There are lots of factors that influence the success of a business. In addition, the type of business often dictates the management issues that are most important. Avoid trendy management techniques–choose what effective management tools that are right for your business. Here are some effective management tools that work well in many industries:
Regularly meet with an outside board of directors.
The board of directors isn’t just something you need to get incorporated. It is a valuable source of insight if you select the right people. I recommend choosing a variety of people with expertise in sales and marketing, finance, production, law, and employee relations. Other business owners for whom you hold great respect are often some of the most insightful board members. Avoid using many current employees on the board; the point is to get an outsider’s perspective. Have regular meetings to get the most out of your board. In addition, be completely honest when discussing your business with the board.
Visit noncompeting businesses.
Try to connect with owners of similar businesses in another geographic area. This way, you can compare notes with people in similar situations without having the talk to your local competitors. You’ll be surprised how many people are willing to go out of their way to meet up and talk with others in the same industry.
Get involved at the Chamber of Commerce.
Chamber membership is worth it if you get involved. This can help you stay involved with other businesses in your community. It also gives you access to local business and community leaders. This can also get you connected with businesses who could use your products and services. Staying involved can definitely be a good source of
Get involved with trade groups.
There may be local or national industry groups, both of which can be great sources of information for small businesses. This is an excellent support system that can provide valuable information for both new and established businesses. I’ve found that people tend to underestimate the benefit of joining a trade group. Many who have already joined don’t take full advantage of the resources available to them. Simply making a phone call or sending an e-mail can result in getting a great deal of information. In addition, some of these groups may give discounts on supplies or equipment for your business.
Keep tabs on your competition.
Successful business owners understand the importance of being aware of what your competitors are doing. You don’t need to know every move they are making, but it is helpful to get information about your competitors from sources like newspaper articles and blog posts. Listening at local trade group meetings or the Chamber of Commerce can provide insight into what the competition is doing.
Don’t just muddle through your business career–take the initiative. You can learn a lot through meeting other business owners both in your area and across the country.
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