5 ways to improve the functionality of your small business

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By Samantha Higgins

Running a small business is hard work. Apart from working to achieve targets, you also need to keep your customers happy. Many small businesses fail within the first two years because of inadequate planning. To improve your chances of succeeding, what are some of the things you can do? Here are five tips you can use to improve your business functions.

Improve on your existing products

Any business owner knows that you need to be innovative to stay ahead of your competition. Improving your current products and services will grow your sales and attract customers. A great strategy is, having an innovation team whose main task is to come up with new ways of doing things. You can motivate your staff to innovate by having a digital file where they can submit their ideas. These ideas should aim to solve your customers’ individual problems. Customers will flock to you if you can assure them of quality and save them money.

Automate what you can

One of the biggest hindrances to business growth is failing to automate your process. In this digital age, many businesses still rely on cash registers and ledgers to keep track of transactions. You can consider installing a digital payment solution that offers customers a variety of options. Depending on your business needs, you can go for a clover vs square stand Point of Sale (POS) system. They are both integrated cloud-based payment solutions that are a great fit for small and medium businesses. Consider task automation software for your business to reduce the need for back and forth emails. Automation may seem costly at first, but you will end up saving costs in the long run and grow your business.

Motivate your staff

Creating an environment where your staff can work effectively will ensure your business succeeds. You can motivate your staff by offering perks like overtime or buying them lunch. If you have a human resource department, have a sit down with them to come up with ways to grow your employees. Make it a habit to check in with your staff for fifteen minutes at the end of every day. You can address any emerging concerns at these meetings and end the day on a good note. When your staff is happy, they are more likely to treat your customers well. They will also feel a sense of ownership of the business, which leads to noticeable growth.

Have a flexible structure

In the past, many businesses had rigid hierarchies that usually inhibited growth. To keep up with automation and technological advances, you need to be flexible. Encourage quick decision making by having teams design and collaborate on new projects. When hiring talent, give them options for choosing which teams they can work in. Gone are the days when managers would sit in a closed-off office while their juniors sat in cubicles. Consider an open plan workspace to break down communication barriers and foster employee unity. Your business is bound to grow when your employees have a structure that works for them.

Set realistic goals

The key to growing your businesses lies in setting clear goals and tracking expenses. Goals are powerful tools that help us focus on certain areas to achieve set outcomes. Whether your goals are to improve profitability or motivation, they need to be; specific, measurable, attainable, and time-bound. Your employees will understand your goals better when they are included in the process. Note that your goals might change regularly because the business world is very unpredictable. If you do not have the capacity to set goals in-house, you can opt for a business advisor. They will help you set clear goals so that you can make critical decisions about your enterprise.

As you work towards improving your business functions, you need to focus on what is important. Growth. This means knowing when to stop automation so that you can focus on other goals. Some business processes, like customer feedback channels, are best kept traditional. You can improve your organizational growth by tracking what is working for you and what is not. You will also be in a better position to improve on customer service and delivery.


Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon, with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.

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