11 Tips From a Successful Small Business Owner

August 20, 2011

by Justine Parsons


As a small business owner and having been involved with several businesses from start-up phase, for Sylvia Smith, the following are crucial to on-going success –

  1. Write a business plan and set your goals and objectives – keep it succinct and review it often. As you reach your goals – set new ones so that the business is always looking forward. Make sure you meet with any other shareholders or directors on a regular basis to review your business strategy.
  2. Do your budgets and cash-flow each year and review this against performance on a monthly basis.
  3. Ensure your business has enough capital from the outset.
  4. Make sure you have a good financial advisor/accountant.
  5. If you have other shareholders in your business, have a shareholder agreement that sets out how you intend to work with each other together with a share valuation that all of you agree to. Enshrine it in the agreement. If you work these things out at the beginning, there is less likelihood of anyone become disenfranchised later on.
  6. Manage your risks by identifying them up front and put in place measures to mitigate them.
  7. Get a good accounting system installed. Something easy to use that will help you keep track of your business finances. Xero is one of the best and easiest to use and is web based so you can use it anywhere, anytime.
  8. Find someone you trust to advise, mentor or coach you. If you are the CE you will need support.
  9. Think long-term and as you get more successful, extend your capabilities by way of appointing an advisor to your board, or appoint an independent director or chairman.
  10. Ensure your values are communicated across the business and hire people who are aligned to these values. Don’t be afraid to hire people who are better than yourself or who bring diversity to your business. Ensure they know what they have to do and reward them when they achieve their goals and support the business values.
  11. Communicate with your employees – remember that even the receptionist wants to feel that they make a difference – let them share in the successes.

Article written by Sylvia Smith, Director at
Syro Communications Management Ltd

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