Small business management can be intimidating. From day-to-day operations to long-term planning and everything in between, there's an endless supply of tasks—which is also why many turn to small business consulting firms.
Fortunately, there are resources available to help you manage your business better.
This guide will explore all the ins and outs of small business management to help you succeed as an independent entrepreneur.
Table of Contents
- What Is Small Business Management?
- What Does a Small Business Manager Do?
- Why Is Good Management Important For a Small Business?
- Core Skills Of an Effective Small Business Manager
- Management Software And Tools For Small Businesses
- 4 Tips On How To Manage a Small Business
- Small Business Management: Takeaway
What Is Small Business Management?
Small business management is the process of overseeing and coordinating all aspects of an organization's operations. It's about ensuring your business is profitable, running smoothly, and doing what it needs to do for you and your employees.
Most small businesses are owned and operated by one person, but many others have several owners or partners who work together.
Between staying on top of accounting, HR, small business marketing, and other tasks in your small business, it's easy to feel like you need more hands than you have.
These roles aren't just for giant corporations with thousands of employees. Even small businesses need to stay organized to succeed.
Small business management is more than just juggling a few daily tasks. It's about growing a company, making intelligent decisions, and hiring the best people for the job.
What Does a Small Business Manager Do?
The role of a small business manager depends on your organization's needs and what makes the most sense for your organization.
Small business managers are responsible for every critical aspect of daily operations. The specific tasks are usually:
- Planning out the day-to-day operations of a company,
- Overseeing the finances and budgeting,
- Making sure that employees are working efficiently and meeting deadlines,
- Leading marketing efforts to draw in new customers,
- Hiring and training employees,
- Negotiating contracts with vendors and advertising the company's services,
- Ensuring that your company's products or services are effective, efficient, and consistent with customer requirements.
Importance of Small Business Management
When starting a business, getting caught up in the day-to-day tasks can be easy, making it difficult to see the big picture. You may feel like you need to do a million things daily and deciding which task to prioritize can be challenging when each is important.
That's when you’ll realize the importance of small business management, which is crucial for the success and sustainability of small businesses.
Here is the list of five advantages that small business management delivers:
Increases Overall Efficiency and Productivity of Business Operations
As a small business owner, you should plan, organize and coordinate your resources, including people, time and finances, to ensure they are used efficiently and effectively. Small business management tips will help you succeed.
Managing small business operations can help you make better business decisions, hire the right people, improve your company culture and set clear goals for your employees. Thorough planning will let you know what works and what doesn’t so you can adjust your strategy.
This enhances the overall productivity of the business and helps achieve its goals.
Boosts Employees' Growth and Development
Management of small businesses is crucial for the management and development of your employees - if they professionally grow, they will boost your company's growth, too.
As a small business owner, you can motivate and engage the workforce by hiring and retaining the right employees, providing suitable training and development opportunities and fostering a positive work culture.
You can increase productivity, efficiency and profitability by encouraging your employees to develop their soft and hard skills.
And remember - a good manager not only focuses on ensuring their team is productive and happy but also on improving their skills to be more efficient.
Builds a Strong Brand Reputation
Small business management tips are critical for building a strong positive brand reputation.
As a small business, you can create a loyal customer base and differentiate your work from competitors by focusing on customer service, quality control and innovation.
A strong brand reputation can lead to more significant customer engagement with your business and more referrals, which is essential for sustainable growth.
Enables Stabile Business Finances and Constant Cash Flow
All companies should bring business decisions within their budget, but this especially goes for small companies, where financial resources are often limited and cash flow insecure.
Small business management is essential when discussing business finances because it enables financial stability and growth. You can make informed decisions about investments, expenses and revenue generation by managing cash flow, budgeting and financial planning. They can also identify potential economic challenges and take proactive measures to overcome them.
Small business management also refers to selecting adequate equipment, software and hardware that correspond to your business needs, instead of overspending on unnecessary elements. The same applies to employment and many other aspects of your work, where you may overdo it, resulting in negative financial consequences.
Mitigating risks and compliance
Small business management involves ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Small businesses can avoid legal and financial penalties by understanding and adhering to taxation, employment and health and safety regulations. You can also implement risk management strategies to mitigate risks and safeguard your business.
By focusing on these areas, you can create sustainable and successful small companies.
Six Core Skills Of an Effective Small Business Manager
Good management requires several skills and abilities.
While you won't need to be an expert in every skill, you should have a basic understanding of how they work and how you can apply them to your organization.
If you plan to start your small business management firm or already run one, make sure you're well-versed in these core skills, so you can manage your employees more effectively:
Communication is an essential quality that ties all of these skills together.
To be an effective manager, you must communicate clearly and effectively so your employees know what you expect.
You also need to listen to your employees and understand their needs so you can help them succeed and be happy in their jobs.
Planning is another essential skill for managing a small business successfully.
You should look at your team's workload, set priorities and organize everything so it makes sense and gets done.
3. Time Management
Every person on your team is running against the clock.
You need to understand how long it takes for your employees to do specific tasks, and then prioritize everyone's work accordingly, so nothing falls through the cracks.
Managing a small business is a challenging job. Sometimes, you’ll have to make difficult decisions that may be unpopular with your employees.
You should stand behind your decisions, explain why you made them, and deal with any pushback appropriately.
5. Financial Management
Small business owners have limited resources at their disposal. Therefore, you need expertise in managing finances, so you don't waste money while still getting everything done within budget limits.
Last but not least, you need to be able to make sound decisions.
Good managers don’t let emotion cloud their judgment. They take a logical approach when making decisions and help their employees succeed.
Twelve Management Tools for Small Business
If you're managing a small business, there's a good chance you're doing it on a shoestring budget. While this can be incredibly rewarding, it can also be highly stressful.
Small business management is time-consuming; keeping up with your team's work and overall organization can be challenging. Overload is the reason so small business turn to management tools for small businesses that increase their effectiveness and productivity.
Here are 12 of the most valuable business management software and tools:
Trello is an excellent way to organize projects by splitting them into different cards. You can create boards for each project so everyone knows where they stand on their assigned tasks.
Even if your team works remotely, Trello will gather all your information in one place, keeping them accessible through web and mobile applications.
Another advantage is that this tool has an intuitive user interface, making it simple even if it is your first time using a collaboration app.
This messaging app allows teams to share files, chat with one another in real-time or discuss upcoming events or milestones within their company culture calendar.
Slack provides many channels that allow you to stay organized and focused, with central spaces for conversations, files, tools and people. You can even communicate with teams from other companies you collaborate with, with the same ease you do with your own.
Slack can easily integrate with other important small business tools, like Google Drive, Microsoft Office and 2200 others.
A cloud accounting solution designed specifically for small business administration; it helps simplify financial statements while providing insights into what's working best in each department based on data gathered automatically.
FreshBooks tool offers professional invoicing features, ideal for small businesses that work with contractors and employees, but also for freelancers and self-employed professionals.
The tool integrates with over 100 great apps to streamline your business, help you connect with your team and clients and better understand your business.
Asana provides team collaboration features and task project management software functionality.
It is flexible and accessible for all teams, enabling small companies to deliver quality work together faster than ever before.
Asana automates your workflows by putting redundant tasks on autopilot, streamlines your reports, facilitates gathering information and manage risks and dependencies on company goals for better collaboration with leadership.
A survey and feedback service that lets you collect data from clients, customers and employees, providing valuable insights and enabling data-driven decisions.
SurveyMonkey provides many different survey types, such as customer satisfaction, market research, employee engagement, product testing, brand awareness and many others. Surveys can be filtered by type.
It also provides specialized toolkits designed for specific roles and industries, such as customer service, human resources and product management.
If you thought it was impossible to have one platform that streamlines all the workflows, meet Wrike! This tool offers a complete suite of project management tools, from scheduling meetings to managing tasks and expenses.
Wrike empowers your teams to do the best work with 360° visibility, cross-departmental collaboration and powerful automation.
It provides robust and extensive marketing, IT and project management features that will maximize your team's performance, accelerate growth and improve customer experience.
HubSpot CRM (customer relationship management) software offers marketing automation software for small businesses, including lead generation.
HubSpot assists businesses in organizing and managing customer relationships on a centralized and user-friendly platform. Businesses can clearly understand where they stand with each customer in the buying process by tracking leads and compiling a comprehensive database of customer activity.
It provides necessary tools for all employees in your team - 100% free! Some of the HubSpot features you’ll love are email and prospect tracking, a meeting scheduler and live chat.
Google Workspace is a collection of Google's cloud computing, productivity, and collaboration tools, software and products, and GSuite is one of them.
GSuite is a paid service; the account owner is the person who created it - or it has granted admin rights. GSuite is essentially a paid version of Gmail and Google accounts with access to a few additional business tools.
As a collaborative productivity app, GSuite provides professional email, shared calendars, online document editing and storage, video meetings and much more features.
This online file hosting service helps you store and sync files to computers and mobile devices, making sharing photos, videos, presentations, and more straightforward.
Dropbox highly values user privacy and doesn’t use or resell your data - your files belong only to you. It keeps all your files in the same place, allowing you to store files up to 2 TB each, sync at light speed and enable anyone to preview nearly 200 file types.
Third-party integration is easy - connect your Dropbox with Zoom, Slack, Adobe, Microsoft Office or hundreds of others and streamline your workflow!
Podio is social media management software with basic project management features.
Whether you're working on a design project or closing a sales lead, having everything related to the job on one page makes collaboration much easier. Attach files, check the status and leave comments all in real-time, all through one platform.
Podio integrates with many of the most popular file-sharing services, customer support products, and marketing tools to be the platform that connects all of your team's work.
Comprehensive social media managing tool that lets you upload posts, create and send email campaigns, schedule tweets at the best times for engagement and measure your results with detailed reporting. Later does it all to save time and help you grow your business.
Some of its features it provides are a content calendar for scheduling social media posts, customization of captions for all social media platforms and auto-publishing for all your profiles.
Later is compatible with Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.
Canva is a free graphic design app for designing anything, from banners to flyers and social media graphics. Intuitive UI makes Canva easy to use, even for non-designers. Its clean interface, drag-and-drop editing options and built-in font library make creating anything simple.
Canva is a budget-friendly solution and invaluable tool for helping small business management with everything from social media images, videos and GIFs to posters, websites, booklets, multimedia presentations and much more.
Four Tips On How To Manage a Small Business
Managing a small business isn’t easy, especially when you’re in charge of everything - from employment and compliance to marketing decisions and checking content relevance. Your everyday work is detail oriented and you could use some relief - and you will, by following four small business management tips!
1. How to Choose the Best Management Style for Small Businesses
The best management style for small businesses combines being a leader and a coach. It's about setting the vision and strategy and helping people get there.
If you're a good leader, you're also a good coach. You listen to your team, understand them, get them on board with the plan, and support them in achieving it.
2. How to Manage Your Goals
Like any other type of goal setting, your business goals must be realistic, measurable, time-bound, and specific.
Begin by identifying the essential things you want to accomplish in your company. These are your business priorities.
For instance, your priority might be to reach $50,000 in revenue for the year, or maybe it's expanding into a new market area.
3. How to Keep Your Team Motivated and Engaged
A motivated and engaged workforce can make all the difference between a successful business and one that fails.
It's worth putting in the time to keep your employees happy because it will pay off in the long run.
- Set clear expectations of employees’ roles and responsibilities.
- Create incentives or rewards that align with company values.
- Build personal relationships with employees through one-on-one conversations.
- Keep communication lines open so everyone feels comfortable asking questions.
4. How to Manage Your Finances
The first thing you should do is understand your situation. It means understanding how much money you are making, where it's coming from, and where it's going.
Once you know where everything stands regarding finances and business growth prospects, it's time to set goals for yourself and your small business.
- Set a budget so there are no surprises when paying bills or investing in new equipment or technology.
- Track all expenses so they don't go over budget by too much.
- Stay within the budget by paying bills before any other expenses come due.
- Pay yourself first before paying bills or other expenses so that there will be some savings available when times get tough.
- Save money for future use to protect your business against inflation while giving needed returns on investment.
Small Business Management: Takeaway
Small business management can be a lot to take in. In the excitement and stress of starting your own company, it's easy to forget specific tasks.
It's the fulfillment of a lifelong dream, but it also comes with challenges you wouldn't have to face if you were working 9-to-5 in an office.
Small business management is not some magical process that only a select few people understand. It's about streamlining your day-to-day tasks so you have more time and energy for the things that matter most to you as an entrepreneur. Small business marketing companies and top business consulting firms are your trusted ally when it comes to tackling this issue.