There is as much planning required to run a small business as there is to lead a healthy and happy life. This essentially means a small business owner must plan ahead of time and execute their plans well, and know how to strike the perfect balance between work and life in order lead a successful business. But, of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds – there are many obstacles in real life that you must get around to make it big.So, here are some of the best practices every ambitious small business owner must follow to enhance their success quotient.Focus on Your EmployeesAs a small business owner, you need to make sure the employees are happy and motivated to work in your company. Taking care of employees goes beyond the paycheck or perks although they are vital ingredients. Nurturing a transparent and inclusive work culture contributes to the morale of your employees and it plays a critical role in boosting the productivity.Here’s how to focus on your employees.Consider Employees’ Future Goals: Ask employees about their future career goals and how you can best accommodate their ambitions. Rearrange job titles and project assignments to ensure each one of your employees is a great fit for the role assigned to them and they enjoy their responsibilities.Create a Great Work Culture: A motivating and inclusive work environment is the key to great teamwork. In order to succeed as a company, all employees as well as teams must connect with one another and work in cohesion. However, providing the diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds of the modern day workforce, small business owners must think out of the box to ensure a thriving team culture.Introducing team building activities and occasional happy hours, for example, can help team members know one another at a more personal level. Similarly, offering flexi-work hours or child-to-work policies for working parents will also boost the morale of your employees and contribute to a stimulating work culture in your company.Offer Perks that Really Matter: Aside from aligning your company goals with those of your employees and creating a stimulating work culture, small business owners can also consider offering incentives to acknowledge their employees’ dedication and keep them motivated. For example, benefits such as health insurance, 401(k) plans, and gym memberships will help the employees stay healthy and financially secure.Talk to Your Customers MoreKeeping in touch with your customers has always been important to businesses, but it has become inevitable for their growth and success in the competitive landscape. Therefore, taking the pulse of your customers once in a while can be helpful in establishing their changing habits and requirements.Let’s take a look at how you can possibly engage with your customers.Engage with Your Customers: There are many ways to engage with your customers and learn from their feedback to improve your products and services. From customer satisfaction surveys to social media monitoring, you can keep the conversation going and read their perceptions about your offerings. Even though your products and services are in demand right now, it may not remain so down the years since the customer demand is changing rapidly.Recommended Reading: 4 Ways Businesses Can Learn From Their Customers’ FeedbackImprove Your Products: Once you have gathered customers’ feedback on your products and services, it’s time to reevaluate it and make improvements to stay ahead of your customers’ future demand. It’s not advisable to make drastic changes but just small improvements to see if they live up to the changing requirements of your customers. This way you can easily roll back if something didn’t quite click. Similarly, you can introduce a new product or service and encourage your customers to try it out for a limited period of time.Expose Your Employees to Customers: One of the great ways to improve your products and services is to allow your departments to communicate with your customers and get to understand their experience first-hand. Whether it’s your marketing team or executive team, they can simply jump in and answer customer calls and emails to better understand their objections and concerns. This will help your teams improve the products quality and marketing them more effectively.Evaluate Your Stress LevelsAs a small business owner, you often take care of several aspects of your business operations. It’s easy to obsess over work day in and day out, trying to resolve new challenges. As a result, you get stressed out, letting your work take a toll on your physical and emotional health. We all have been there. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are better and “healthier” approaches to running a business.From scheduling time for your morning yoga classes to taking time out for post-lunch walk, there are many ways you can prioritize your health without letting your work suffer in the process.If you’re married, you must be more committed to allocating a reasonable amount of time towards your family and not let it take a back seat. Moreover, you can crack some of the toughest business problems when you’re actually not stressing over them.Here’s how 25 entrepreneurs bust their stress like a boss.Plan Ahead FinanciallyPlanning your finances ahead of time is the hallmark of a success small business owner. You must plan your annual business goals and set benchmarks to get there gradually. A solid business development plan includes setting goals, allocating budget and devising strategies to achieve those targets in a timely manner. It’s important to track your progress and make necessary improvements in your strategy based on your current performances. When you consistently meet your goals, you will gain peace of mind which will positively contribute to your emotional well-being.Recommended Reading: Small Business To-Do Lists For 2017Final ThoughtsOne of the most challenging aspects of running a small business is that one gets stuck in the rut of routine, without being able to plan ahead of time or evaluate the status quo. However, with a strategic growth plan and holistic work schedule, you can always head a successful business and fulfilled personal life.