Whether you’re newly stablished, an aspiring small business, or an entrepreneur with a crazy idea that just might work, the variables and challenges involved can be overwhelming.
Generally speaking, you’ll have to consider what products or services to provide, which types of customer you want to work with, and how to earn enough money.
Below is a list of ten tips you’ll need to get your business off on the right foot.
#1: Create A List of Services
Don’t try to do everything. If you’re doing consulting, be specific about the type of consulting you want to do. For example, if you’re doing tax prep, don’t offer to do administrative services. Instead, offer CFO services. If you’re a bookkeeper, don’t offer to build a website, even if you know how.
#2: Find your Niche
In other words, what niche do you want to work in, and how will it differentiate you? Your jam can be anything from your ideal client’s industry, to the services you provide, to the software or apps you use.
#3: Determine your Business Structure
Depending on what type of business you have, you may need to set up an LLC, sole proprietorship or corporation. Check with us to determine the best structure for the type of business you run.
#4: Design Processes
Only 44 percent of small businesses survive after the first two years, according to the Small Business Administration. Those that do, have processes in place to ensure success. Think about what processes would help you – lead tracking, onboarding new clients, finances and weekly/monthly/quarterly processes, for example.
#5: Establish Revenue Streams
What 44 percent of surviving small businesses have in common, is a plan for their revenue stream. To develop these, look at your core services and determine what other things you may provide. For example, our core services are bookkeeping, taxes, and QuickBooks consulting for small to mid-sized businesses. Make sure your services are tied to each other, so that your target audience remains consistent.
#6: Get out there
“Remember Field of Dreams,” where Kevin Costner kept hearing a voice saying, “If you build it, they will come?” This is the mistake many small business owners make. They decide to open up shop, so they set up a website and expect to immediately have clients. To get clients, you have to work hard. Social media, in-person networking, online forums, asking for referrals … there are many ways to get new clients.
#7: Hire professionals
To run your own business, you need to know a lot, but not everything. It pays to invest in your business by identifying the gaps in your knowledge and getting help. Maybe, it’s a coach, a bookkeeper or a marketing person. Even if you have the skills, as you get busier, outsource administrative tasks so that you can focus on your core business.
#8: Be accountable
Get an accountability partner – join a roundtable, or find another small business owner. Meet regularly and share your plans. Get feedback on whether you have a good idea or you’re headed in a direction that may not help your business succeed. Find support and bounce ideas off each other.
#9: Review and Analyze
Are things working the way you expected? QuickBooks recently talked to a ProAdvisor who was shelling out a lot of money for SEO, Instagram marketing, and more, but they weren’t seeing any ROI. It was then suggested that the ProAdvisor cut some of those expenses and try something else. Sometimes there comes a point when changes need to be made.
Are your processes working? Do you have enough time to serve your clients? Are you seeing an ROI on your marketing efforts? You’ll want to make periodic adjustments, based on your activities and your goals for the business.
Above all, live up to your challenges. Being an entrepreneur or small business owner is your choice, so make it work. It can be done. You can survive, emerge and succeed, using the right resources.