Business Resources

Tips for New Business Owners

On this page, you can find a lot of great resources for business owners and those looking to get involved in entrepreneurship. Starting a business can be a very exciting time. It means taking your ideas, skills, services, or products and putting them in front of people who want to buy them. There is a lot on the line and so much reward when it goes well. Yet, before you get started on this journey, it helps to have a few tips and strategies available to help minimize your risks and improve your chance of success. Consider applying these tips to your business model today.

Learn From a Pro

It's important to find a mentor when you're first starting out as a business owner. Look for someone local to you who can offer some insight into what they do and what works well. The competition may not want to hire you to work with them, so be sure to use online tools and resources in your industry to help you as well. A forum or a few groups online where people come together to support each other can help you get through those difficult first months with success and fewer restrictions and limitations.

Manage Your Money from the Start

Your financial success is dependent on how well you manage your initial investment and how well you do with building up your revenue. From the start, create a plan to keep your money organized. There are lots of free accounting tools and bookkeeping services available that can offer you the foundation you need. Use these tools every day to document all of your expenses as well as all of your revenue. Later, when it comes to making decisions about price and taxes, you will have all of the information you need at your fingertips to help you. On the other hand, if you don’t do these things now, that could mean a lot of catch-up work or guessing (that’s costly) later.

Market Even When Sales Are Good

Even if you have all of the sales you can manage right now, continue to market your business and build your brand. If you stop marketing, you stop all of the brand-building tools you have available to you. It also means the competition can sneak into the picture. The better option, then, is to make sure you are marketing your business consistently. At the same time, make sure that your marketing message is consistent across the board. Define what you want to be known for, the type of language you’ll use, and the overall sales message you plan to offer. Then, keep that message the same across all of your marketing channels. That consistency is going to help you build your brand faster.

Invest in Market Research to Create and Build Your Business

Market research is a valuable investment, though it can be an expensive one, too. As a business owner, it’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing the least expensive paths to take, whether it’s in the next product you launch or a new location you set up. Instead of guessing or going with the cheaper option, invest in market research. Let the professionals help you determine what the best possible path forward is for your business based on what customers in the area need and want. It definitely is an expense you’ll want to write off on your taxes, but market research is a critical tool in building a strong financial foundation for growth and scaling.

The Importance of Supporting Your Workforce

No matter how fantastic your product is or how unique your company is from the competition, you need employees to be by your side to help you build it. That means supporting them. Your employees are the outward representation of your company. If they are unhappy, unmotivated, or even rude to customers, that reflects on your business. At the same time, if you’re always understaffed and struggling to maintain enough people because of high turnover, that also leaves a bad taste in your customers’ mouths. The key is to become a strong employer to support a quality talent pool and workforce. Become the company everyone wants to work for so that you are able to choose the team that’s best suited for your company.

Common Business Practice Mistakes to Avoid

As a business owner, there are a lot of things to focus on doing to help build your company. Providing great customer service, timely support to your customers, and a good working atmosphere for your employees are all strong starting points. All companies, though, will make mistakes as they grow. If you want to avoid some of those mistakes, consider the most common ones below.

Not Having a Business Plan

A business plan is one of the most valuable directional tools for a company. It outlines everything your company does, why it does it, and how it plans to succeed. It’s packed with information about who your business leaders are and how your company is managed. It should also break down the value of your products, profit margins, and product details. This information should also include details about how the company is managed, funded, and maintained on a day-to-day basis. Not having this type of organization sets your company up for problems down the road.

Not Delegating Enough

The more you have to do yourself, the more limitations you place on your business’s ability to grow. Learning to delegate is not simple, and for many people, it may seem like the easier option is just to do the work yourself. Yet, delegating empowers you to do more of what you absolutely need to do because no one else can. That allows you to have the time to build, dream, consider, and compare new ideas, products, locations, and services to grow. Don’t make the mistake of not letting others handle other tasks.

Not Having Enough Insurance Protection in Place

Work very closely with your business insurance provider to create a plan for your business’s insurance protections. Insurance is critical for all businesses and for various reasons. Most companies need financial protection for their assets, such as their building, vehicles, equipment, and computer systems. You may also be legally required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance if you have enough employees. You may also find that you need commercial auto insurance, general liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, and numerous other types. That’s a lot to protect! Work with a trusted commercial insurance agent who can help you choose a policy that’s comprehensive for your business needs.

Not Having Good Cash Flow Management

Cash flow is the amount of money moving into your company and moving out of it. A positive cash flow is critical, but there are times in some businesses where negative cash flow occurs. If you don’t have a plan for those less-than-desirable times, they could end up leading to financial loss for you. As a business, you need to monitor cash flow based on sales changes, seasonal changes, and overall profit margins. You also need to be sure you’re factoring in any inflationary pressures over time. Having enough cash on hand to meet payroll and other costs is essential.

Not Hiring the Pros You Need

Don’t wait too long to hire professionals to help support your business growth. You may need a business manager and financial advisor sooner than you think. As your company grows, it may become necessary to hire a CFO or a fractional CFO to support your needs. Hiring a tax professional and an accountant are also necessary steps to take. Most companies should also have an attorney to contact that they know and trust.

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