Owning and operating a small business can be very rewarding. It is your chance to truly refine your entrepreneurial skills and talents, while at the same time enjoying the benefits that come with ‘being your own boss’. However, it can also be very challenging to own your own company as well. In fact, statistics state that one out of 3 small businesses will fail during the first two years of operation. So, how do you keep from becoming one of the failing statistics?
Here are five simple tips that can help you build your business and stay successful!
- Understand cash flow. This is one of the main reasons small businesses fail. The owners simply do not understand cash flow. When you are running a business it is crucial to know what monies you have coming in, and when they will arrive. The key to managing a business is being able to analyze cash flow performance in order to be able to adjust to day-to-day changes. Changes might include purchases, hiring a new or seasonal employee or reinvesting cash back into their business, as well as forecasting for the future. It is suggested that you create a simple cash forecast to predict when payments will come in and go out. To expedite quicker payments coming in, you may want to consider offering clients a discount for early payments.
- Have a marketing plan. People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. It is important that you have a plan in place to promote your business or services. Remember the six P’s of marketing: Product, Place, Price, Promotion, Process, and People. For more information, visit the website below.
3. Use technology to save you time and money. There are more options than ever before to make your company processes and systems more efficient and effective, including online bill pay and payroll as well as remote deposit and merchant services.
4. Set specific business goals. Set and write down the specific business goals you want to achieve. I recommend using the SMART Goal philosophy. Each goal needs to be Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For more information on SMART goals visit www.wikihow.com/Set-SMART-Goals
5. Network. “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” – Bob Burg. It is important to get involved with your local chamber and other organizations or associations that will attract potential clients and customers. Being a good networker takes time and patience, but the pay offs are incredible.