Do you want to develop a great small business? In order to do this, you must have all elements within the business be cohesive and work well together. In this interview between Dale Beaumont and Geoff Lyons, find out Geoff’s top five tips to developing a great small business.
Geoff Lyons is the director of Haka New Zealand which specialises in importing a wide range of products. Haka has now also created a top-level clothing brand under the same name.
What are your top five tips for developing a great small business?
- Honesty – we have always maintained that in order to sleep at night and steer clear of any problems (such as tax liability), we would not entertain any activity that could result in us being caught by the authorities. Three years ago we had a complete tax audit and after three weeks of investigation we were pleased to be informed by the tax department that we did not owe any back taxes after trading for seven years.
- Staff – we believe that staff is one of the company’s greatest assets. We have a terrific bunch of staff so we reward them well and give them time off for important occasions, for example, a child’s awards ceremony. These actions have been returned tenfold by our staff who are always willing to go that extra yard for us and remain 110 per cent loyal.
- Communication – in our business, where we are constantly dealing with numerous retailers and buyers within each organisation, it is critical that we maintain close communication at all times. We like to set the example by always returning messages, phone calls and emails and insist that our staff do the same. This may seem like a very small point to make but if our customers know that they will always get an answer, be it good or bad, it enhances their confidence in dealing with us.
- Budgeting – from the first day of business we set ourselves a sales and expense budget for the financial year and asked our accountant to work out the financial result of each month. We then sit down and analyse the results and go over both the sales and expense details with a fine-tooth comb to see how we can increase profits in the future. I believe that too many businesses fail to have an accurate depiction of their financial position and therefore have an unrealistic perception of how their business is performing.
- Sense of humour – I would be very surprised if any business I know would have an office that laughs as much as ours. We have always had a very open mind when it comes to what is and isn’t office protocol and do not hold anything back. We do not believe in closed door meetings and try to involve staff in as many matters as possible. Obviously, this may not work for all offices but I have definitely found that it makes it a lot easier to walk into work in the morning knowing that you are going to have some laughs during the day.
For more of this interview between Dale Beaumont and Geoff Lyons check out “Secrets of Small Business Owners Exposed!“.