How is your small business going? Are you on track with your budget and profits? Are you attracting the clients you want? Is your company valuable? These are all questions you should be asking yourself when thinking about the sustainability of your business. To run a sustainable business, you need to have a plan, good employees and understand your clients. Here are some tips on how to build a sustainable business.
To be successful, you need to know where you want to be. A plan needs to be made where you set out what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. Some things to include in your plan are:
• Where are you now? E.g number of employees, number and type of clients, revenue
• Where do you want to be? E.g. number of employees, number and type of clients, revenue
• What do you want to look like? E.g. brand and message
• What factors within, and outside your business will assist or hinder our goal achievement?
• What are critical factors to focus on to achieve our goal?
• Where do we go from here? What are our next steps?
Making a plan is a must for every business. If this is done correctly, you will be able to achieve your goals much easier, and provide a better overview of your business.
For a business to be sustainable, you need to have a good Human Resources (HR) plan in place. This plan needs to address issues such as the culture of the company, remuneration, work/life balance and succession. If you have all of these things in place in an effective plan, your employees are more likely to enjoy working for your business. In return you will have harder working employees who will stay with you for longer.
Understanding clients is a must for any small business. If you understand what types of clients you have, you can make business decisions based on that. For example, if a law firm has most clients needing legal advice on property and conveyancing, the firm could decide to specialise in this area. Keeping your clients happy is what keeps them coming back, understanding their behavior is key to understanding what makes them happy.