Whether you recently started or bought a business, or if you’ve been in business for years, there’s always room for improvement, but that’s the case with everything, right? Marriages, relationships, health, wealth, and knowledge – everything can be made better.

As business coaches, we help business owners build successful businesses, and while we work closely with different types of business models, there are some lessons that apply to all businesses large and small. That said, if we ran into a business owner on the street or at a networking event and he or she asked, “What advice would you give a business owner?” we’d have this wisdom to pass on:

  1. Hire the best people.

In many ways, your company is as good as your team. If you hire great people who are happy and actively trying to give your customers a great experience, you will be doing your business a huge service. But how do you find top talent? For one, don’t hire based on resumes alone. Hire people you like, who will fit well into your company culture.

Taking good care of your employees is critical. If they are happy at work, the customers will take notice and the good vibes will inevitably translate to a better customer experience.

So, as a business owner, you will need to focus on your employees’ wellbeing. To accomplish that, nurture a positive workplace, cultivate camaraderie and a team atmosphere. Encourage your employees to learn, grow, and actively collaborate with each other.

As far as hiring, take your time, don’t rush it. Hiring for the “right fit” isn’t always easy, which is why it’s great to make it a team sport. Encourage your employees to be on the lookout for other great personalities who could add value to the company and help build an even stronger team. 

  1. Master the art of delegation.

In the early days of business, most entrepreneurs do it all. They choose a name for the company, build a website, hire the first employees, find a building, order office furniture, find customers, make hundreds of cold calls, invest in advertising, and so on. Because business owners are so hands on, they can find it difficult to hand over the reins to someone else, but they have to if they want their business to grow.

To succeed in business, master the fine art of delegation. Not sure where to start? You can begin by hiring someone to handle the easiest tasks first, like answering phones, ordering office supplies, mailing packages, cleaning the office, posting to social media and so on. Even if you hire an assistant, that can save you 10, 20, or even 40 hours a week that you can shift toward doing what you do best: growing your business. 

  1. Reward your team for success.

Your team is the backbone of your business. Build a great team and you’ll be rock solid, and you’ll be able to make magic happen. But one of the major issues that companies have second to finding great talent is keeping it. While all businesses experience employee turnover to an extent, some companies have a much higher turnover than others. So, let’s address this problem.

Aside from retiring and moving away, a lot of employees resign simply because they don’t like their jobs or their bosses. Many unhappy employees cite low pay, a lack of advancement opportunities, and hostile work environments as their reasons for quitting. So, to help your employees stick around, make them feel appreciated. Openly acknowledge them when they do a good job and find ways to reward them for all of their hard work.

Here are some ways to reward your team for their success:

  • Celebrate by taking the team out to lunch.
  • Take the team out on an annual work retreat.
  • If the company is doing well and a team member is doing particularly well, say “thank you” with a raise or a promotion.
  • Do something fun with the team for the day like bowling, going to a local amusement park, golfing, or zip lining.
  • Set up a bonus system when the team reaches certain goals.
  • Reward teams with gift certificates to a spa, a sporting event, or a concert.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) cracked down on a lot of entertainment deductions for businesses, especially those involving entertaining “clients.” However, businesses can still write off 100 percent of company-wide gatherings, such as the Fourth of July company picnic, or treating the entire office to a day on the slopes. But how can you tell if it’s deductible? The entire staff has to be invited. In other words, you can’t restrict the gathering to the sales team – everyone has to be on the invite list!

If you have any questions about which team-building activities are tax-deductible, our advice is to reach out to your accountant for the latest updates on the tax laws. On the other hand, if you’d like to learn more key lessons about owning and growing a successful business, contact AdviCoach to get the conversation started.