A business owner knows better than anyone just how much damage can be done due to a company’s failure to recover from a bump in the road. It is expected that you and your business are going to encounter new problems as each day passes, and you can expect that they will either shift or drastically alter the way your business runs. However, the last thing you need or want are these bumps in the road to become mountains blocking your path ahead. If you don’t have effective strategies to ensure that your company has the ability to run like a well-oiled machine, then you run the risk of impeding on your own success.
No one can expect that you will be able to predict every pit fall your company may encounter, but having a strategy for all the positive and negative outcomes your business could one-day face – coupled with concrete strategies for dealing with the present – will help ensure your business is one that is here to stay.
Your company needs to be able to stand on its own. It is impossible for any business owner, no matter how dedicated or how small the company, to constantly oversee every single task and detail. You need to trust that you’ve created a foundation so that your company not only floats without your continual presence, but thrives.
Keeping your company running smoothly may be much easier than you think. With a bit of careful planning, trust and dedication, your company can be running as if it had been standing for years and years. Here’s how to get started:
- Know when it’s time to add or take away relevant/redundant departments
Even the best of us are often quite late when realising the time has come to make some shifts in our company’s departments. If you’re a small business owner, and you think your company could benefit from creating a small number of departments, now is the time to make the change. Departments not only allow you to easily delegate, manage and oversee certain tasks, it enables you to streamline your communications with employees, co-workers and overall keeps you more organised. That is, if it is done right. Don’t get too carried away, otherwise you may encounter the problem of having several redundant departments.
The only thing worse than having several redundant departments, is a business owner who doesn’t know that they have several redundant departments. Not only that, but one who thinks despite their ineffectiveness for their particular company, that the structure is ‘key’ to their success. Every single business runs differently, and whilst there are several universal tools to enable your company to run like the best of the best, at the end of the day you need to examine your companies own needs. If you once set up departments in hopes of creating a smoother functioning business, but your employees seem bogged down and they are itching for a shakeup, listen! Everyone makes mistakes, and so if one or more of your departments are clearly redundant, you haven’t failed! You’re not doing yourself any favours by carrying that dead weight along, and your company will thank you.
- Stay on top of systems and procedures
Arguably, the biggest waste of time for you and your employees alike, is outdated procedures. Despite how familiar you and your employees may be with your company’s procedures, it is imperative that you are consistently updating and revising them if you want to ensure a smooth running business. Not only does it aid in reducing human error, minor inconsistencies and reduces the need to ask questions, it’s a great tool for training new employees or aiding a recently promoted one.
You will heavily benefit from having every position in your company supported by a relevant system and procedure. It keeps things streamlined, and allows new additions and existing employees to move around and adjust seamlessly into positions and roles. Plus, it ensures all work is as consistent as possible, even between team members. Efficiency and organisation will always play huge roles in a company’s success, and this tip is a key component of maintaining both!
- Find a balance between routine and spontaneity
Although organisation, systems and procedures are fundamental to a smooth running company, nothing can slow things down more than severe rigidity. Ensure that your company is not so restrictive, that you are stifling your employee’s creativity and lowering their morale. Routine is important, but if you lack the ability to be able to push the boundaries from time to time, you will soon find your company encountering several road blocks. If the driving force behind your company’s progression – your employees – feel stifled by the routine in place, then your company will not only fail to run smoothly, it may fail to run all together.
- Check in with your employees
As mentioned above, no business owner has the ability to oversee every single component of how their business runs. This also means, that no business owner has the ability to see every single drawback that their business may be facing. Liaise with your employees, get their opinion. Where do they think things may have the potential to go wrong? Ask them if they’re happy, do they feel satisfied with the work they are doing? Do they think anything could be done to improve the way things are at the moment?
They are the people who are implementing your ideas, so not only do they need to be compliant with them, more often than not they want to be able to work with them too. If your employees aren’t valued, not only will your company suffer due to their disdain and lack of motivation – but you will miss out on an opportunity to see things from a perspective you perhaps normally wouldn’t.
- Find time for yourself
Your company is at its most vulnerable when you are. Take time for yourself to refresh and regenerate, otherwise you run the risk of bringing the company down with you. An irritable, overrun boss is not a recipe for smooth sailing. Put yourself first for a change and the positive effects will trickle down soon enough.