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7 ways to be a better business person in 2017

Content provided by a guest contributor.


BusinessMan-freedigitalphotos.jpgNo matter how good you are at running your business, you can do better. As a small business owner, you have to be pretty hands-on when it comes to the day-to-day handling of the company, which means you always need to be at the top of your game. And 2017 is the year you’re going to do that.

It’s a new year and your staff members are all refreshed and ready to go after a relaxed festive season. What better time to set your goals to be a better business person? If you’re looking for ways to do just that, read on.

Hire the right people

This year, you should only hire the best talent in the business. This can be difficult as many of the most experienced job candidates want to work for a big name and not a small company. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to hire great employees. You just need to take your time and put in the extra effort. If that means going through hundreds of CVs and interviewing countless candidates, then so be it. It’ll be worth it when you see the change in your workforce.

So, don’t give up and hire someone who ticks the majority of your boxes. Rather, hold out for that person who will make all the difference in how your business is run. It’s not only about who you hire in senior positions, this should extend to even the most junior employees. In a small business, every employee counts.

Retain your best staff members

You need to know who your best employees are and make sure they don’t leave. This means you have to show them they are valued and have potential for growth within the company. You may not have the cash to offer them a huge raise but there are other benefits you can offer them that will keep them around. You could offer to upskill them, promote them or simply acknowledge how important they are to your business.

Employees respond well to employers who make them feel valued. But it’s not only about that. They need to feel they’re making an impact and their work matters to the business as a whole. You can’t ignore your best employees and think they’ll choose to stay when a competitor offers them a better deal.  

Re-evaluate your business model

Take a serious look at your business model and see what’s working and what’s not. Even if business was booming last year, there are probably some things that simply aren’t working. Or, at very least, they’re not working as well as they could. Look at how you can improve in those areas. It’s always a good idea to gather your senior staff together and ask for their input.

However, you shouldn’t only look at the things that aren’t working. You need to take some time to appreciate what is working well and look at how far you’ve come as a business. Let yourself celebrate that.

Make sure you’re following the latest processes

In a world that’s rapidly changing, you can’t afford to be left behind. Whatever industry you’re in, there are likely new processes and methods that have developed since you last updated your equipment and technology. Now is the perfect time to look at what other businesses are doing and research what you can do to increase productivity, efficiency and profitability. This may mean you have to look for asset finance companies in South Africa to help you fund new equipment but it’s worth it in the long run. You don’t want to be left behind and become irrelevant because you didn’t adapt to the latest processes.  

Upskill your staff

The more informed, skilled and trained your workforce is, the better your business will perform. It’s simple logic. Invest in your junior employees so they can grow with the business. And give your senior employees the opportunity to take courses that will allow them to do their job in a more efficient manner.

It may not even cost you that much money. There are many reasonably-priced or free online courses your staff can take. All you need to do is give them an hour or two during the day to do the work and take the tests.

Be more organised

You can always be more organised. There is always more you can do to make your day a little easier. If admin is something you’ve always struggled with, now is the time to improve. Use your calendar and organiser on your laptop or smart device. Create daily tasks so you know exactly what you have to do and when. And stop letting meetings run overtime. Which brings us to the next point...

Stop going to meetings that could have been an email

So much time is wasted by attending meetings that could have been an email. As the owner of a small business, you have to be hands-on with almost everything. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend the majority of your day in the boardroom. Your staff can figure it out on their own and keep you informed via email. That’s what it’s there for, after all.  

*This article was brought to you by WesBank, which is an asset finance company in South Africa

Copyright (c) 2016, the credited author
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