Your business needs to have systems and processes in place to allow for scalability. Otherwise, you’ll end up bottle-necking your company.
The move from your start to your growth phase requires the implementation of systems and process. It’s the recipes you craft for sound management. Areas of your business need to start working automatically without you having to step in and guide the process.
“When I applied for government funding, my network facilitator introduced me to a consultant who explained the concept of capacity building to me. It was a big shift in my mind-set. Instead of thinking I had to do everything, I started thinking about how to develop policies and procedures,” says Shameem Kumandan founder of Washtub Industrial Laundry Service.
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“Growth and development are exciting stages in the evolution of a small business. However, without solid planning and infrastructure business owners can jeopardise valuable growth opportunities. By thinking proactively and consistently working on an operations plan, your business will be ready for healthy development,” says Alexandra Mayzler, founder and director of Thinking Caps Tutoring.
Here are four business management lessons from successful women entrepreneurs to help you create better management tactics:
1. Get your numbers right
In every business, there will be areas where you can save money without damaging the integrity of the brand or quality of your service. The most important thing to keep in mind is that saving frees up valuable cash flow that you can use to fund further growth. “We started with what we could change quickly and have maximum impact,” says Kumandan.
“For example, we invested in a coal-fired boiler, changed the motors on our machines to variable speed motors, which use half the energy, created natural light in our warehouses. It’s all added up to significant savings.”
2. Focus on your customer to increase sales
Busi Skenjana, founder of Brand Support Keys (BSK) Marketing, launched a marketing business focused specifically for the stokvel sector. To convince businesses to market in stokvel, she first had to critically analyse the motivations behind why consumers choose the brands that they do, which gave her the insights into the market’s needs and choices.
“My business is built around giving big brands access to stokvels in an environment conducive to hearing their message,” explains Skenjana. She says that if you put your market first and really focus on their needs, success will naturally follow, because you’ll be offering a service that adds real value to businesses and lives.
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3. Value your employees, without them you have no business
At SizweNtsalubaGobodo, there future partners come up from employees. “As we diversified there were more opportunities for them. Staying with us and benefiting from those changes crystalised their own careers. Continuously moving forward is one of the most important ways to keep talent,” says Nonkululeko Gobodo, founding partner.
“When we started diversifying Gobodo Inc in 1998, we did it through our partners and employees. If we noticed someone was interested in forensics for example, we built a whole business unit around them. If they succeeded, it inspired others to follow their dreams. The higher the confidence levels within an organisation, the more people will contribute."
4. Implement realistic systems and process
Your systems and processes are there to ensure your whole team is on the same page, and that activities aren’t needlessly duplicated.
“The last thing you should want is employees who are not empowered to get the job done. The good news nowadays is that you don’t need to implement a complex and expensive ERP system. Applications like Slack and Trello work well,” says Rapelang Rabana founder of Rekindle Learning. The quicker you embrace these applications, the better.
- Focus on your finances as saving money frees up valuable cash flow that you can use to fund the business.
- Put your market first and focus on their needs, success will naturally follow, because you’ll be offering a service that adds real value to businesses and lives.
- Successful employees inspire others to follow their dreams. The higher the confidence levels within an organisation, the more people will contribute.
- Implement realistic systems and processes to ensure your entire team is on the same page, and that activities aren’t needlessly duplicated.