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10 Tips for Small Business Owners In Montana

Owning a small business can be a gratifying experience, improving your life and community. Small businesses are the cornerstone of many Montana towns, helping provide products, services, and employment. And whether you’re new in town or your family has been running the same shop for generations, we couldn’t get by without your small businesses. 


You might have been dreaming up your business for years but are just now getting started, or you could be well-established and looking to grow. Either way, follow these ten tips for small business owners in Montana to help your small business stay in business.

man and woman looking at a computer.

Surround Yourself With People Who Share Your Work Ethic

When hiring employees, they must have a similar work ethic and goals. Small business employees work more closely with each other daily, so it is crucial for them to be on the same page to reduce the risk of disagreements and promote productivity. Find the people who support your actions and will help you see it through. 


Maintain a Low Overhead

One of the highest costs of small businesses is overhead. There are many ways to keep overhead low, which will help increase profits while allowing you to maintain competitive prices. Think about what you could rent instead of owning, where you can outsource, and what costs you can cut to keep it lean while you gain steam. 


Use Social Media to Market Your Company

Use social media to promote your business through free and low-cost marketing options. In this tech-savvy world, social media is the best way to reach a large number of customers in a variety of age groups and needs. Our communities might be rural in Montana, but social media can help you connect and grow both locally and on a global scale. 


Woman using social media to market company


Network With Other Businesses in the Area

Small businesses depend on each other for survival. Find a group of small business owners for networking either through your local chamber of commerce or lead group. The Montana Small Business Development Center Network is also an excellent place to start. 


Find a Niche and Excel at It

When you are a small business, too many products or services may result in high costs, making your prices uncompetitive. We’re also seeing a renewed appreciation for supporting local over the big box stores. Find a niche that can benefit your area and work hard to fill it.


Utilize Technology to Make Your Business Run More Efficiently

Technology is a great way to integrate workflows, track transactions, and remove some of the daily minutiae that take up time in your day that could be used for more productive activities. Seek the tools to help you take it to the next level, from time trackers to integrated POS systems that work with your online shop and store inventory to mobile card readers and productivity tools.


Write Out Operating Plans for Each Department

Just because you’re a small business now doesn’t mean you will be in the future. Think ahead and develop a specific workflow for each department (sales, purchasing, administration, etc.) that integrates with the other departments in the company. A clearly defined plan will help everything run more smoothly and efficiently now and as you grow.


Budget book and calculator


Learn to Delegate Appropriately

No one can do it all. Delegation is integral to leadership, but it’s important to delegate the proper responsibilities to the right employee to ensure the best outcome.


Have Solid Financial Plan for Operations and Growth

Keep a budget and a financial plan to provide daily operating expenses, overhead, and inventory. This is a great time to set up your business checking account and fee-free business credit card. Once this is complete and in process, develop a financial plan for growth that you expect and hope to achieve in the future.


Take Advantage of Small Business Financing

Many business loan options are only available to small businesses. Capitalize on these loans that offer special rates and requirements to help give your business the working capital it needs. With RMCU, you can find loans to help your business with equipment purchases to an open line of credit, commercial real estate purchases, or disaster coverage.

Use these ten tips for small business owners in Montana to help your company run more efficiently and stay productive. For more information on small business financing or saving, contact the financial pros at Rocky Mountain Credit Union for more details.

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