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49 Business Management Tips & Techniques For Software Startups

Business management tips
Business management tips

The best business management tips are often the simplest:

  • Keep meetings short
  • Create products that solve a personal problem
  • Fail quickly and keep optimizing
  • Prioritize key tasks

In this article, we’re going to go much further.

We’ve canvased some of the best business management tips from the software companies we’ve reviewed – and we’re going to break them down for you.

According to a study by McKinsey & Company, companies in the top quartile for management practices had returns on assets that were four times higher than those of companies in the bottom quartile.

Here are 49 of the best business practices for you to adopt.

What Are The Best Business Management Tips And Techniques?

A business isn’t built on one or two factors. It’s a culmination of excellence across multiple areas.

We’ve put together some of our best business tips, collated from employees at a variety of the software businesses we work with.

Let’s get going.

1. Take accountability for everything

How to take accountability in your business
Business management tips: How to take accountability in your business Credit: Eve Ash

The most important business tip from the people we surveyed is to take accountability for everything. It’ll help you create a more productive, trustworthy, and responsible culture.

It’ll also encourage accountability from everyone else, as they’ll have positive examples at each stage of the business. When you take accountability, you are more likely to take action to solve problems.

This will mean you’re not waiting for someone else to fix things, or blaming others for mistakes.

By taking this approach, it’ll allow you and your team to identify issues and address them more quickly and effectively.

2. Lean into your personal experiences

Using your personal experiences to solve a business problem does a number of things.

Firstly, you’ll already have an understanding of the problems that exist in the industry, which you’re trying to solve. It’s likely that your business idea will have come from one of these areas.

Secondly, you’ll already have a network and credibility within your area, which can help you get off to a fast start in building your business in finding new clients.

3. Identify your competitive advantage

Find the competitive advantage in your business.
Find the competitive advantage in your business. Credit: Upmetrics

Find and exploit the areas of advantage you have over your competitors.

For example, if you’re a small business you might not have the reach, money, reputation or assets of your competitors.

BUT… you’re a small business, which means you’re agile, flexible, and can innovate fast to new changes in the market. Lean in to this and make it a USP.

4. Create a solid business plan

Business plan template. Credit: Wrike

This seems like a simple tip, but you’d be surprised how many people just jump straight in without a clear idea of what they are going to do.

A solid business plan is the first step for any successful venture.

It’ll be the key to unlocking investment, but also if you’re a smaller business it’ll help you be pragmatic and practical about the tasks you need to complete, and the order you need to approach them in.

5. Take time to research your market

There are several areas you need to become an expert in.

You need to totally know what your customers need, so you don’t start a software business which isn’t solving a gap in the market.

You also need to know what your competitors do well, and what they don’t. Ask yourself ‘why would someone pick my business over another?

Finally, you need to identify industry trends, so you can get ahead of other businesses in areas like technology and customer relationship management.

6. Embrace new technologies and software

Best business tips – embrace tech like ChatGPT. Credit: Softweb solutions

Technology continues to progress at the speed of light.

AI tools like ChatGPT, Dall-e and Pictory are revolutionising the marketing space – and that’s just one example.

Whether it’s in firewall security, business management, or accounting, today’s cutting edge software can streamline business processes, save time and dramatically improve efficiency.

7. Become a brilliant listener

Really listen to positive and negative feedback from your employees, customers, and stakeholders.

They can help you understand their needs and perspectives.

Collate their opinions and use this data to make far better decisions.

8. Stay updated on industry trends

Stay updated on software industry trends. Credit: Business Wire

One of the best business management tips in the software industry is to avoid getting stuck by resisting change.

Change is exciting, and necessary.

Staying informed about industry trends and developments will help you stay ahead of the competition. Therefore, you can adapt your business strategy as needed.

9. Never stop improving your products and services

Whatever product or service you sell, it’s crucial that you never sit back and rest.

You need to keep evolving faster than everyone who wants to take your place.

Continuously striving to improve your products and services will help you stay competitive and meet evolving customer needs.

10. Manage all of your finances strategically

Managing finances requires more than competence. You’ll also need to decide how and when to invest on people or services.

Should you push for growth but take a risk with borrowing more?

Should you put your money into product development or people.

Proper financial management is essential for the long-term success of your business.

Be sure to track your finances carefully and make strategic decisions based on your financial situation.

11. Practice empathy

Practice empathy in business
Practice empathy in business. Credit: Center for creative leadership

Why is empathy so important in business?

Well, at the other end of financial management is a much more people-centric skill.

Empathy is key to building strong relationships with employees and customers.

Put yourself in their shoes and always strive to understand their point of view. There’s a good chance that if enough people (your loyal customers) really want you to succeed, then you probably will.

12. Set ambitious expectations

One of the most controversial business management tips is to think bigger than you believe is possible.

For example, there are realistic, achievable expectations and goals, and then there are those that go way above and beyond.

To really reach the top, you almost need to think unrealistically and have larger goals than you think you can achieve.

Look at businesses like Tesla, which nearly went bankrupt with their aggressive target setting and growth strategy.

However, if they hadn’t dreamed so big, there is no way their business would be where it is today.

13. Be adaptable and excited about change

Business environments are constantly changing. AI is going to accelerate that tenfold.

Being adaptable and open to change isn’t just a tip to help your business thrive, it’s an absolute key to survival.

It’s essential for helping you to stay ahead of the curve.

14. Create a diverse team of all talents

Companies with diverse leadership teams perform better. According to a McKinsey report, companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry median.

A rounded business needs different ideas and perspectives.

That’s how you’ll unlock its true potential. Your diverse team will bring different skills to the table.

This will lead to more creative solutions and better decision-making.

15. Focus on building a strong network

Best business management tips - build a strong network.
Best business management tips – build a strong network. Credit: Linkedin

A business build on solid foundations is more likely to be able to withstand tough times.

Building a strong network of contacts and business partners can help you stay informed about industry trends.

It’ll also help you find and unlock new opportunities.

16. Develop a growth mindset

Business leaders with a global mindset are in high demand. According to the Harvard Business Review, 75% of the fastest-growing companies have a global perspective in their corporate strategy.

A growth mindset is when you view challenges as opportunities, rather than obstacles.

For growth, you’ll need to constantly learn new skills and adapt to changes in the market.

A growth mindset will help you become an agile business.

17. Take calculated risks

Risks are obviously a two way street.

Many a business has gone bust trying to chase gains or grow too quickly. You want to look at what the total upside is, and the downside, and decide if the risk is worth it.

It’s about developing the skill to weight the potential benefits against the potential costs.

18. Proactively seek mentorship and advice

Strong leadership can improve employee satisfaction and retention. A study by Gallup found that employees who strongly agreed that their manager creates an environment where they can do what they do best were 59% more likely to be engaged and 87% less likely to leave their company.

To develop leadership skills, one of the best business management tips is to understand that you don’t know it all, and seek mentorship from those with more experience.

Learning from more experienced business leaders about what to do (and what not to do!) can help you avoid the most common pitfalls and make smarter overall decisions.

19. Be productive with better time management

Time management in business tips.
Time management in business tips. Credit: MBA Skool

The most effective time management involves setting priorities and sticking to a schedule.

It demands skill in delegating tasks, and avoiding distractions.

In modern times, productivity has becomes closely linked to working habits and locations, and effective remote working tools and platforms have enabled businesses to adapt to a post Covid era to maximize productivity.

20. Use metrics and advanced data to inform decisions

Business management metrics are vital to track.
Business management metrics are vital to track. Credit: nTask

Today, the amount of data at our fingertips is truly mind-blowing.

It can be used to optimize practically everything, from supply chains, to remote communications, to customer relationships and services.

It can also help you track progress within your team by optimizing tasks like accounting and payroll management.

However, data without insights is just numbers, so make sure your metrics are linked to tangible areas of progress that you can make.

21. Put time into developing a strong online brand presence

A strong online presence can help you reach new customers.

A brand isn’t just about what you look like, it’s what people say about you. Your brand can be your own channels, but also how you appear on platforms like TrustPilot and Glassdoor.

Build your brand in a positive and consistent way will help you attract followers, and ultimately increase sales.

22. Be transparent, honest and direct

In the last business management tip, we covered the importance of brand.

A part of that will be the way you engage with customers, clients and employees.

Transparency and honesty are key to building trust and inspiring people to work hard for you.

23. Embrace a culture of constant learning

In today’s world, you need to embrace change, or you’ll get left behind.

Encouraging employees to learn and develop new skills can help your business stay ahead of the curve.

It’ll help you adapt to changing business environments and accelerating technologies.

24. Don’t spam people or waste their time

Best business management tips - optimize positive experiences.
Best business management tips – optimize positive experiences. Credit Groove HQ

One of the most important business management tips is to be able to read your customers, and know where the line is between too much communication and too little.

However, most people agree that too much communication from a brand is more annoying than not enough.

Don’t fill up their inbox with spammy sales offers. Instead, pick your moments at certain key points of the year. After all, if you’re a consumer business, you don’t want them to unsubscribe.

25. Monitor and measure your own performance

Regularly monitoring and measuring your own performance can help you identify areas for self improvement.

You need to be self aware and critical of your decisions, and then use data-driven metrics to accept when you’ve got it wrong.

If you’re willing to adapt and change, you can bend with the market and your business will come out of adversity stronger.

26. Build habits

The habit loop is beneficial in business management
The habit loop is beneficial in business management

No amount of business management tips is complete without one of the simplest of all.


Habits are key in keeping you productive, because it feels good when we have habits and stick to them.

Conversely, bad habits are hard to break, so create some good routines and do your best to keep them going in an effective and manageable way.

27. Practice effective task delegation

Delegating tasks involves choosing the right person for the job.

To do this, you’ll need to truly understand the strengths and weaknesses of your team.

Set clear expectations, aim to find out more about your people by understanding their personal and professional backgrounds and motivations, and always providing adequate support and resources.

28. Upskill your team

Investment in employee development and training can improve financial performance. A study by the Association for Talent Development found that companies that invest in employee development have a 218% higher income per employee than those who spend less on employee development.

However, most software startups have a limited number of people, doing a multitude of jobs.

Therefore, some of the jobs people are doing will not be what they are best suited to, so a key business management tip is to upskill them and develop more rounded individuals.

Plus, providing opportunities for professional development can help retain top talent and keep employees motivated.

29. Focus on a positive work environment

We mentioned the rise of remote working software earlier. One of the drawbacks is you have less control over people’s working environements.

Luckily, in software businesses, there are many different collaboration tools that can help people thrive no matter what.

Your work environment should be tailored to get the best from people, but also to build a positive culture that’ll help them feel inspired to push for business growth.

It can lead to increased productivity, higher employee satisfaction, and lower staff turnover.

30. Be competitive with the benefits you offer

To build the best software products, you need the most talented people.

Offering highly competitive benefits can help attract and retain top talent.

Whether it’s pension contributions, gym membership or wellbeing apps, you can get people talking in a positive way about your company, and working harder as a result.

31. Build a unified customer service team

A strong customer service team need to feel motivated.

It’s vital that you have one because it can help improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Conversely, a bad customer service team with a never-ending ‘press 1, press-2’ operating system and an automated chatbot will lead to terrible customer reviews.

32. Implement effective cybersecurity measures

We’ve outlined some of our best firewall software in a different article. It’s crucial you get this part of your business right as a data breach or security leak could cause serious issues.

Protecting your business from cyber threats is essential in today’s digital age. A simple business management tip (if you can afford it) is to outsoucre to an expert agency.

33. Don’t forget people aren’t numbers

It’s easy sometimes to look at the bottom line and treat people as tasks and expenses.

While you need to be mindful about employing the right team, you also need to remember that performance isn’t linear.

As humans, we need to be understood to perform at our best.

34. Tap into social media to engage with customers

Use social media to accelerate growth in your business. Credit: Sprout social
Use social media to accelerate growth in your business. Credit: Sprout social

Use social media right and you can make an exponential difference to your business.

Social media can be a powerful tool for engaging with customers and building brand awareness.

Our tip would be to focus on just one or two platforms, and spend as much time engaging with people as you do posting.

35. Innovate, or die!

Encouraging employees to think outside the box.

Reward them for unique ideas, and encourage it from everybody. There’s no reason why the best ideas can’t come from someone in an unexpected job role.

Experiment with new ideas can lead to innovative solutions, as well as new business opportunities.

This business management tip isn’t really optional. In the cut-throat world of business… you need to innovate or you’ll get left behind!

36. Be mindful of your environmental impact

Software Sustainability Index 2023
Software Sustainability Index 2023 by

We recently compiled a list of 100 software with the best sustainability pledges.

Reducing your environmental impact can not only benefit the planet but also improve your business’s reputation and attract environmentally-conscious customers.

37. Invest in your employee wellbeing

Investing in employee wellness can help improve morale.

That can lead to increased productivity.

The overall result is higher employee satisfaction, a better culture, and a better software business.

38. Use Artificial Intelligence

Use AI in four software business to automate tasks.
Use AI in four software business to automate tasks. Credit: Veritis

These days, you’re almost spoilt for choice with AI tools that keep popping up.

These primarily automate tasks, although they are starting to automate thinking too.

If you’re in the business of marketing, content, coding or creative strategy, there are tonnes of AI tools that you can tap into for faster results.

39. Keep up with all regulatory changes

A solid business management tip is to make sure you stay up do date with legal regulations.

It might be as simple as data protection with cookie notices, or it could be understanding tax and immigration laws for your people.

Either way, keeping up-to-date with regulatory changes will ensure compliance and hopefully avoid any costly penalties.

40. Prioritize bad customer feedback

Anyone can bask in the glory of good feedback, but what about the bad stuff?

If you accept you make mistakes and listen to bad feedback, then you’ll be well on your way to improving your products and services, and adapting to your customers’ needs.

41. Be transparent with your team

Think about the times where you feel most irritated at work.

It’s likely when someone isn’t being straight with you. It can lead to false expectations and widespread irritation.

In your software business, you need to be transparent with employees, customers, and stakeholders.

42. Define your mission and vision

Business tips for software companies. Mission statement.
Business tips for software companies. Credit: Investopedia

A clear mission and vision statement will guide your company’s overall direction.

It’ll help you stay focused on your goals and communicate your purpose to both employees and customers.

43. Set clear objectives for each person

There’s nothing worse than not knowing what to do.

This will make people feel demotivated, confused and ultimately worthless.

In your software business, setting specific, measurable goals will help you chart your progress and stay on track.

44. Develop a strong company culture

A strong corporate culture can lead to increased employee engagement and productivity. According to a survey by Deloitte, companies with a strong corporate culture have 4 times higher revenue growth compared to companies with weak culture.

A positive and supportive company culture can help attract and retain top talent, boost productivity, and improve morale.

45. Put time into hiring the right talent

In a software company, the right talent is hard to find, especially for a start-up.

However, you can often unearth rough gems and help them learn the skills they need to become valuable members of the team.

Attitude and work ethic is often more important than raw coding or development skills. As long as they have enough understanding to add value then they could become a vital part of your team.

46. Communicate clearly and frequently

Effective communication is essential for business success. A study by the National Communication Association found that companies with strong communication practices had 47% higher total returns to shareholders than companies with poor communication practices.

Regular communication can help ensure that everyone is on the same page. It’ll make sure that you are all working towards the same goals, and nobody is duplicating anyone else’s workload.

47. Give feedback and real recognition to your employees

Feedback and recognition are the hallmarks of good management in business.

It can motivate and engage employees, boosting their morale and productivity. Something as simple as a shout-out on a team meeting can go a long way.

48. Make hard work satisfying

As a software startup, you’ll need to work hard.

There is no way around that.

Encouraging collaboration and teamwork can help create a supportive environment.

Ultimately, if hard work can be satisfying and fun then you’ll have improved productivity and employee satisfaction.

49. Ditch long meetings

Best business tips: keep long meetings short!
Best business management tips: keep long meetings short!

One of the fastest ways to bore people is through long meetings.

We’re all aware of the meme that says ‘this business meeting could have been an email’.

It’s so true that long meetings will get little done and just make people switch off.

Best business management tips for software startups: Which areas should you focus on?

And that rounds up our article – 49 tips to improve your business management practices, no matter your size or budget.

But which areas are the most important in business management?

Objectives: Without clear goals and objectives, it’s impossible for any business to measure its progress.

Communication: If you don’t communicate properly, you’ll have a confused, demotivated team which can reduce morale and productivity.

Staffing and training: Quite simply, the wrong people in your business will send you in the wrong direction. No matter how effectively you implement most of the tips, if your people aren’t trained properly or don’t match your company values then you’ll find it impossible to grow.

Ignoring innovation: As humans, it’s natural to default to what we know, and play things safe. However, this is the fastest way to put yourself out of business, especially as a software company which will fall to the next new innovation.

This isn’t just for small startups either – even companies like Google are vulerable to technological change like AI language models.

Keep embracing innovation in your business!

These common mistakes can be avoided with discipline, a clear vision and the right people skills to manage a team to success. Keep the communication channels open, don’t let long meetings or complicated company structures grind you down, and keep adapting to change!

Good luck! We hope you found this article useful – let us know your best business tips and don’t forget to subscribe to us on social @thesoftwarepig