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Managing your business

Running a business means wearing many hats, as you’ll need to manage things like IT, your premises and risk. All it takes is preparation, so start by reading these guides. 

1. Understand how the business is doing

You can often assess how well a business is doing by understanding its numbers. It’s so important that as a business owner or manager, you are completely across the financial performance of the business. This can affect your ability to employ staff, purchase goods, acquire licenses, expand and develop. Funding Solutions 

2. Find ways to reduce costs

Managing costs and reducing expenses are key to staying on track. 

Member-only solutions: Access member-only savings on core business expenses such as energy bills with Utilitywise and business motoring services through Chamber Fuel Card 

3. Improve productivity and competitiveness

You can’t be complacent with the status quo in today’s competitive environment. Just to stay at the level you’re playing at, you need to invest in raising productivity to remain viable in the market.  Access expert advice from over Business Gateway Advisors as well as funding supports. Contact Business Gateway East Lothian & Business Gateway Midlothian 

4. Hire the right people to stay on top of operations

You should not merely be concerned with hiring the right people, you should be obsessed. If you've ever hired someone only to realise later that it was a huge mistake, you know how expensive, time-consuming, productivity-sapping and growth-hindering it can be. On the flip side, bring the perfect person on board and your team will get more done, create a great culture and be one step closer to the success desired.

Do an evaluation of the business and ask yourself "Where are we strong? Where are we weak?" If you know where you're weak you should be interviewing in those places anyway – before you have to let someone go. Waiting might cost you more time, money and anxiety than you need. 

Member-only solutions: 

  • Through the Bright Green Business, we can provide undergraduates to do business projects for short term placementsand graduates to undertake full-time jobs at discounted rates.
  • As an employer, the Chamber HR Line is your membership lifeline to expert advice on complying with workplace obligations, covering everything from pay rates to annual leave and superannuation. The friendly and knowledgeable Advice Line team break down complex regulations into simple “what you need to do” answers. 

5. Educate the team to gain the right skills and knowledge 

Leading companies continue to invest in training and development even when budgets are tight. These employers will come out far ahead of those other businesses whose only management strategy is to slash and burn.  Learning and upgrading employee skills makes business sense. Granted, it may take some time to see a return on your investment, but the long-term gains associated with improving the effectiveness of your current workforce will help you cope with the challenges of managing a business operation.  
Benefits for your business and employees:

  • Improved productivity and adherence to desired standards
  • Employees develop skill sets that allow them undertake a greater variety of work – instilling loyalty and commitment
  • Improved ability to implement and realise specific goals outlined in a company's business plan – improving job satisfaction and morale
  • Increased ability to respond effectively to change 

Member-only solutions: 

  • Access training courses and online education at a preferential rate across a range of topics.
  • ​All member plans include access to free webinars and on-demand content run by industry thought leaders across topics that range from updates on changing tax regulations to marketing techniques and HR issues.

6. Stay abreast of latest developments affecting business 

Every business decision-maker needs to stay on top of matters that affect their business – no matter what their stage of growth. But there are only 24 hours in the day and your waking hours are spent in the business. You need a trusted source of inspiration, education and connection that's delivered to you. That's what Chamber membership can offer – an easy way to access information that can make a difference to your business. 

Member-only solutions:

Business Connect magazine is a 'must-read' member publication addressing the most important issues and strategies that every business – whether small or large – should be aware of.

The quarterly magazine pulls together the most topical insights from industry leaders and experts in the business community on a broad range of areas, including:

  •  Business improvement and management 
  •  Education and training
  •  Export
  •  Finance
  •  Human resources
  •  Innovation 
  • Marketing
  •  Workplace Health and Safety (WHS)
  •  Workplace relations  

7. Get professional advice

In running your business, there are times when what you know can only take you so far. Taking the leap from self-reliance and research to seeking, and paying for, professional advice can be a big step for some. But when you put on your business-lens, seeking the best specialist advice and support from an expert in law, accounting, taxes, insurance or marketing will be one of the smartest moves you make.  

Member-only solutions: 

  • Membership offers access to a whole range of professional services either included within a membership plan, or at a preferential rate via our membership benefits
  • Connect with other specialist members through the exclusive member-access Membership Directory (only available via member login)


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