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Smooth Running: Handy Tips for Operating a Small Business

For a small business, it’s easy to get caught up in landing partnerships or securing large investments, but it’s actually often the simple day-to-day running of things that make or break a business. If you want to succeed in a competitive economy, it’s important to get the small things right – here are a few to consider, presented by Design Works in the guide below.

Updating Software

Something as simple as downloading an update or switching providers can make a huge difference to a company’s bottom line. For example, your cybersecurity software needs to be patched so that it can protect your data from hackers armed with new coding and fix any bugs that might leave it vulnerable. A breach, which could come in the form of ransomware or a virus, could easily land your company in trouble with customers/clients or cost you a fortune in legal fees. You may also find that your software (for example those involved in CRM or sales) would benefit from the latest features or added tools — these can ultimately improve your efficiency and save you and your team valuable time.

If you decide to update your website alongside your other software, then consider working with the professionals at Design Works. With over 16 years of experience, Design Works can design a site that accurately reflects what your business is all about.

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Market Analysis

It’s common for small businesses to focus their attention inwards but, if you can spare the resources, there are huge benefits to learning more about your wider market. A smart business owner will study their target demographics from every possible angle, adapt to their buying habits and relay findings to the rest of the team. A competitor analysis can help you to identify points of saturation, look at your strengths and weaknesses relative to the competition, and draw lines between process and revenue. Although it’s common to hire agencies or professionals to carry this out on behalf of the company, there are now plenty of online tools to help automate the process.

Small Business Structure

Often the structure of the business itself can play a huge part in its continued success. For example, by registering as a limited liability company (LLC) you can benefit from tax advantages, reduced paperwork, and protect yourself from personal liability. You’ll need to register with the state but you can expedite the process through an online service, which will help to offer quick formation and professional support.

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Establish Synchronicity

It’s important before your business has become too incumbent to develop a sense of ‘togetherness’ within your team. With everyone singing from the same sheet, you’ll find there’s less interoffice conflict, more clarity, and an improved sense of efficiency as everyone pulls in the same direction. How you go about achieving this comes down to you, but, as the founder and CEO, it can help to assess everyone’s roles and create a list of mutual, understandable, and achievable OKRs. It may also help you to develop a mission statement that the team can refer back to whenever uncertainty arises.


As the owner of the business, it’s your job not only to choose the methods of communication but also to set the tone by which your employees will speak to each other and to clients. Take a close look at the programs that you’re using to stay in touch with one another, and decide early on whether you want things to stay informal or smartened up – often the right answer will depend on your industry.

With any business, big or small, there are often a thousand things to keep in mind at once. That’s why it’s important to remember that this is a process. Over time, with enough care and attention, you can iron out the crinkles and build a company that runs smoothly.

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