According to Forbes, 9 out of 10 startups find it difficult to sustain in the market — one of the key reasons being poor management. Running a business successfully calls for efficient employee management, book keeping, and cash flow management. Add to this, the fact that in today's fragile world where the economic conditions drop and rise at a rapid speed, protecting the business and becoming more tax efficient is imperative.

So while business opportunities in the country have been growing exponentially, thanks to the advent of start-up India and Make in India, running a business profitably continues to be a challenge, given the many factors that have a bearing on it.

Here are a few things to consider to manage your business more effectively:


Nurture your Employees

The concept of employee management and retention is not strong in India, which is understandable, considering the abundance of work force. But it is slowly catching up, because in India, a lot of businesses are built on relationships. Your employees play an integral role in maintaining your business relationship as they deal with clients on a daily basis. So make sure you keep your employees interested in their job. Money (salary, increment, bonus) plays a critical role in keeping employees engaged, but not for long. Most employees are looking for a job that makes them feel at home, and at the same time, challenges them and helps them grow. Here are a few essentials that'll help you keep your employees engaged:

  • Involve employees in your business
    Your employee is the best judge of the ground realities of your business, and for the same reason, they would be in a position to provide practical solutions for a lot of day-to-day business problems. You could create a knowledge sharing system or arrange a quarterly meet with the employees and brainstorm with them for ideas to solve problems, improve your business and grow together. This will not only help better the business, but will also make your employees feel important and part of the 'family'. The key to doing this is having good managers, who will encourage participation among the departments and regions.
  • Provide growth opportunities
    Every employee seeks to grow, and when you provide ample growth opportunities, it simply enhances employee retention. It is important to have a well thought through evaluation and development program. You should consider employing a good HR person(s) for the same.
  • Protect your employees
    In certain businesses, there are a lot of risks involved. Make sure you follow all the necessary safety guidelines and encourage your employees to adhere to them. Join hands with a bank or insurance company for health and life insurances of your employees. An employee will perform better if he feels secure at his workplace. 


Keep Track of Your Finances (Bookkeeping)

  • Online Business Bank Accounts
  • The software and daily bookkeeping


There are many layers that the software providers offer like Cashbook, Ledger, Inventory, Foreign Currency Transactions, and Point of Sale. The bare minimum requirements for any business are cashbook, ledger and inventory. While choosing a software, check if they have the ability to export data in excel format for your offline records.

Your bookkeeping softwares will cover many tasks that otherwise are time consuming. The most important and basic tasks are daily generation of Income statement and balance sheet. Apart from these, your inventory management and salary and vendor payouts will also be taken care of. When your company grows bigger, it will be easier to manage the data, as data from all the branches will be connected via cloud. While on the subject of growing, you could check out the article of how to grow your business


Protecting your business
As an owner, it is up to you to protect your business and run it smoothly. There are a few things you can definitely do to protect your company and yourself:

  • You and your company
    You present your company's image wherever you go. So it is important to not do or say anything that could harm your company's image. Another very critical thing to do is to separate yourself from your company in terms of finances. Many businesses operate as sole proprietorship. So if something is to happen to the company, the owner's personal assets are at stake in the court of law. To tackle this problem, you may want to have a liability insurance in place, so that you are secured against any lawsuits from accidents in your place of business.
  • A competent attorney
    Apart from getting an attorney, who can shield your business from any lawsuits, you as a business owner should also be well informed about the laws of your industries.
  • Protect your data
    As mentioned earlier, keeping track of your finances and data is imperative for smooth running of your business, but make sure this data is kept protected. Arguably, physical data is more secure than online, but managing physical data can be a task. It is a catch 22 situation between convenience and security. Consulting a cyber expert or data management expert who can help solve this problem for you.

In conclusion, it is important for you to be on your feet 24/7, 365 days a year, for a smooth running of your business, especially in the initial years. After all it's your baby and you have to nurture, protect and grow it!

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Disclaimer: This Article is for information purpose only. The views expressed in this Article do not necessarily constitute the views of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd. (“Bank”) or its employees. Bank make no warranty of any kind with respect to the completeness or accuracy of the material and articles contained in this Newsletter. The information contained in this Article is sourced from empaneled external experts for the benefit of the customers and it does not constitute legal advice from Kotak. Kotak, its directors, employees and the contributors shall not be responsible or liable for any damage or loss resulting from or arising due to reliance on or use of any information contained herein.