Small Business Management

A small business may be defined as a business with a small number of employees. The legal definition of “small” often varies by country and industry, but is generally under 100 employees. The common characteristic that sets them apart from large enterprises is that they posses less tangible properties.

Small business management pertains to the independent ownership, supervision and control of assets, resources, products, services, workforce and profits of an enterprise which is not prevalent in its area of operation.

In an economic atmosphere that breeds and sustains entrepreneurship, a lot of individuals are attracted to the prospect of possessing and directing his own business. They choose having a small enterprise to be close to costumers–enabling fast, flexible, and personalized service, to innovate less expensively, and to manage solely.

Managing both small and large businesses involves the five major functions of management–planning, organizing, directing, controlling, and coordinating.

The mistake that most small business owner-managers commit is giving less attention to planning and controlling functions. These two, when fulfilled effectively would result to excellent goal setting. And the success of every business relies heavily on its long-range goals.

The most popular approach applied to most small businesses is management by objectives or MBO. The reason for this is that it is result-oriented and jobs are perceived in terms of achievements rather than simply functions.

The first step in developing an effective MBO program is to define your business. A transparent and attainable vision of the business is critical for planning, marketing, product development, building and equipment, and financial and staff needs.

The next step is to set both short- and long-range business goals. Long-range goals would serve as the mold from which your company’s MBO program would take form. These goals would triumphantly be attained through management and employee communication. The staff should also take part in the formulation of goals, to increase their sense of commitment in fulfilling them.

The third step in developing the MBO is devising a work plan. The work plan should address the following areas: (1) goal–should be specific and concise; (2) measurement–benchmarks to be used; major problems to be anticipated; (3) work steps–most essential steps to be completed at a fixed time; and (4) supervisor’s goals–employees should identify which of their manager’s goals relate to their own.

The fourth step would be to report progress. An MBO program must include a provision for regular progress reports. Goals and objectives can only be attained through conducting regular record and review of progress. Progress which is below expectation can enable problem identification.

The fifth and final step would be to evaluate performance. This is done by compiling and reviewing the past results of the steps done in the development of the MBO. Measure every element and know if each coordinated and supported each other.

Small businesses face an array of problems most commonly, bankruptcy and under- capitalization This is often a result of poor planning rather than economic conditions – it is a common rule of thumb that the entrepreneur should have access to a sum of money at least equal to the projected revenue for the first year of business in addition to his anticipated expenses.

Getting into small businesses is not as easy as it seems. To avoid the problems stated above, the owner-manager should first ensure that he has or would be able to raise enough funds. And no matter how small his enterprise is, he should not fail to apply the major functions of management.

Small Business Marketing – The Basics

Small business marketing is increasingly complex. The online environment changes rapidly so it is important to remember the basics of marketing. That is focus on the needs of the customer.

Profile Your Target Customer

Who is your ideal customer, what do they buy, why do they need those products or services, and why do they buy from you? Most businesses serve several market segments, each with different requirements. So it is important to identify those segments and build a customer profile for each.

Decide How To Reach Your Customer

What are the best ways to reach identified customers and market segments? It may be the best route is offline but more likely the most efficient and cost-effective method will be online marketing. Research what methods target customers use to source information. It may be via search engine queries, or possibly social media, or online publications. Whatever route is best, target your efforts on those mediums.

Be Found

There is little point in having a website if it is not found when a prospect types a relevant search term into one of the major search engines. Statistics show that over 90% of prospects never go beyond page 1 when looking for information. The same argument applies to social media. With any online marketing tool, the objective is to be found.

Build A Relationship

Once found, only a small percentage of prospects will make an immediate purchase. A much larger proportion will keep coming back to learn more and will buy in the future. Once a prospect lands on an online communication channel the objective is to start to build a relationship and credibility to achieve a sale in the medium to long term.


A relationship is of little use if it does not ultimately convert to a sale. So it is important to lead prospects down a path and specifically tell them what you suggest they do (calls to action). The process may include securing a prospect Email address (perhaps in return for a valuable download) to facilitate ongoing dialogue.

The key to small business marketing success then is to start with the customer. With the customer defined, deliver the information they need and develop a relationship that ultimately results in a sale. It is important to make sure the message goes out via a method that is most likely to be read and engaged with. Don’t be invisible, forget the marketing hype and focus on the basics.

10 Important Customer Service Tips for Small Businesses

If you are a small business owner, it is important to make an effort to not only please your customers, but to treat them very well. Just like corporations, customer service is an important part of a business. By making your customers feel valued, they will continue to use your services. Consider these customer service tips to improve upon your small business customer service skills. Let your small business help bring in more happy customers.
Establish a rapport. Every customer wants to know that you value them. You need to consider the relationship that you have with your clients. By maintaining a good relationship, your client will feel like you truly care about them, and will want to continue doing business with you. This is probably the most important small business advice.
Make personal phone calls. Whenever possible, make personal phone calls to your customers. If your customer hears your voice, they will feel like your company really cares. In a world where email and other quick forms of communication are popular, you can make your small business stand out by making personal phone calls in addition to your usual communication methods.
Distribute a Newsletter. By creating a newsletter, your customers will be better informed about your company and its happenings. Clients love when businesses stay in touch and update them on news and industry happenings.
Acknowledge holidays and birthdays. If you really want to be set apart from the crowd, make sure to acknowledge birthdays, holidays and other special events. Customers want to know that they have not been forgotten about. This is a great way to make the day of your customers. This will help keep your customer coming back, and will continue to bring you a profit.
Break your own rules occasionally. You will learn that there is not always one way to do something. By breaking your rules occasionally you may learn that you have kept a customer that may have otherwise left. It is important to make decisions based on each issue that is presented to you. This will enable you to keep your customers happy.
Let your employees making customer service decisions. Teach your employees how to respect your clients. Trust in your employees and their customer service decisions. By doing this, your employees will continue to recognize customer service and the value of keeping customers happy.
Offer Gift Certificates. If your customer is happy with your company and its services, chances are they will be likely to recommend your small business to friends and family. By offering gift certificates, you are making it easy to share your company and a way for other people to learn about your business and its many offerings.
Give back to your community. It is important to show support for you community. Small businesses are often supported by their surrounding communities. By showing that you care, and by giving back to your community, customers will see that you care about other things other than just your business.
Create a network.Branch out to other small businesses. Learn and share information from other businesses in your industry. There is always more to learn about your field, and by creating a network with other businesses, you will not only learn more, but your business will continue to grow.
Spy on yourself. Consider having mystery shoppers visit your store. This will teach you both what is working and what is not. It is important to learn this in order to improve upon all aspects of your small business.These small business tips will help you continue improve customer service. In a world where small business owners are constantly competing with corporations and big businesses, this customer service help will make you stand out from the crowd. Customers appreciate working with small businesses that care.

5 Sure Network Marketing Business Failures

One of the first things most network marketers ask for is network marketing business tips. And talk of business tips, you’d find that most of them talk about successes and how to succeed in the industry. This article purely focuses on industry failures. What I wish to accomplish with this article is to tell you various things you’d do in network marketing business that will cause sure-shot failure.So, here are 5 things that result in networking marketing business to fail1. Treat it as a brick and mortar business and not just as a mere hobby – We know of some people who treat this field as a hobby. In fact, they get into this business thinking they like doing what this business asks them to do. But, over a period of time, your hobby needs to turn into genuine interest to build an empire. What I ask you to do is build a business, and although it may take some time, show interest in building an empire.Treat your network marketing as a proven business, and you would surely benefit from it.2. The hours matter – The way how this business works is slightly strange. At the start of everything, you’d be expected to put in a lot of effort. That really means one thing – spending 12-15 hours for the first few months is probably going to be the order of the day. Don’t think you can spend couple hours a day at the start and you would build an empire soon.3. Do what you think, and not really learn – One of the key factors in the way of success in network marketing is learning. You need to be sure of one thing – learning is something really important for things to work in network marketing business. If that means you got to make certain compromises, go ahead and do it. Not learning means you are destined for failure.4. Miserly qualities on spending – A lot of people think that they need to be miserly in spending for advertising and marketing. Well that should ideally be the case, but most of times, you would find that to get something you need to lose something. Surely, you wouldn’t have an issue if you spent some bucks in return for $10,000 a month. That is the power of residual income, but to get to that level, you got to ‘lose’ some money.5. Negativity leads to failure – A lot of people get too pessimistic about their chances in this field of business. That normally happens when early results don’t come flowing in. Being pessimistic is never good for any line of business and definitely not for network marketing. The only way out for you is to be optimistic all the times and even if that means you tasting only failure for the first month or so, that shouldn’t be a problem.What I really wish to say is to succeed in network marketing is not easy, but failing is damn easy. You only need to be sure to follow these tips, and make sure they don’t happen with you.