How To Improve Your Small Business – Your company culture says a lot about your small business. A good workplace culture can help you retain top talent and grow your business. But poor company culture can leave you with high turnover rates and low employee morale.
So… where does your business stand on the company culture spectrum? If it needs some love, improving the company culture is the way to go.
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Your employees are some of your business’ greatest assets. And when your employees feel more connected to your company, they are more likely to increase productivity levels and help your business succeed. How do you keep employees engaged, you ask? Again company culture.
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Company culture is oh-so-important for a number of reasons. Employees not only want, but also need, a thriving workplace culture. In fact, 47% of individuals look for a new job because of company culture.
To reap the above benefits and bring your team closer together than ever, give these proven strategies for improving workplace culture.
What is the foundation of a strong company culture? If you trust guesses, then ding, ding, ding we have a winner!
Trust is not only necessary but essential in the workplace. Without trust, employees may struggle to come to you with questions or problems. Or employees may not be able to rely on each other to get a project done.
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Employee recognition and appreciation is a must in the workplace, especially if you are looking to promote company culture. According to one source, 66% of workers are likely to leave their jobs if they feel undervalued. So instead of letting employee achievements slip through the cracks, celebrate them!
When celebrating employee accomplishments, don’t forget to acknowledge both big and small “wins.” A small win might include taking an online course to learn a new skill, while a big win might be something like making a big sale to a new client.
You can congratulate employees on a job well done by giving them a company-wide shout-out (think employee recognition platforms). Or you can treat your team to lunch or coffee.
Whichever route you decide to take, take the time to give employees well-deserved recognition for their hard work. It really goes a long way.
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Your core values are so much more than a bulleted list on your company’s about page. Core values are unique to your company and summarize your business beliefs, mission and goals.
Instead of letting your company’s core values gather dust on a shelf, make them known and stay true to them every day. You can showcase your business’ core values in your workplace (e.g. bulletin board) and on your website. That way, your employees can see them and stay loyal to them.
Transparency is key when it comes to a solid company culture. Employees want employers they can trust. And if you want your employees to trust you, you need to be 100% transparent with them.
A transparent workplace can help you recruit and retain employees, build trust, increase employee engagement and reduce turnover.
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To work on transparency, be willing to share both the good and bad information about your business with your employees. Keep your employees up to date with your business’ latest news. And do yourself a favor—don’t withhold any information (it will have its own way of coming out eventually).
Team building activities are a great way to increase employee engagement and improve company culture. They not only give your employees an opportunity to let loose, but can also bring your team closer together and build trust.
Obviously, you may need to hold off on some of the above ideas until the coronavirus is gone for good (or at least practically does). But, you get the picture. The more fun you have with it, the better you can build your business’s culture.
About 75% of employees say they would stay longer with a company that listens to feedback and acts on it. Do you listen to what your employees have to say? If you want to improve your company culture, it’s time to listen.
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To build company culture, be open to receiving feedback. Consider having an open-door policy where employees can drop in if they have any suggestions. You can also ask employees for feedback during 1:1s, performance reviews or meetings. This post may contain affiliate links, which means I will receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read the full disclosure here.
You may have product photos to take, descriptions to write, social media content to create, orders to pack, emails to answer, post office trips to make, supplies to buy, etc.
At first I would think about the big things I could do, like running for 30 minutes every day or cutting out sugar.
These are good goals, but they are big goals that require significant time and energy. Not to mention, they can be hard to keep up with.
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Instead, imagine that I made a list of small, simple goals that, when compiled, helped me lose 1 pound per week.
But when I make a small improvement to each area of my life that affects my weight/health, together, they can help me make a big change.
These small efforts throughout the day will feel much easier to complete than the big effort of running for 30 minutes or avoiding sugar altogether.
At the end of the week, when I’ve lost 1 pound, I probably won’t be jumping for joy, so it’s easy to dismiss these seemingly small “chores.”
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However, at the end of the year I will have lost over 50 pounds with just a little effort.
While editing photos, deciding on a product title, and choosing labels may seem like small tasks that don’t hold much value, when combined, they help you complete an important task; add a new listing.
Imagine if each small task could help you make $1 more per week (by reducing costs and/or increasing profit or revenue).
Now imagine if you made small improvements to the hundreds of small tasks you complete in a week or month.
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It is important to look at everything you do and consider whether it could be done faster, cheaper and/or better.
The “1% better” concept is covered in only a small section of the book, but it’s one that stood out to me.
The author shares a story about the British cycling team that had a pretty embarrassing record when it came to winning competitions. Until they appointed a new coach.
The story demonstrates how small improvements on their own may not seem worthwhile, but add up to big wins.
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If you make a 1% improvement every day, you will be 37 times better by the end of the year.
Every business is different, but below is a list of common areas that a small handmade business can dive into.
This list is not exhaustive, and not all items will apply to you. Use it to get started and add to it based on the specifics of your business.
Start by looking at the main areas of your business. I like to break tasks down like this:
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Look at each sales channel you use (eg, Etsy, website, craft shows, retail stores, etc.) and the tasks required for each step of making a sale: before, during, and after.
Once you have a detailed list of everything that goes into running your business, start exploring the ways you can improve each task or element of your business.
When addressing product photos, “better” can mean photos that look more professional. “Better” product designs may mean researching what your target market wants or offering new trends.
If you’re not sure how to improve a task or area of your business, try Google-ing “how to improve _____”.
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Below are several ideas to get you started, but I’ve only offered a few ideas for each bullet point. You will be able to come up with a lot more on your own.
Many of the ideas here can also be broken down into smaller tasks (I’ve provided examples in some areas).
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These are just a few examples of the tasks you can work on to make small improvements in your business. Small businesses are often known for their personal approach to customer service. Many attribute their success, rightfully so, to the relationships they have nurtured with their customer base. However, as companies grow, maintaining a high level of customer service is a challenge, especially as you delegate customer management and customer service to your staff and increasingly rely on new hires to support your customers.
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Still, at this stage as a small business, it’s easy to provide quality customer service. Turning it into a competitive advantage, on the other hand, requires more than just a few charismatic, empathetic agents.
In this article, we explore eight ways your small business can improve its customer service to stand out from your competition.
When customers take the time to call your company or send you a message via email, live chat or social media, they are highly motivated to get answers. Although it is common for some teams to refer clients
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