Three Best Practices for Small Businesses
Whether you’re starting a new business, or you’ve been in business for quite a while, there are certain things you should be doing to ensure your sustainability. These things are known as ‘best practices’.
The dictionary defines best practice as “a working method or set of working methods that is officially accepted as being the best to use in a particular business or industry, usually described formally and in detail.”
Three best practices for small businesses
Based on our experience, these three things are some of the most important best practices your business should have in place.
Regularly update your technology and online security
If you’re running outdated technology or you don’t have online protection in place, you have two key problems. Firstly, outdated technology is probably holding you back. When you keep your systems updated, you get the most out of them, allowing you to work more quickly and easily.
But perhaps the biggest issue with using outdated technology is that you’re running the risk of hacking and cyberattack. The reason new updates are released so regularly is to keep your technology one step ahead of cybercriminals. If you don’t update, your systems could be attacked and infected with viruses and ransomware or, even worse, your business data and customer details could be stolen. Can you afford to take that risk?
Monitor and maintain your record keeping process
You may no longer have to rely on paper records, but that doesn’t mean you can relax and assume your computers are managing them for you. You should document all your business processes and keep them updated. These will be the foundation of your training materials and the guidelines for your team to follow.
There are also legal requirements to be met, and you need to comply with tax and other legislation. By keeping your records sorted and updated, it’s easier to find the information you need whether it’s to lodge a tax return or renew your business licenses.
There are a range of online record keeping systems which will help you streamline your record keeping so take the time to find one to suit your needs.
Keep in touch with your customers
This is about marketing and communication as much as customer care and is one of the top best practices your business can establish. Your positioning and messaging must be clear and regularly shared with current and potential clients. You also need to be responsive and available to your existing clients to nurture that relationship. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems will help you track your customers through the buying cycle and give them the help and information they need, when they need it.
Social media is now a big part of your branding, marketing and communication systems. It’s a direct line to the consumer, and it’s much more affordable than traditional marketing. Make sure you have a presence on the social media sites your customers are likely to use.
While these three best practices will help keep your business organised and effective, don’t stop there. Take a regular look at every aspect of your business and ask yourself what you could be doing better. That’s how you’ll stay relevant and profitable in the long term.