There are so many choices, it’s almost mind boggling! You can sell goods or services. You can take advantage of an established franchise or multilevel marketing opportunity or you can start a business that is completely one-of-a-kind. You can start part-time while you keep your job or you can jump in with both feet. There are many things to consider, but the most important thing to remember is that you should choose a business that excites you the phrase “Follow your passion” may be trite, but it really applies in this situation. You will be spending so much time and effort working on your business that you had better love what you’re doing.
1) Develop a business plan.
You know the old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Well, it’s true in this case. Developing a business plan forces you to think through the logistics of starting your business. It then becomes your road map for the weeks and months ahead. There are many resources that can help you, eg Small Business Planner.
2) Start marketing your goods and services from the beginning – and don’t ever stop.
Now, there are many ways to market your goods and services, and there are literally thousands of excellent resources. Just be sure you use them. There are two marketing myths that often trap new business owners. The first is, “This product (or service) sells itself.” No, it doesn’t. You need to learn how to market it and how to sell it The second myth is, “I can’t afford any marketing or advertising right now – business is too slow.” Lacking sales is precisely the reason why you must market your goods or services.
3) Get into action and stay in action.
There is no substitute for consistent action. Many new business owners stay busy with small organizational tasks, but they spend surprisingly little time on the purposeful actions that lead to income generation. Ben Franklin said, “Never confuse motion with action.” Each day, plan the top five actions you’ll be taking to generate income. Then, do those things. Don’t let any trivial or inconsequential tasks get in your way.
4) Get help! Don’t try to go it alone.
Surround yourself with a winning team. Maybe you’ll find your team in a local networking group or service club. Maybe your winning team includes your family and friends. Here’s the test – if they are positive and supportive, keep ’em around. If they are negative and distract you from your goals, avoid them. It’s that simple. Success is business is hard enough without voluntarily subjecting yourself to people who sabotage your efforts. Quitting is not an option,it’s a failure…
There are several key functions to regularly undertake, for the successful management of finance within any business. The most critical in my experience, is to ensure that the internal accounts are reconciled with the bank account(s) frequently. Virtually all transactions of a business pass through the “in house” accounting process, and the bank, therefore it makes sense to ensure that one is in harmony with the other.
A disciplined approach to this task, will identify problems at an early stage, and will produce more control and smooth running for the business as a whole. Probably, the next most important task is to keep tight control of the debtor and creditor positions at all time After all, efficient monitoring and appropriate timely action in this area will maintain a satisfactory cash flow; the life blood of any enterprise. As part of this aspect, it is vital to make sure that firm agreements are concluded with each customer and supplier, with regard to the terms of trade.
This will make your business a professional outfit to deal with, and avoid any ambiguity, should disputes occur with invoices. An efficient process in this area will produce more accurate cash flow forecasting. The time spent on constructing a cash flow forecast is important. Bearing in mind that it is a forecast, put it together in a realistic fashion. Do not build in undue optimism. In fact, as a tip, err on the side of pessimism. Build a sound relationship with your Bank.
Inspire confidence by sticking to any arrangements made regarding financial assistance. It will pay dividends later on if you need additional help in the future. Another area to consider is to make sure that any statutory payments e.g. taxes etc, are paid on time Failure to meet these liabilities, is perhaps the most common reason for business collapse. Often a business will over estimate the value of stock, and/or work in progress, when putting together annual and/or interim accounts. Any error here will directly affect profitability.
So be careful, because any artificial boost in value, will come back to haunt you A defined depreciation policy will help to keep your fixed assets at a sensible value. Too little depreciation applied over time will produce an embarrassing loss, if and when an asset is sold or disposed of Finally, it is strongly recommended that interim management accounts are produced, say monthly, to monitor progress.…