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Updated by Becky Hinshelwood on Jun 07, 2016
Headline for 10 Best Kept Secrets of a Small Business
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10 Best Kept Secrets of a Small Business

When you read about a successful small business you will often encounter tales such as these: 'we started with just a laptop and our kitchen table'; 'I had to store goods in my garage'; 'I was replying to emails at 3am'. So how do these businesses progress? SMEs frequently reach a static state, after all there are only so many hours in the day; you only have two hands etc. Overturn these cliches and focus on how working smart can make your business' more diminutive size an advantage.

Branding

You don’t have to be a Guru to create an engaging brand. Ensure your key messages are visible, your images and colours simple and clear. For the rest, you can access coaching and masterclasses at the Design Council.

Payroll Outsourcing

You’ve taken on staff and of course they must be paid… but you can’t afford a Finance department, nor is it wise to try to do it all yourself. This is when it’s a good idea to outsource an element of the business. Payroll is a common example and enables you to focus on business growth and innovation.

Networking

Local contacts are vital for a small business. You can find support, ideas, clients and assistance at networking events. The key is finding the right event for you and your business. Search for networking events in your area here.

Funding

Crowdfunding has enjoyed a massive ascent in recent years and offers a flexible alternative to traditional loans for the SME. There are loads of platforms out there, this one enables two types of lending; equity crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.

Admin Outsourcing

Inefficiencies occur when your admin gets neglected and your clients will be the first to notice. Keep your phones answered, your replies prompt and your databases fresh. When these are in order you will find that you have the feel of an established organisation, and it needn't break the bank.

Evolution

Growing will always involve change, so don’t fight it. The more people involved in your business, be that front office, back office or client list, the more you will need to adapt how you work. Allow yourself to evolve!

Reading

The beauty of a small business is that you can implement new ideas quickly. So keep those ideas flowing by reading about others. From business blogs to trade press, read around your subject and you may find ideas in the most surprising places.

HR Outsourcing

Congratulations, your business is growing! Your staff have been working hard to achieve this and it’s so important to look after them. High staff turnover results in hours wasted in re-training. Which is why it’s important to be organised with your employee benefits. This can be complicated with ever changing Government requirements so learn more here.

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Tech

Tech

Don’t be afraid of using tech. It’s easy to be intimidated, especially if this isn’t your natural field, but you can achieve huge advantages by cleverly implementing tech, apps and online capability. If this isn’t your bag it’s worth paying for someone who understands it; this is a great place to meet them.

Time Out

Don’t let yourself burn out. Go for a run, to the gym, take a spa break, watch a movie, embroider a cushion. Just don’t get overwhelmed by your work. It’ll stifle your ability in the end…