Owning and operating your own business is an exciting and rewarding endeavour. You get to be your own boss and control every aspect of the way your company operates. However, a great deal of stress and responsibility comes with the task. There are universal truths to running a business that every great business knows—these are some tips you may want to consider as you grow and operate your business.

1. Find Your Niche Before Branching Out

If you run a bakery and your croissants are constantly running out of stock—keeps making more croissants! Don’t start adding multiple new items to your selection all at once. Take advantage of the demand for specific products you sell. Diversifying isn’t always the best strategy, sometimes, it’s a good idea to push your “breadwinning” existing products into other existing markets first. Finding your business’s niche and continuing to foster success around it is one of the best ways to build your company.

2. Find The Best Employees

The employees of a business are the foundation of success. No business flourishes without dedicated and knowledgeable employees. Finding experienced and qualified staff members should be a top priority—screening your candidate’s employee backgrounds and credit scores can be a great place to start. What comes up on a background check will often reveal if your candidate is going to have the qualities needed to make a great addition to your team.

3. Build A Network Of Local Businesses

Having a strong network to expand and develop your business is one way small and large businesses find success. Make sure that you have members of your team attending mixers and relevant events in your field—expand your connections on a national and local level. Consumers and clients like to know that your business is taking measures to help out the community; sponsoring a local youth sports team is a great way to give back and improve your brand. Not only will it get your name out, but it also provides a tax deduction and a positive outlet for the children in your area.

4. Set Goals

Set large, medium, and small goals that can be accomplished on varying timelines. The goals you set for your business should be broken up into manageable steps delegated to the team. If profiting $100,000 in a quarter is the goal, find out what is going to take to accomplish it. Calculate the units that need to be sold or the number of new clients needed —break it down and assign tasks to individual team members who can accomplish these smaller goals. Aim high—if you reach for the stars you will land in the clouds, keep this philosophy in mind when setting goals.

5. Keep Your Overheads Low

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, always look for ways to reduce costs. As technology improves more and more, aspects of conducting business are made easier and cheaper. Business software programs that handle payroll and billing can save your company money that could be better spent on Christmas bonuses and employee benefits. Automation is on the rise—you might not want to replace employees with machines and A.I. but there is no denying the financial benefits.

6. Research & Development

If your business is small, this isn’t going to be an important element of success just yet. Chances are you just spent months or years researching your business before launch. That doesn’t mean you can’t spend what little free time you have researching future developments. As a larger company, research and development should not be overlooked or undervalued. New technologies and developments can give your business the edge over its competitors and improve your overheads.

7. Human Resources

Human resources are often the backbone of a business; providing open avenues of communication for employees and making sure their needs are met. Regardless of the size of your business, develop a top-notch human resources department that you can count on to maintain company standards and handle important things like employee benefits, internal disputes, and conflicts.

Use these tips to make your business run smoother and improve every aspect of what it does.