You’re in charge of your small business. It’s up to you to make the final decisions regarding product offerings, marketing plans, hiring and business partnerships. Because you have this authority, you also have a great amount of responsibility and accountability. This is a good thing if you know how to streamline your creative business efforts, tying each component of your business together seamlessly. If your efforts aren’t seamless it could cost you customers and sales.
How Your Creative Small Business Looks Like One Unit When It Functions Properly
So many things in life are comprised of individual components. From the outside, however, when the components work cohesively, things look like one unit, not separate parts. For example, the average car has more than 25,000 different parts. Yet, when you look at the outside of a car, the hood, bumper and frame, it’s hard to imagine the car is constructed with so many parts.
When it comes to your creative business, you may have departments such as:
- Corporate Communications
- Marketing and Advertising
- Public Relations
- Accounting Department
- Customer Relations
- Product Development
- Compensation and Benefits
- Employee Relations
- Information Technology
- Learning and Development
- Talent Acquisition
- Facilities Management
- Budgeting and Taxation
Of course, within each of these departments might be more scaled down units. For example, Marketing and Advertising might be comprised of units such as: Social Media, Cloud Marketing, Print Advertising, Web Content, Search Engine Optimization, Product Reviews and Direct Mail Marketing. If you operate a large firm, the likelihood of you managing, let alone visiting employees in each of these departments, on a weekly basis is slim.
It’s Up to You to Ensure Each Part of Your Creative Small Business Functions Effectively
Yet, it’s up to you to ensure each component, each part, of your creative small business is functioning properly. You can increase the likelihood that this is the case if you:
- Communicate key initiatives and changes in direction to members of your management team early and direct those senior leaders to communicate the information to their direct reports, on down, until every employee at the offline or online company has received the message
- Involve representatives from each department at your company in major projects, initiatives (for example, you might ask supervisors to identify one to two top performers to participate on major projects)
- Hold quarterly business review meetings and invite your entire employee base to attend the meetings (use conference calls and video conferencing to connect employees working offsite to the meetings)
- Encourage employees to send suggestions for improvement, questions and concerns to their human resource managers. Each month ask the head of Human Resources to communicate three to five of the most widely received suggestions, questions and concerns to you for review.
- Conduct employee surveys to measure levels of employee engagement and satisfaction and to surface communication or work problems buried at deeper levels within your offline or online company
To measure how well the various components of your creative small business are functioning as a cohesive unit from the customer’s view, consider emailing short surveys to repeat customers, keeping in mind that feedback provided on the surveys can be used to help increase your customer sales. You can also survey employees annually to measure how engaged they are in the process of growing your small business. If customer surveys only take three minutes or less to complete, you may increase your response percentage. You may want to keep the time it takes to complete employee surveys to 10 to 15 minutes.
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