The idea of running a small business sounds more glamorous than it is. Between customer complaints, vendor problems, payroll, and managing day-to-day operations, many people give up inside of 10 years.

However, a lot of business problems are preventable. If you want to make your business to run more smoothly, here are four things you should not be overlooking.


How To Dramatically Reduce Day-To-Day Stress

Most small business owners try to do everything themselves; that’s a big mistake. If you spend most of your day doing tasks like accounting, bookkeeping, writing emails, and cleaning, then think about outsourcing. Stick to the activities that drive sales and revenue.


How To Avoid Hassles With The Government

We all have to deal with the government in one way or another. Make it easy on yourself. Get all your licenses, tax forms, and other paperwork out of the way before you start your business.

If you’re already established, take the initiative by checking your payroll tax situation. Are you compliant? What about Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance? If you accept credit cards, make sure you’re not in violation of these basic consumer protection regulations and credit card handling protocols.

Is your business trademarked? Surprisingly, many businesses never bother to check. This detail is important, so have a trademark attorney run a trademark check on your business through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If there’s another business with the same (or similar) name registered (and yours isn’t), you should change your brand immediately. Trademark infringement is a serious offense, and can get you sued for potentially millions of dollars.


How To Do A Better Job Marketing

Marketing is one area almost every small business owner could use improvement in. Start by thinking about areas in which you’re least competent. For example, if you’re not regularly emailing prospects and customers, start. If you don’t know a lot about marketing, study some of the better free resources on the Internet.

Make a solid marketing plan you know is likely to achieve results (sales), and keep testing and tweaking it until you get the results you’re after. If you don’t have an email list, start building one now. Alternatively, start physically mailing your customers a newsletter or some type of regular communication.

With few exceptions, your business will benefit from regular, ongoing communication with your customers.


How To Structure Your Day

One of the biggest mistakes small business owners make is failing to structure their day properly. Instead of doing the most important tasks first, they focus on the minutiae. They get bogged down in answering emails, telephone calls, and reacting to events around them.

Start your day with “the one thing.” The most important task of the day needs to be done first. This is the one thing that drives business, sales, revenue. It could be making sure your next ad is placed on time, or it could be writing your email sales message. Whatever that one task is, do it first.

Avoid reading and responding to emails until after noon or maybe 3 p.m. If you start responding to emails first thing in the morning, you’re letting other people set your agenda for the day, instead of setting your own.

Running a small business isn’t easy. However, by making sure you’re in compliance with all laws and regulations governing your industry, outsourcing tasks you don’t do well, improving your marketing, and properly structuring your day, you’ll make things a lot easier on yourself.

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