Small Business Management Tips That’ll Save Your Time

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When you’re just getting started with your Medium Business, simply deciding which goal to tackle first—and knowing what to do and when—can be a job just by itself.

 

None of us are born with business smarts or an entrepreneurial playbook pre-printed into our brains. It’s stuff that we’ve all got to figure out along the way, and that most of us make some sort of horrible mistake over.

 

And especially when we first get started in business—when we don’t have years of experience to help us make smart, educated guesses—business management tips and advice from others can be incredibly helpful.

 

So today we’re going to focus on management tips—people management, time management, money management—you name it.

 

But they’re all tips that’ll help you as a new small business owner manage your business better so you can avoid unwanted headaches and just push forward to the progress you want.

 

 

  1. Set Up an LLC (or Some Form of Official Business Entity)

Even if you’re totally self employed, don’t have anyone else working for you, and are 100% self-funded from your own pocket, you need to set up your business as a separate taxable entity from day one.

 

Some service professionals like writers, designers, and coaches feel safer skipping this step while they’re still ramping up their client base, but it usually costs $1,000 or less and almost instantly protects your personal assets from any legal trouble your business might get into.

 

I’m not saying your business will get into legal trouble—most small businesses never do.

 

But just in case you accidentally used a name that was copyrighted elsewhere in your state or get a totally horrible client that completely screws you over even though you have a contract… the worst thing that can happen is your business dissolves.

 

Which would suck, but at least you wouldn’t have to foreclose on your house just to pay off what you’re getting sued for… you know?

 

Headaches saved:

 

– Business financial troubles seeping over into your personal finances

 

– The IRS breathing down your neck

 

– Getting sued for everything you own

 

 

 

  1. Separate Your Personal & Business Finances

Let’s say for some reason setting up a legal entity isn’t an option.

 

Or for some reason your paperwork is being held up, but you just can’t wait to get cracking on your business.

 

Please, please, please, by all means, don’t accept payment in your personal business account or put business expenses on your personal credit card.

 

Most banks will require official business paperwork to open something up in your business’s name, but at the very least, you can open separate personal accounts that are designated for only business transactions.

 

Regardless, even if getting your LLC paperwork was a breeze, this is something you have to do.

 

Since you and your business are separate taxable entities, you need to have separate finances. Otherwise things just get messy and you might as well assume you’ll have to deal with an audit—even if you’ve got nothing to hide.

 

Headaches saved:

 

– More trouble with the IRS

 

 

 

  1. Pay for Accounting Software

A lot of brand-new business owners—especially those who are bootstrapping—are constantly looking for ways to save money.

 

So much so that tasks like accounting and bookkeeping—or keeping track of money in/money out—is something they assume they can do on their own.

 

But honestly, there’s no need to go full-out and hire an on-staff accountant. At least not at first.

 

There’s so many options for good, easy-to-use accounting software, that it’s just silly not to use them.

 

And honestly, for as little as they cost, they almost always pay for themselves with time saved.

 

You can get basic versions starting at $10 to $20 per month, and if sending invoices are a thing you do, they’ll look so much better and take so much less time to make than if you tried to fumble around Excel and do it yourself.

 

Headaches saved:

 

– Losing receipts

 

– Forgetting about your major expenses

 

– Not looking like a 7-year-old “playing business” while sending an invoice

 

 

 

  1. Invest in Your Education

Heart-to-heart right now: the best money I’ve spent on my business has been on my own education to further it.

 

If I don’t know how to do something, I know it’s silly for me to keep trying to Google solutions, go through months and months of trial and error, and maybe get it right after that.

 

Instead, it makes a lot more sense to pay a few hundred dollars (sometimes even a few thousand, depending on the skill) to have someone who’s been there, done it, and been successful at it teach me how to do it right the first time.

 

Because even though those courses cost money upfront, they more than pay for themselves in return on saved mistakes alone… not to mention how much they help me actually make more money because of the things they teach.

 

I’ve done courses on how to set up my business, how to manage clients, how to market, how to advertise, how to write, how to pick colors and do basic web design, how to network, and how to create an info product.

 

Free courses are available yes, but they only scratch the surface. Paying money to dig deep into the topic and really learn it goes so, so far. Trust me.

 

Headaches saved:

 

– Wasted time

 

– Wasted money

 

– Failed experiments

 

– Leaving sales on the table

 

– Googling for 13 hours straight while your eyeballs bulge out of your head

 

 

 

  1. Train New Employees Well

Recently I heard John and Kate (the couple behind Entrepreneur on Fire, not the reality show stars with 8 children) on a podcast talking about how when you hire someone, you should actually expect a temporary increase in work instead of immediately being able to offload responsibilities and have the free time you dream of.

 

That’s because, even if you make the smartest hires in the world, they’re not going to understand and acclimate to your business right away.

 

Instead, they’re going to need time to learn the ins and outs, to understand your expectations, and to mentally put the puzzle together to see how all the small pieces add up to your larger goals.

 

They’re not going to hit the ground running on day one, and you shouldn’t expect them to.

 

Train them well to do their jobs—even if they’ve filled the same role five times before at five different companies and you assume it should all be the same. (It’s not all the same.)

 

If you’re not sure how to put together a training plan, check out this guide on Inc. and its dig deeper resources.

 

Plus, when someone feels more competent in their job, they feel more empowered and proud of what they do.

 

Headaches saved:

 

– Harsh firing

 

– High turnover

 

– No wasted time going back to un-do employee mistakes.

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