Don’t Let Your Hard Work Go To Waste: Keeping Your New Business Above Water
If you watch Dragon’s Den or The Apprentice, you may be forgiven for thinking that it’s relatively easy to get a business venture off the ground. The reality is that these programs give you a snapshot of what life is like as an entrepreneur. They rarely document the highs and lows and endless late nights that are involved in getting a business up and running. The truth is that it’s not easy to build a successful business. In fact, it’s incredibly difficult. It’s well-documented that around 90 percent of new startups fail. If you’ve put in the graft, the last thing you want is for your hard work to go to waste. Here are some essential steps to keep your new business above water.
Manage your finances from the outset
At the beginning of your business journey, you’ll probably find that you’re juggling multiple tasks, and this may mean that you take your eye off some tasks. Don’t lose sight of your finances, and take steps to ensure you have complete control of what’s going on in the books from day one. Cash flow problems and a lack of funding are common causes of business failure, so focus on balancing the books and making sure you can afford every move you’re proposing to complete. If you’re not an accountant, you have limited experience in accounting, or you have no time to devote to your finances, hire help. You can either work with a firm or consider adding to your staff team. Initially, when you’re keen to keep overheads to a minimum, it may be best to outsource accounting rather than adding to the payroll. If you start employing a lot of people or the business grows, this is when you can look at creating an accounts department.
There’s no instruction manual that comes with running a business, so make use of mentors and seek advice from people who have been there and got the t-shirt. You may not have somebody you can call up and ask questions, but there are countless resources online, and it’s also really beneficial to read blogs and books by entrepreneurs who have made it to the top. Take advice on board, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Nobody is a master of all trades, especially at the start of the process, and you can learn a huge amount from other people.
Check the legalities
Running a business isn’t just about turning over a profit and delivering orders on time. There are many legal aspects to consider when you launch a new company, and it’s so important to understand how businesses work, and what kinds of legal restrictions are in place. It pays to have a legal expert in your corner, so contact some local firms and set up some meetings. Whether you’re drawing up a new employment contract or you’re trying to patent a product, it’s highly likely that you’ll need expert advice. You don’t want to invest time and money in something and then find out later down the line that what you’re doing is illegal or that somebody else is profiting from your ideas.
Protect your prized assets
As a business owner, it’s always a good idea to take steps towards preventing problems and protecting everything you own. Of course, it’s essential to ensure you have insurance to cover the contents of a rented office, but this is not the only consideration. If you offer a service or employ people, you need to make sure that you have policies in place to protect you if a job isn’t done right or a client is unhappy with the finished outcome. Contact Equify today if you need advice about commercial insurance, or you’re unsure what kinds of services and solutions are available for your business. If an individual or a company makes a claim against you, and you don’t have the necessary cover or procedures in place, this could put a major dent in your finances and affect your reputation.
Surround yourself with the right people
The world of business can be a daunting place, especially if you’re a newbie. Some people are able to fly solo, but if you have grand plans or your business offers a wide range of products or services, you’re likely to need people to muck in and help out. If you are hiring new members of staff, surround yourself with the right people. Look for strong candidates on paper, but don’t ignore other attributes. Search for people who are passionate and dedicated, as well as experienced and skilled. If you have a team that wants the business to do well as much as you do, you’re onto a good thing.
Getting a business up and running is only part of the struggle. Once you’ve got those shiny business cards and a brand new website, you may think that the hard work is over, but really, it’s only just beginning. Once you’re ready and raring to go, you have to make the effort to get out there and drive sales. You can’t assume that you’re going to be the next big thing because you’ve got a great product or you think your USP is unbeatable. You have to reach out to potential clients, set up meetings, interact with consumers, and market your business. Work out how to target your market in the most effective ways using research and analytics, and be proactive. Look at methods other companies are using and gain an insight into how successful brands operate. Make sure your brand is strong and unique, and track your progress. If sales are going well, don’t rest on your laurels. Identify marketing and selling techniques that are working, and put even more time and effort into these areas.
If you have a new business, the last thing you want is for months, even years, of hard work to go to waste. It’s no secret that most new companies fail, so think about ways you can avoid becoming a statistic. Hopefully, this guide will help you to pinpoint priorities and keep your business above water.