Any business owner will tell you that entrepreneurship is both the hardest and most rewarding job of all. Running a small business is practically a 25/8 full-time position which can leave very little time for anything else, which can be unhealthy.
To run a successful business, owners must juggle a range of responsibilities and don many hats, particularly in the early stages as the team slowly builds. Making the jump into entrepreneurship can be scary, and the lack of security puts many people off the chance of a lifetime.
Tips for a successful small business
Overestimate expenses and underestimate revenue
When starting a new business, and even when going through yearly budgets, always overestimate how much you are planning to spend and underestimate your income. Work this so as even your worst case scenario still turns a profit, or at least break even.
Any accountant worth their salt does precisely this, as this is the backbone of any good business. If you do overachieve on your budgets, remember to reinvest this into other areas of the business.
Get cash flowing
One of the most important parts of a business is cash flow. Businesses simply cannot operate without this, and this is where so many fledgling projects fail to get off the ground.
For any work that your business carries out, always ask for a deposit upfront to get money in the bank as soon as possible. This way you have an immediate cash flow in your finances, while your customer only pays the rest upon completion of the job.
As the owner, it can be easy to become swept up in every small detail of the business. While this may be possible in the initial stages, as the business grows this simply is not feasible.
If you are running a successful business, the chances are that you have employed a trustworthy team. Delegate responsibilities amongst your employees, trusting them with the extra responsibility which can help them to grow into the role and become an even more valuable member of the team.
Although working as part of a small team can mean an apparently never-ending workload, you should always take time out for the team. A well-oiled machine is a team that works together as a cohesive unit, and this is where various activities can benefit the business.
To bring the team closer together, indoor and outdoor activities are great for team building purposes. Fun examples include quizzes, sports days and treasure hunts.
Partnerships with other business can be mutually beneficial and help to open doors that may not have otherwise presented themselves. Working with other local business can also be great for positive publicity, as you are seen to be playing a key role in the community.
Clear five-year plan
Always have a clear strategy in place, and know where you are and where you want to be. The best businesses have the next five years planned out on paper, inclusive of relevant finances and budgets.
When speaking to potential investors, the ability to show a five-year plan is a good indicator to how well the business is run and helps to allay any fears investors may have. Far too many businesses do not plan ahead and take each year as it comes, which more often than not leads to liquidation.
Finally, ensure that what your business offers is unique, and not just the end product. Competition is rife whatever market you are in and the need to be different has never been greater than it is in 2017.
Find an image that works for your business and stick to it. Be adventurous with your marketing strategy and try different things to garner attention for your business.
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