Starting up a business can be a daunting yet exciting process. Taking the first step by deciding to start a business is fantastic, so congratulations! The bad news comes in the news that the percentage of small businesses shutting their doors permanently is on the rise, according to current ASIC numbers.However at GreatnessHQ we don’t focus on that, and rather the number of start ups that are making money now. There are a great deal of mega successful businesses that have started in the last year and there is no reason that yours can’t be one of them. This doesn’t mean starting your business will be easy. Mindset and attitude will probably be the determining factor of the success of your business. Here is our suggestions for the best advice on starting up a business.
Below are 5 great tips to make sure your new business starts successfully and isn’t one of the 44 closing down everyday.
1. Don’t sweat the small stuff
It’s easy to spend too much time thinking about a name and logo when starting up a business. Similarly, money can be poured into cool looking websites and fancy business cards. This is a waste of your precious time and money when setting up a business.
Even if you’re in an ‘image conscious’ industry like (PR), it really doesn’t matter as much as you think it does. Of course if you’re going to be selling products online you need to invest in your website, but otherwise, get a basic one set up so people can find you online. This is very important – choose functionality over how it looks. A website that looks good but is confusing for your customers or takes to long to load for example can drastically reduce the number of customers that you receive from your site.
Follow the lead of Google, plain black text on a white background and you can’t go wrong!
2. Maintain multiple streams of cashflow
Many businesses start with a customer the founder may have worked with before. It’s important to use your contacts and industry knowledge as much as possible. That first customer is very important as they provide you with a potential reference for future work.
However, be careful not to rely on one customer – this is a very risky strategy. If you only work for one customer, you haven’t really established a business; you’ve bought yourself a job. Of course you have a little more control than you would if you were employed by someone else, but ultimately this is all you’ve got. So you need to find time to do some business development and quickly.
3. Start selling
You can spend so much time developing business plans, marketing strategies, attending various events and reading all of the excellent online resources that are available to small businesses today, but ultimately you need to start selling.
Your family and friends may have told you your product is great and they will have every faith in your skills and business idea, but you need to start making money.
This could involve contacting prospective companies, launching a google ad campaign or attending relevant events. You need to be able to explain what you do concisely and sell your business and the services you offer. The more practice you get at this the better.
4. Know your numbers
Maths might not have been your favourite subject at school, but you’re going to have to understand what revenue is coming in, what costs are going out and how to read a profit and loss statement. Cash flow (along with bad management) is still the main reason why so many businesses fail in Australia. On average it takes a small business 55 days to get paid in Australia.
Don’t wait until the end of the year, or even the end of the quarter for your accountant to tell you how your business is performing financially. There are some excellent cloud based accounting packages which can tell you in real time just how financially healthy your business is. You can also send and reconcile invoices from your mobile phone and send customers online payment options, making it easier for you to invoice and easier for customers to pay.
5. Do what you do best, outsource the rest
In the first 12 months it’s important for you to understand every facet of your business. This will make it easier to outsource and delegate tasks in future, but you can’t do everything. Business owners can struggle with this, they do have ‘control freak’ tendencies, believe me I know, but you have to do it to grow your business. The early days of setting up a business are the hardest, but they can also be the most rewarding.
I thought I’d throw in an extra tip to help get your business started. It is clear that persistence is the key to all successful entrepreneurs . Talking to that one extra customer could result in a huge sale and business relationship. I have included a short video of Steve Jobs talking about the reason behind his success with Apple. I think that you will agree that persistance is one of his main reasons for success. Hopefully it provides you with the motivation and information that you need to become the next business start up success story.
Finally think big! There is nothing that you can’t achieve. If you have a passion for what you do there is nothing that will stop you. Your vision and your dream is unstoppable and nobody but yourself can stop you from doing what you have to.
So did you get something from our Best advice on starting up a business?