Small business owners:  This article is for you.  

It’s hard to have a successful small business. Twenty percent of them fail within their first year, and half don’t make it five years.

Good management, good products or services, and a lot of good luck go into making your business successful. And most people jump in without knowing how to manage a small business.

But, don’t dismay! If you’re learning small business management on the fly and are determined to have a successful go of it, check out these ten smart small business management tips to make your company thrive.

1. Cut Overhead

In business, it’s typically thought of like this: ‘Tis better to make a dollar than save a nickel.

But saving is fundamental to your success, especially to small business owners. If you can’t manage your money, how will you manage a staff and exponential growth?

Keeping your overhead costs low might sound like a no-brainer, but it can be the solid footing on which your business grows.

Eliminate unnecessary costs, even if it means outsourcing. If your business is warehouse-based, don’t spring for an office. Let administrative employees telework, and provide them with the tools to do so successfully.

You can save even more money by reducing waste and redundancies in your product supply chain or services. Cut out the middleman wherever you can.

Many modern businesses exist on very tight margins. Know where to stop spending money and you could save your company!

2. Use Free Marketing

In the age of social media, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and keeping track of them all can seem maddening. But stellar small business management starts with a strong brand, and that brand should be blasted to as many outlets as possible.

It’s never been so cheap to create a presence in the marketplace, but — beware. Just because it’s free, doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Managing a small business in the age of the Internet means having a strategic approach to the times, dates, and contents of your posting. Everything your potential customers see should engage them and bring them closer to your brand.

If this isn’t your area of expertise, consider hiring interns from a local university or even contracting with a media firm. Never give up a chance to leverage free marketing!

3. Ask Your Employees

And if you don’t have employees, poll your vendors, customers, or supporters.

Good business management starts with honesty. You need to be soliciting feedback from people who will be honest with you.

Encourage a culture of disclosure about success and failures. Make it anonymous or incentivize it in some way, if you have to.

4. Separate Your Finances

Managing a small business might mean putting your career on the line, but there are boundaries. Make sure your personal finances and business finances are kept separate.

There will be some co-mingling, especially if you’re working from a home office. But you can hire an accountant or tax preparer to help you itemize. You and your business might blur, but keep the financial lines clear.

5. Train Employees Well

And this includes yourself. Spring for conference tickets, online training, and any classes you can to further your education. Make sure employees are trained well during onboarding and receive instruction and updates throughout their tenure.

Not only is this good small business management, but it will also make you smarter and better at life!

6. Hire Someone for Accounting Help

Here’s where we come in. We can help you make sure your small business management is paying off. And we can take a load off your plate.

Whether you need help with payroll, bookkeeping, or tax preparing — we’ve got you covered. We also do business assessments and have a “Part-Time CFO” program that can help you identify any redundancies or inefficiencies.

7. Establish Routines

Do you shut down completely every day for lunch? Do you ignore your inbox for several hours while you work on other projects?

Whatever it is, make it a routine. Good business habits that yield productivity and work-life balance will help keep you sane while you are managing a small business.

8. Single Task for Small Business Management

Do one thing at a time. Give all of your energy to that task. Annihilate it from your to-do list.

And then move on.

It may seem simple, but one of the best small business management tips we have is to create a world where you can focus on one thing at once. Learn to let things go when they are over, and move on the next thing.

Creating that flow state will knock things off your list in no time. We don’t mean to sound “new age,” but — try it. You’ll be pleased with the results.

Even Forbes (and a bunch of neuroscientists) say single tasking will make you smarter.

You’ll suffer fewer typos, and retain more. You’ll be able to sleep better because your stress levels will fall. Feel less frazzled and freer.

9. Don’t Overbook

Some small business owners leave up to 40 percent of their days free of meetings and e-mails. We recommend about 20 percent.

When you are overbooked, you don’t have time to process between tasks or responding appropriately to spontaneous happenings during your business day.

It doesn’t matter how busy you are. Good business management is based solely on how effective you are.

10. Adaptability is Survival

The best way to practice good business management is to understand that things will rarely if ever, go according to plan.

No matter how much your business grows, or what happens to your product or service, you will have to change. Be ready for it.

Managing a small business is a lot of financial responsibility, a lot of personnel managing, and can be a lot of headaches. If you’re not the type that can adapt as things change, you won’t last long.

Practice adapting to change by researching ways you could branch out, or having backup plans if a technology or social media platform, for example, were to become obsolete.

Work With the Pros

At Phase Business Management, we can help you understand taxes, minimize cost inefficiencies, and even process your payroll. Our tax preparers and accountants want to work with you to make sure your small business management practices are automated.

Check out what’s new with us, or book an appointment today. We look forward to hearing from you!