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There are lots of blogs and articles written that say ‘these are the most critical four things you need to do in a small business’. Personally, I don’t believe it is that easy, and as each business is unique, you are faced by different challenges. Today I am going to share what where the critical focus areas for a business I have recently been working with. These may relate to you, but also you may have them under control, but as with all walks of life and business, it does no harm to keep an eye on them anyway.

Stay cash flow positive

How often do you manage cash flow? If I asked you now how much cash you had in your business account, could you answer me? Cash flow must be controlled weekly. Everyone who has the authority to spend cash from your business must be able to account for every item weekly. What is your process for managing this? Have you built this capability into your business?

Continue to Grow

Growth is the oil that keeps the engine humming. It is what excites you and your team, if you have investors, it is what they measure their return on. If you take oil out of your engine, what is going to happen? It is the same if you take growth out of your business. How do you ensure that growth is a continuous priority? What are you doing today that is going to grow the business tomorrow?

Master leadership

There is a massive difference between management and leadership. Could you articulate the difference between the two? How are you currently operating in your business? A manager streamlines and makes operations go smoothly. Sound like you? A leader shares a vision that motivates people to turn it into reality. Sound like you? As a small business owner, you need to master both and also ensure your team understands when you are playing which role. Become a master of both.

Incentivise key talent

Key talent are employees the business needs to keep forever. The ones that if they go on leave or are sick, you get a little chill down your spine. These key employees are ‘keep-for-lifers’. They think like employers, not employees, they are leaders, they focus on quality and customer service. Do you know who they are? How are you rewarding them? How are you protecting your business from their knowledge and expertise?  

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