employees. Accept that it is not always the boss who achieves the good results but a combined effort from all those involved. If the facilities allow, put on a barbecue lunch with you doing the cooking. If not, perhaps bring in pizzas or other takeaway delights occasionally. The cost is insignificant, but the effect will be readily apparent.
    1. If you employ external sales personnel, don’t be afraid to expect daily and or weekly reports on the activities of your representatives. Ask for details such as the name, title & location of the client or prospect, time spent with the person spoken to, subjects discussed and the expected outcome of the call, commitments made and follow up plans. Email is a very convenient mode of reporting. Set realistic call rate expectations of your sales staff and don’t accept obvious lack of planning and poor utilisation of their time. Representation is the most unsupervised and trust based function in any organisation. If a representative is unwilling to report in such a way, then you do not want them on your payroll.