To be successful at the helm of a small business, you need to have a solid all-around approach. This should include knowing your customers well, delivering outstanding service and staying consistent about what you do, day in and day out. If you do this, you can keep people coming back and build a reputation that should endure for a long time.
The key to making this happen is staying resilient. The truth is that adversity is going to come your way sometimes in business – occasionally you’ll have a slow period in sales, times of high staff turnover or an interruption caused by crime or natural disaster. Things happen, and you can’t let them sidetrack you – keeping your eyes on the prize is crucial.
The truth is that adversity is going to come your way sometimes in business, and you can’t let it sidetrack you.
“Resiliency” has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years. Everyone from Inc. Magazine to Harvard Business Review has been talking about how you can make your business more resilient, tossing around all sorts of psychological theories and business jargon. The truth is, though, the process can be fairly simple. It’s mostly about planning well and exercising common sense while running your business.
1. Adopt the right mindset about business
The first step toward building a foundation for success is learning how to run a resilient business. This is a key priority, and a big reason that so many people reach out for small business help in the early going – if you don’t have the capacity to be resilient, it’s going to hurt the long-term stamina of your business.
To this end, The Guardian recommends adopting the right mindset about disappointment. When setbacks strike your business, don’t let them get you down – instead, learn from them, make appropriate changes or improvements and come back from them stronger. You may have heard of the term ‘fail fast’, and it’s very much relevant here.
“[Resilience] is probably more about realism than unbridled positivity,” psychotherapist Richard Reid said. “[We tend to] veer towards the negative.”
In other words: If you have a slow month of sales, or a few employees who aren’t performing well, moping over such problems is not going to yield results for your business. What does work is using the situation as a chance to gather feedback and improve your business model for the future.
2. Stay on top of all financial matters
The most important measure of your company’s success or failure is your bottom line. This is one of the most important small business tips you’ll hear: If you’re consistently staying on top of your company’s finances, you’ll always know where you stand and be able to make informed decisions.
Finder.com.au advised that if you want to know where your company stands in terms of money, you need to stay involved with the invoicing process. How much revenue are your customers delivering you? When do these transactions happen? Do they have a pattern of making purchases consistently, or are there gaps occasionally? The more you know, the easier it will be to guide your business’ future.
If you have this information on hand, you can begin to put together some short-term projections of where your company is going financially. This will help you avoid unforeseen issues with debt and invest in your future with confidence, knowing the money you need will be there.
3. Pay especially close attention to cash flow
Of course, having the promise of revenue coming in doesn’t mean your company is guaranteed prosperity. When you run a small business, it’s not uncommon to have problems with debtors struggling to pay their debts on time. This means your sales might be great, but your cash flow might present issues nonetheless.
It’s clear that a key aspect of small business finance is being able to improve cash flow.
Recent research from Dun and Bradstreet revealed that up to 90 per cent of small business failures are caused, at least in part, by poor cash flow. With this in mind, it’s clear that a key aspect of small business finance is being able to improve cash flow.
This requires having a proactive mindset. You need to look out for potential problems before they happen, identifying warning signs and acting on them quickly. For example: Do you have a few customers who are lazy or apathetic about getting their debts paid on time? On your end, do you have debts mounting that you don’t have the cash on hand to pay? If problems like this are sneaking up, be proactive and don’t hesitate before taking action to solve them.
4. Lean on a BOQ specialist when you need help
If you ever have an issue with business banking that you need to resolve, there’s good news. At Bank of Queensland, there’s a specialist willing to help you who’s just a phone call away.
Our experts at BOQ have been providing specialised banking service to clients in numerous markets for over 25 years. Work with us, and you’ll get the close, personal attention that your business deserves.