Being a small business ourselves, we laud all who want to break away from the mainstream options in order to develop their work in a way that is unique and innovative. It is no small feat to manage an independent business well. All too often, such companies that begin with great promise, and that are founded on excellent principles, still find themselves going belly up owing to small oversights that have monumental impact. Here are the ways that you can protect your small business from experiencing such calamity.
Expect loss. While confidence is a key ingredient in the performance of a small business, overconfidence can be deadly. Knowing that losses will occur sets you up to meet them head on. You should see to it that your company is adequately insured. At a minimum, this involves: general liability insurance, commercial vehicle insurance, workers' compensation insurance, environmental protection insurance, business interruption insurance, intellectual property insurance, employment practices liability insurance, and data-liability insurance. Of course, the best way to make sure that you are adequately protected is to meet with your broker in order to discuss your company's specific needs.
Expect disputes. Generally speaking, most people are not comfortable in situations charged with disagreement or friction. The biggest mistake they then make is to avoid them altogether. This is problematic because it means that decisions are not made. While you shouldn't seek confrontation, you should expect it, and have a plan for tackling the issues that arise.
Manage your time wisely. While organizational skills in determining what needs to get done are key, those alone won't ensure that your time is being allocated optimally. Take advantage of time management software tools. They will help you to realize where time is being lost.
Embrace change. While humans tend to be creatures of comfort, preferring predictability and routine (especially when the stakes are so high, as in a small business!) flexibility is one of the most critical traits to possess in survival. Darwin figured this one out ages ago!
Communicate variedly. Utilizing a variety of means of communication ensures that you are reaching all of your workers and colleagues in the way that is most likely to get through to them. Additionally, when information is covered multiple times across various media, it is more likely to stick with people in general.