A Comprehensive Guide to Small Business Management [2022]

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.

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.

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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

Why is Good Management Important for a Small Business?

When starting a business, it can be easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks, making it difficult to see the big picture.

You may feel like you need to do a million things daily, and prioritizing your work can be challenging.

That's when good management comes into the picture.

It can help you make better business decisions, hire the right people, improve your company culture, and set clear goals for your employees.

You should know what works and what doesn’t so you can make adjustments as needed.

Good management is also about setting expectations and being transparent with your employees. Planning for the future and putting systems in place ensure your business will succeed for years.

It helps you see the bigger picture and ensure you spend time on the things that matter most.

Good management can help you avoid burnout and maintain a healthy balance between your professional and personal life.

A good manager not only focuses on ensuring their team is productive and happy but also on improving their skills to be more efficient.

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.

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.

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.

Management Software and Tools for Small Businesses

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 and can be challenging to keep up with your team's work and your overall organization. This is why so many small businesses turn to management software.

Here are some useful business management software and tools:

  • Trello - Trello is an excellent way to organize projects by splitting them into different cards or lists. You can create boards for each project, so everyone knows where they stand on their assigned tasks.
  • Slack - This messaging app gives teams a place to share files, chat with one another in real-time, or discuss upcoming events or milestones within their company culture calendar.
  • FreshBooks - A cloud accounting solution designed specifically around small businesses; it helps simplify financial statements while providing insights into what's working best in each department based on data gathered automatically.
  • Asana - Asana also provides team collaboration features and task project management functionality.
  • SurveyMonkey - SurveyMonkey is a survey and feedback service that lets you collect data from clients, customers, and employees.
  • Wrike - Wrike offers a complete suite of project management tools, from scheduling meetings to managing tasks and expenses.
  • HubSpot - HubSpot CRM offers marketing automation software for small businesses, including lead generation.
  • GSuite - Gmail by Google is a popular email client with all the bells and whistles you'd expect from an email app. You can also access Drive storage and document editing, Calendar functions, contacts management tools, chatting, and video conferencing.
  • Dropbox - This online file hosting service helps you store and sync files to computers and mobile devices, making sharing photos, videos, presentations, and more straightforward.
  • Podio - Podio is social media management software that includes basic project management features.
  • Later – It's a 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.
  • Canva - Canva is a free graphic design app for designing anything, from banners to flyers and social media graphics. Its clean interface, drag-and-drop editing options, and built-in font library make creating anything simple.

4 Tips on How to Manage a Small Business

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.

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.

How to Keep Your Team Motivated and Engaged

A motivated and engaged workforce can make all the difference between a company that succeeds 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.

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.

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