Being a small business owner comes with a unique set of challenges.

Firstly, depending on your size, you are responsible for creating, selling, and delivering your service or product. Secondly you could also be called on to perform account keeping, act as a HR department, and developing advertising and marketing strategies – and everything else in between.

While this can be daunting there are a number of core business management fundamentals that will make a huge difference to your success.

Concentrating on the following business strategist will help you to improve your management skills, increase productivity, and grow your small business into a large one.

Vision and Value Proposition

The first step to business success is having a clear vision and is also a trait found in just about every other successful thinker, CEO, and sportsperson.

Having a powerful vision for your business and being able to clearly articulate your value proposition will shape everything from your brand and your workflow to the people and contractors you hire.

The following are key when developing a value proposition in order to grow your small business:

  • Clarity: Can you explain what will make your product or service sought after and by whom in a single sentence.
  • Depth: Can you articulate the reasoning the single sentence is based on. Are you able to answer questions about your strategy in depth.
  • Flexibility: Are you aware of trends in your chosen industry and the likely changes in the next year, five years, ten. Do you have a plan for when these changes occur.
  • Assessment: Any vision must include KPIs and milestones for success. If you don’t know what you’re aiming for how will you know when you hit it.

Effective Time Management

Think of a business owner, CEO, or leader who you admire. Now think about the last time you saw them look rushed or hurried.

From Richard Branson to Steve Jobs or Elon Musk – these visionary and effective leaders always seem to be in control of their time and never appear rushed.

A key hallmark of success and something that is taught in almost all business management coaching is time management.

The first step to increased productivity and time management is using a system to manage your tasks. This can either be one you create completely from scratch, or adopting one of the many popular options on the market such as Getting Things Done, the Pomodoro Technique, or the Now Habit.

Develop Networks

Despite what some people believe nobody ever achieves success on their own.

Every successful business owner, CEO, thinker, or great leader was surrounded and assisted by a group of friends, family, and colleagues who helped and supported them to do great things.

There are two networks you should

  • Personal: Being a small business owner is very hard work and you will need a support network if you are to avoid burnout, maintain your mental equilibrium, and be successful. Your family and friends are your primary support network in this regard.
  • Professional: This is knowing your contractors, suppliers, distributors, customers, and adjacent industries. If you want to grow your small business you must know each and every one of the people in this chain.
  • Mentor: Those lucky enough to have known mentors consider them to be a key factor in their success. You can also belong to groups, clubs, or other associations, who can also provide mentorship and spur you on to greater success.

Financial Management

You could write a whole separate article on how to best stay on top of money management in a small business but the following are key:

  • Separate business and personal finances: This means having a business bank account and credit card for expenses. This may seem like a small thing but it saves a lot of heartache down the line.
  • Get an accountant: It may be tempting to do this yourself but an accountant will help you with everything from tax to checking your forecasting.
  • Be diligent with invoicing: Having a stable cash flow is essential for business success. Make sure you do all your invoicing on time.
  • Stay frugal: Keeping costs to a minimum will give you flexibility in the lean times and free up more capital for growth and expansion – which is a key to long term survival. You can save money on everything including; travel costs, business cards, sign writing, and some marketing.
  • Remember the ebb and flow: In the busy months it is easy to think of your business as much larger than it is and to feel grandiose, while in the lean periods you can become despondent and morose. Remember that the only thing that matters is the overall trend and don’t get too wrapped up in short term success or failure.
  • Review costs, make financial projections, and educate yourself: As a small business owner you must know absolutely everything about your financial situation. You should be able to project your financial revenue, expenses, and cash flow, compare overall trends, and make confident predictions for the future.

The content is originally published on Tumbler.