If you’re starting a new business, then you need all the smart help you can get. And this help is not just limited to cash or capital.
There are small missteps that budding business owners take, which result in the failure of their business and loss of capital. If you want to successfully establish and grow your business, these top tips by business experts will help you.
Although this might sound a little cliché, the reality is all great things tend to start small. This way, you can test out the ideas, ascertain the proof of concept, tweak or improve them where necessary, and establish the viability of your idea before going full-scale.
This is better than investing a ton of money into a business idea only to find that there’s no market for the product you’re selling or the service you’re rendering.
Understand You’ll Make Mistakes
Ever watched kids try to walk? They tend to fall, don’t they? But what happens after they fall? They tend to get back up and try again, even after they might have cried or sustained injuries.
Mistakes are a natural part of the exciting journey of a new business. Accept that this will happen. But don’t get bogged down by the thought of making mistakes. Just have the belief that even when mistakes occur, you’ll be able to figure it out.
However, there are necessary precautions that you can take to avoid some mistakes. This way, you’ll minimise the risks and increase the odds of your business being successful.
Hire Coaches and Get Mentors
Many small business owners often overlook the idea of a coach or mentor. Yet, hiring a coach and finding a mentor can shave off years of hard work and heartache. Why? Because coaches can provide you with fresh perspectives, offer new insight, or help you perform better at meeting your company’s goals and objectives.
For example, if you run a video production business are struggling with getting clients, a coach can show you how to drive traffic to your website and business without necessarily spending a fortune. Mentors, on the other hand, are people who have the necessary experience to guide you and help you achieve your success faster.
You need a mentor who is familiar with your struggles –preferably someone who has walked in your shoes in the past. They don’t necessarily have to be in the same industry or niche as you, but they should be familiar with what you’re trying to accomplish. And be able to connect you to the right resources or individuals or point you in the right direction when necessary.
Track Your Revenues and Expenditures
How much are you spending on business activities, and how much are you getting back in return? To avoid being cash strung, make sure to track all your receivables and outgoings.
This will help you determine if you’re taking losses, breaking even, or running a profitable business venture. Business owners who don’t keep track of their receivables and expenses will often find themselves struggling to stay open. Don’t be one of those businesses.
Prioritise Cash Flow
Reports show that 20 percent of small businesses fail within 2 years, another 45 percent within 5 years, and 65 percent after 10 years. Only 25 percent of all businesses make it to the 15th year.
And a significant number of these businesses failed because they didn’t manage their cash flow properly. Many small business owners often neglect their cash flow and wonder why they’re unable to make any money or pay their staff.
Cash flow management is crucial to your business. Take it very seriously and do everything you can to maintain it – including seeking ways to get funding for your business. Without it, you’ll likely be out of business in a year or two.
Build Out Systems and Processes
One of the reasons why entrepreneurs tend to burn out very quickly is because they try to do everything by themselves. Your goal as an entrepreneur isn’t to work in the business. It’s to administer, direct, envision, and organise talents to execute your goals and dreams.
To do this, you need to build out systems and processes that will help automate the bulk of your tasks. Then, hire talented individuals to follow the playbook you have created for them. Every successful business thrives because the founder knows how to get the right people to do their job.
If you want to succeed, you should too. Of course, it’s understandable that you might have to do these things by yourself at first. But as soon as you figure it out and have systems in place, hire other people to do that and focus only on the most important aspects of your business.
Seek Investors When Necessary
As a business owner, you’ll need to start meeting more people who can potentially become investors, or point you to the people who will be interested in investing in your business.
Start with your local VC and angel investor groups, and expand from there. Look for events that they’ll likely attend, and go there too. When the opportunity presents, make sure to exchange business cards, pitch your ideas, and engage them.
Speaking about pitches, always make sure to have an abridged version of your idea to sell to angel investors and venture capitalists when there’s an opportunity.
Promote Your Business Aggressively
Listen, starting your business is the first of many steps. You’ll still need to take many more steps to succeed. One of these is promoting and marketing your business.
Just because you have a novel idea doesn’t mean that people will automatically flock to your business. The days of “build it and they’ll come” are long gone. If you want people to patronise your business, you’ve got to get in their faces.
Now, because you’re likely on a tight budget, you want to make sure that every penny goes to the most effective advertising channel. If your business can be promoted online, start there.
Advertising products like Google Ads are known to produce a ROI of 100 percent. Also, try to get your business into the maps. This way, potential customers who reside in your city or state will be able to find you. Also, seek out local events, communities, and bodies that you can contribute to and even sponsor. This is a great way to build awareness for your business.