Are you thinking about starting up your own business?
If so, here are our top tips…
Offer What People Want to Buy
Sounds simple right? However, all too often people get carried away with an idea that may not be as thoroughly thought out as it should have been. Although you need to be passionate about your business idea you also need to be selling a product/service that enhances your customer’s lives in some way. Don’t simply choose a product/service just because it is currently in vogue.
Ask your friends and family for their opinions but do remember they may also be flattering your ego and swept up in your own excitement about your new venture. This is not to say to dismiss their enthusiasm, just to take it with a pinch of salt and don’t value it over your own market research.
Get Cash Flow
Good cash flow is the lifeblood of any successful business and is essential to feed bottom-line profits.
There are many ways of ensuring your cash flow remains fluid depending on your chosen product or service. You can ask for deposits with balances due on delivery, for example. The key is to make sure that there’s little or no gap between when you pay for goods/labour and when you actually get paid. Ideally you will always find ways to get money up front.
Bring in More Cash Than You Pay Out
Again, obvious huh? But it is so easy to get carried away and spend far more than necessary on things that can really wait. Firstly assess whether an office/retail space is a luxury or necessity. If it is a necessity look into second-hand, pre-loved office furniture instead of buy new. Consider business premises further away from the high street and research the cost of advertising thoroughly. Often advertising in local newspapers can be expensive and you don’t always reach your target audience.
As you’ve nailed your cash-flow, pay suppliers upfront whenever possible to give you leverage for negotiating better prices.
Plan, Plan and Plan Some More
The more time you spend planning the more time and money you will save later on. Our key advice here is to over estimate expenses and under estimate revenues. Draw up a business plan and have knowledgeable professionals read over it.
Sales and Marketing Are King
Focus on sales and marketing; if you aren’t able to generate interest you won’t generate any sales. How you successfully create leads will depend on your type of business but the key is to convert your leads into sales and your sales into repeat sales.
Social media can be a cheap and affect platform to get your business recognised but you need to take time to familirise yourself with your chosen one. If you are unsure about using social media it is best to choose only one platform and do it well rather than using several badly.
Record and Evaluate Data Regularly
Once you have chosen your marketing platforms ensure that you are able to keep tack of their success. Remember, you can’t change what you can’t measure!
There’s little business sense in spending vast amounts of capital on ineffective advertising. If you have client registration forms you may want to add in a section that tells you how they heard about your business; you may also want to sign up to google analytics for a comprehensive overview of your online presence.
Learning Becomes Earning
You need to commit yourself to learning; this includes understanding your chosen sales and marketing platforms but also understanding your business field. In this day and ages nothing stands still for very long, so by ensuring you are up to date with the latest relevant information you are able to modify your service/product and stay ahead of the game. A confidence in your business will resonate to your customers and build on your positive brand image.
Chose the Right Software
Technology is a marvelous thing, when it works for you. All too often we are sucked into buying apps and software programs that promise the world but deliver confusion. If you are unsure about what software is best for your business we can help you. We can advise you on what software will save you the most time, what’s cost effective and train you on how to use it. It may be that just a simple spreadsheet will suit you best in your early days. You may also decide that you want to outsource your monthly bookkeeping entirely and concentrate on other aspects of your business; that’s fine too.
Chose the Right Accountant
You guessed it, we can help you out with this too!