Bigger isn’t always better: Top tips for small businesses

Jessica Satherley
Bigger isn’t always better: Top tips for small businesses
Running a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) can be challenging at the best of times

Running a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) can be challenging at the best of times. 

Westpac Business Managers Robert Breen and Amanda Boyle regularly speak at seminars giving their expert advice to SME owners about business growth. 

Here are five of their top tips: 

  1. Use professionals for what you aren’t an expert at, for example outsource your accountant even if you have accounting software.  What you put into the accounting software impacts the outcome. 
  2. Don’t cut corners to save money, it can end up costing you more in the long run. 
  3. Step back from the business occasionally to think about the business and plan with a broader perspective.  Sometimes you're so busy that you don’t step back enough. 
  4. Bigger is not necessarily better. Businesses that look to take on bigger contracts and increase staff quickly, don’t always increase profits. It’s better to grow sustainably and effectively. 
  5. Your business plan should be ever evolving and needs to be reviewed regularly because the market is always changing. 

Robert and Amanda recently teamed up with 10 business partners including Xero, the Canterbury Employer’s Chamber of Commerce, MBIE, IRD, Mint Design, Mortlock McCormack, Hospitality Assn, Aider, SBA and ICNZB to put on a SME Business Help Day in Christchurch. 

 Chamber of Commerce also shared these top ten tips, which they said were “the essentials to being the boss of a small business”. 

  1. Understand leadership, it’s a skill. 
  2. Recruit well, your business IS your people. 
  3. Develop relationships, preferably positive. 
  4. Encourage feedback, what are you scared of? 
  5. Use humour... but wisely. 
  6. Understand your legal obligations, or it burns your back pocket. 
  7. Understand that behaviour breeds behaviour – you get what you give. 
  8. Deal with poor performance quickly, it’s about respect. 
  9. Reward and acknowledge – foster fairness. 
  10. Don’t be a friend to your employees.  It’s not that easy to fire a friend. 

 

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