It is a sad fact that many new businesses go to the wall within a few years of starting up. Sometimes it is because of burnout; the owners simply didn’t realise how much time and effort it would take. Other times it is because they were not properly prepared to run a business. Here are 10 tips to make sure that you get a strong start to your new business so that the momentum will carry you through. Following these tips will help your business to succeed.
- Make sure your business offers what people want. You may be vitally interested in decorated horse shoes, but are horse-owners? It would be far better to offer a basic horse shoe, then offer decorative ones as a side. At least you could be sure of selling the basic ones, since all horses that are ridden should be properly shod to protect their feet. By ensuring your stock is popular you can almost guarantee sales.
- Make sure your cash flow Amazingly, many people who start out in business accept that debt is normal. Of course you will have to pay quite a bit to start a business, but you also need to have cash coming in as soon as possible. It is essential to keep the cash flow positive; don’t spend more than you make over a year. You may have to ask for a deposit up front for services, but at least you will have enough to pay your bills.
- Keep your costs down. If your cash flow is negative you are in trouble. But you can find ways to keep down costs. Paying cash to suppliers may attract a discount. Purchasing used equipment and office furniture is another way to save. You should never pay full retail price for those things.
- Don’t underestimate business expenses. Many people underestimate their expenses and over-estimate their income, much to their cost. It is far better to do it the other way round, as costs are more likely to blow out. And income is something you can never be sure of.
- A sale is the holy grail of business. Focus most of your time and energy on making sales. It is the only way to generate income. That said, don’t be pushy with a sale. Simply give value and good service. And when it comes to service you can add extras without it costing any more than time.
- Increase your profits and control or decrease your spending. Result? Positive cash flow.
- Test and track everything, especially advertising. Otherwise you may make a major loss.
- Knowledge is gold. There is a lot to learn in running a business and you need to know it, or have access to people who will advise you.
- Discounts are not always good. In fact, they lower your profits. It is better to give value and establish a good reputation for your goods or service. When clients or customers know they can trust you they won’t care about paying full price. Honesty and integrity are two watchwords for your business success.
If you have never run a business before get someone who can advise and coach you. Having the benefit of a wise mentor can make the difference between success and failure