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Top Ten Tips for Running a Successful Business

Written by Joe Hinton on .

Top Ten Tips for Running a Successful Business

Over the last thirteen years we have worked with thousands of businesses, of all sizes and across every type of industry. Many of these were owner-managed business, others run by boards of directors but no matter the size or industry there are common themes as to why they were struggling or why they were successful. A lot of the reasons come back to how (or sometimes what) the owner/directors manage and where they spend their time. From all of this experience we have put together our ‘top ten tips’ for ensuring your business is successful:

  1. Know what it is you want to achieve with the business
    It sounds obvious, but knowing what your goal is, what you want your business to become and when and how you wish to exit gives you, the owner, focus and a firm goal to work towards. Have a plan to achieve your goal, a ‘One Page Business Model Plan’ definitely helps here (template available on request)

  2. Values
    Decide on, and share with your staff, the values which the business operates to and why they are important. This sets standards for all staff to follow and you can refer to them when praising staff or point out where behaviour or performance doesn’t meet the values of the business. Importantly, never forget the values apply to you as well!

  3. Manage yourself / show strong leadership
    It’s very difficult to manage your business and people if you can’t manage yourself. Learn how to manage your time, delegate and prioritise to ensure you spend time focussing on the important things in your business. As a leader, give your people clear direction and be a role model for them to follow.

  4. Structure
    Have a structure chart for your business that shows who is responsible for what, who managers who and share it with the staff. This aids clarity and communication within the business.

  5. Communicate regularly and clearly with your staff
    Having open, two-way conversations with your people in the form of both informal ‘fire side’ chats and more formal effective appraisals. Use the ‘Four F’s’ tool to get the most out of these interactions (details available from us on request)

  6. Address underperformance
    Don’t ignore underperformance in staff, address it, discuss the reasons, agree the way forward. Similarly, don’t forget to praise good performance, a ‘thank you and well done’ costs nothing.

  7. Processes
    Document all the key processes within the business and train as many people as possible in each one. Look for ways to automate wherever possible to reduce errors and save time. This all makes the business more flexible, efficient and helps free up your time.

  8. Managing the numbers
    Make sure you understand both the financials in your business and the key performance indicators. Review these on a regular basis and agree actions to improve them (Our template ‘Business Dashboard’ which really helps here is available on request)

  9. Get the business to run without you
    Make creating a business that works without you one of your goals. It makes your life a whole lot easier, empowers staff and enhances the value of your business.

  10. Get a Business Mentor
    Businesses that use a mentor grow more quickly and have a far higher survival rate. A survey conducted by Sage revealed that 93% of business owners felt that a business mentor helped them succeed yet

If there are areas mentioned above that make you think “I should do more of that” then get in touch to discuss how you can improve in that area. We offer a complimentary, no-obligation mentoring session which will give you an idea of how it could benefit you and your business and let you decide if it’s for you.

Joe Hinton
Managing Director
UK Business Mentoring Group

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