Day-to-day business operations are the activities that a business and its employees engage in on a daily basis. These operations are in place to keep a business running well and ultimately generate a profit. Staying on top of these tasks can help you avoid business disruptions and put you in a stronger financial position. Here are day to day operations to explore and streamline, if necessary.
Examples of day to day operations for a business
Not every task needs to be addressed on a daily basis. But the operations outlined below should be on your radar and closely managed.
Obtain and manage working capital
It’s critical to have positive working capital so that your small business can meet its day-to-day operational needs. These needs might include making payments on existing debt, meeting payroll obligations, or paying rent and vendors. If current assets aren’t more than your current liabilities, you could find yourself in financial trouble and unable to pay short term creditors on time. To learn more, read What is Working Capital in Small Business?
If you find yourself in need of working capital, it’s important to get a handle on the problem ASAP. One of the best ways to shore up cash flow and pay for expansion efforts is with a healthy infusion of working capital. A low-cost loan, like an SBA loan, is an effective way to fund your working capital needs. Bank term loans, lines of credit, and business credit cards can also provide funds to keep your business moving along successfully.
Note: To secure the lowest cost capital with the longest terms and manageable payments, keep your credit scores healthy. The SmartBiz Blog has a host of resources to help you understand and manage your credit scores:
- Personal Credit Scores: Important when Seeking a Small Business Loan
- FICO SBSS: What’s Your Business Credit Score?
Track accounts payable and receivable
Accounts receivable are the amounts owed to a company by its customers, while accounts payable are the amounts that a company owes to its suppliers. Receivables are classified as a current asset, while payables are classified as a current liability.
Keeping on top of your payables and receivables is vital and should be calculated daily.
These days, small businesses need an accounting system that’s cost effective, up-to-date, and can handle all financial tasks you need to run your company. If you’re not happy with your current system or need to establish one, consider one of these free accounting software systems:
- GnuCash is a great fit for a business in need of organized and easy bookkeeping. The software has features like invoice management, accounts payable and receivable along with expense tracking and payroll.
- CloudBooks is a cloud-based accounting solution designed for small businesses and freelancers. It includes features for billing, invoice creation, project management, and time tracking.
- SlickPie is free accounting software for start-up or micro businesses.
- QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based accounting software for small businesses. It offers solutions for managing sales, expenses, cash flow, and more.
If you need help, consider hiring a financial professional with small business experience. A bookkeeper or accountant can work as a contractor, saving you labor costs.
Hire and train personnel
As your business grows, you're likely to bring on new employees. To manage your organization effectively, you'll want to reward your team for good performance while also holding them accountable for mistakes. You'll also need to be a good role model for your team, which includes holding yourself responsible for the successes and failures of your business.
Of course, the key is to have well-trained employees in place. There’s no denying it: trained and developed employees are more motivated and invested in the company’s success. Give your employees the opportunity to enhance their skills and continue their education by offering workplace learning opportunities. Team up with a local college or subscribe to an online program to provide free webinars, workshops, or courses on anything from communication skills to new technologies.
You can also put an internal mentoring program in place. Professional development not only benefits your employees' careers but also enhances your company's talent pool.
Here are several articles from the SmartBiz Small Business Blog about onboarding and managing employees:
- 7 Efficient Tips for Onboarding New Employees - Onboarding is a pivotal time in your employees’ experience when they can learn about the ins and outs of the company, set expectations and benchmarks, and get to know their team. Learn how a strong onboarding experience can create a welcoming environment, kickstart productivity, and increase retention.
- Best Employee Development Plan in 7 Steps - Learn why an employee development plan is a win-win both for employers and employees. These programs are focused on professional growth, helping employees build key skills, and can lead to higher work performance.
- 9 Key Areas of Improvement for Employees - This article covers employee problems, like time management, that may be affected their performance and your bottom line. Learn about the most common areas of improvement along with tips to address.
Inventory management might sound like a time-consuming, unglamorous task on your to-do list, but as your small business grows, this process can help you stay in control. You need an organized system in place to keep track of how much you’re producing, consuming, and selling, and ultimately how everything combines to affect your bottom line. The benefits of good inventory management can make a huge impact on your business. Without shortages and excesses, your supply chain can operate at its full capacity.
Our blog post has more information about the importance of inventory management and software recommendations: Inventory Management for Small Business Explained.
In addition to inventory, make sure your office is stocked with the tools you need to get tasks done. That might include something as small as paper or as big as working laptops. Address supplies swiftly to avoid an interruption in your business.
Respond to customers
Customers expect consistency. It’s crucial to not only deliver good customer service initially, but to keep on delivering service at the same or higher level every time.
A lot of customer service training is focused on processes like how to use the computer software, what forms to fill out, how to enter orders, etc. But employees also need training to handle all customer-related situations.
Consistency can be the most challenging aspect of handling customer issues. Your employees have different personalities, might have been hired at different times, and may work in different departments. Consistency of training will help them all get on the same page. Focus on providing each member of your team with a clear roadmap on how to create great customer experiences and resolve difficult situations. You also need to empower employees to go off the map if needed. When they do, the responses and solutions need to be consistent across the board.
When you run the show, you're ultimately the one who is responsible for the day-to-day goals of a company. As you grow, you can hand off tasks like accounting, inventory management, and more. Strive to hire employees with experience or put a training program in place. Getting a handle on operations can help your business expand.