Small Business Checklist

The challenges businesses face in our ever-growing, highly competitive world are seemingly never-ending. And it doesn’t seem it will get any easier in 2023 amidst the continuation of a pandemic and the changing landscape of the business world.

No matter the industry, small business owners and entrepreneurs alike can prepare for the inevitable challenges that come from running a business. Developing a comprehensive plan is essential to staying ahead of any potential risks that may arise. This plan should include strategies for managing finances, customer and employee relations, marketing, and other core aspects of your business.

Devising a plan and focusing on the following checklist can help ensure your small business has a strong foundation for future growth and success.

Financial Management

Understanding the fundamentals of business finance is a critical aspect of success for any organization. Without knowledge and understanding of the financial side of operations, it can be difficult for managers, entrepreneurs, and business owners to make informed decisions about their operations. By understanding the key concepts related to finance such as budgeting, cost analysis, cash flow management, and financial forecasting, companies can better understand the potential impacts of their decisions and develop strategies that enhance their chances for success.

Managing the finances of a small business is one of the biggest challenges for anyone, no matter how skilled they are in other business areas. When it comes to learning about business finances, there are many resources available, both free and paid, that can give you the foundational knowledge you need to succeed. Aside from courses and automated programs, which are designed to help you as a small business owner keep your books in order, it doesn’t hurt to have an accountant or financial professional involved in your finances as well.

Employee Relations

Any successful small business owner knows that having the right team of employees in place is critical for ensuring their business’s success. It’s fine if you don’t get it completely right from the start, it’s a process.


Without much name recognition or the ability to pay high salaries, small businesses often struggle to convince top-level talent to join their ranks. To compete for talent against larger companies, small businesses need to get creative. Offering an attractive benefits package or flexible work hours can go a long way in convincing even the most sought-after professionals to join your team. Additionally, providing extensive professional development opportunities is another great way to differentiate your business.


There is strong evidence that poor communication within companies can lead to mistakes that cost the business money. Communication has always been an essential element of small business success. Businesses should create a work environment that supports open and honest communication, creating processes such as regular team meetings to discuss goals, challenges, and other topics, or having an open-door policy so employees feel comfortable asking questions or raising concerns.

With the increased need for remote work due to social distancing guidelines, the way in which a company communicates can mean the difference between success and failure. Video conferencing, instant messaging, email, or other cloud-based platforms allow employees to have face-to-face conversations with colleagues in different locations and share ideas in real time.


Along with communication, managing employee workflow is important for efficiency. As the complexity and scope of operations increase, it can become even more difficult to ensure that tasks are completed in a timely fashion, that everyone is on the same page about their roles and responsibilities, and that expectations for performance and output are well defined. Fortunately, there are a variety of tools, such as project management software and time tracking applications, that can help small business owners manage their employees’ workflows.


Developing and measuring the right metrics for monitoring and judging employee performance is one of the most important challenges organizations face today. Companies need to find a way to accurately measure and evaluate the performance of their employees, while at the same time, motivating them to achieve higher levels of productivity and success. This can be done through setting clear goals, providing feedback and rewards, recognizing individual performance, and providing opportunities for growth.


Growing a customer base to ensure that your small business is seen and recognized at the right time by the right people is necessary for success. To do this, you need to have an effective marketing strategy that reaches the right customers in the right places. This can include utilizing digital marketing tools such as social media and content marketing as well as traditional methods like print advertising, email campaigns and direct mail. Additionally, you should focus on building relationships with existing customers to ensure repeat business and word-of-mouth referrals. Building a strong network of contacts through networking events, industry associations or chambers of commerce is also recommended.

Customer Service

Customer service is one of the most daunting challenges that businesses face daily. Offering satisfactory customer service requires an intricate understanding of customers’ wants and needs and a continuous dedication to meeting those needs. Businesses must be committed to providing quality customer service, at all times, to remain competitive in the marketplace. From large corporations to small start-ups, every business should strive to create positive experiences by listening carefully to customers’ feedback and addressing their concerns.  

Scaling Operations

At some point in the life of any small business, the question arises as to whether it is worthwhile to begin ramping up operations. For some businesses, this may be necessary to meet increased demand or to expand their reach into new markets – while for others, the objectives may simply be to drive greater efficiencies and cost savings.

No matter the reason, once a business decides to pursue growth initiatives, there are several key areas that must be addressed to ensure success. Having a plan in place and being prepared for growth are essential elements to success when scaling up.

Future Vision

Small business owners often find themselves so wrapped up in the day-to-day operations that they don’t have time to do any long-term planning. With tight deadlines, customer demands, and rising competition, it can be hard to step back and think about the future of your business.

However, it’s important to make time for long-term planning. If you want your business to succeed, you need to have a plan in place for where you want it to go and how you will get there. Having a comprehensive business plan is the best way to achieve this goal.