As a small business owner, you wear a lot of hats. Between CEO, CFO, COO, accountant, tax preparer, HR, and more, it’s hard to find time to focus on improvement. That’s why we’ve done the hard work for you! Read on for 11 ways to improve your small business.
Build a Stronger Team
Every team member is essential when it comes to running your small business. There’s not a lot of bandwidth for anyone to pick up an underperforming teammates’ slack. On the other hand, a wise new addition to your team can take your company to new heights. Here’s our best advice on how to build a stronger team.
- Require a cover letter with any job applications. This will help weed out people who aren’t willing to put in a little extra work to apply. Additionally, it will give you a taste of who an applicant is before you bring them in for an interview.
- Put candidates through interviews with several groups of people, including the hiring manager and some of their prospective teammates. They’ll be able to interview better for job skills and cultural fit.
- Perform an online background check on any prospective hire prior to sending an offer. This will reveal any red flags in your candidate’s history and is a necessary security measure.
- Hire new employees on a 90-day trial period. This will give both you and your new employee ample time to decide whether the position is right for both of you.
Optimize Your Office Space
If your employees come to an office each day, it’s important to create a space that isn’t only welcoming, but one that promotes productivity, too. Use the following principles to guide your office design.
- Look to the color theory when choosing the color scheme of your office space. Neutral colors work great in our homes because they impart a sense of calm and serenity. However, in the office, serenity probably isn’t what you’re going for. Cold colors like blue and green are known for inspiring creativity and new ideas.
- Think about how your employees spend their time and design your workspace accordingly. Do employees tend to have lots of meetings? Be sure to provide ample conference rooms. Are they on many calls? Consider installing “phone booths” in the space.
- Add some greenery! Studies have shown that adding plants to your workspace doesn’t only help purify the air, but it gives a better impression to visiting customers and clients and adds a homier feel to the space. Look for low-maintenance, indoor plants that thrive in the type of light in your office. If you’re in a low-light environment, there are plenty of faux options that look just like the real thing!
- Do you have cubicles in your space? It’s time to get rid of them. Open-layout office space is far more welcoming and conducive to teamwork and communication.
Up Your Marketing
Marketing is, of course, key to the growth of your business. The great thing about marketing is that it doesn’t have to be very expensive. In fact, it can be totally free when done correctly. Market your business at no cost by doing these simple things.
- Review websites like Yelp and Angie’s list are great opportunities for free marketing. While you can’t openly solicit reviews from existing customers on these sites, you can make it as easy as possible for happy customers to leave them. Add links to your profile on your email marketing and your website.
- Join professional organizations in your industry. Each industry holds events, meetups, conferences, and more where you can meet others in your field. These are ripe with possibilities for professional connections who may refer customers or businesses to you in the future.
- Sponsor local events in your community in exchange for advertising on their marketing materials. You can donate goods or services that are relevant to their needs.