Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Know
. Get Your Finances in Order
Once you go into business for yourself, you can no longer be as liberal with your finances as you were when you were employed by Vandelay Industries. This means the days of drinking triple, Venti, half sweet, non-fat caramel macchiatos with soy at 120 degrees from Starbucks are gone – a strong, boiling hot, rich, bitter and vulgar black coffee is your only alternative.
Unless you have received Series A funding from venture capitalists on Wall Street or in Silicon Valley, you will be depending on your personal finances to both help you get to the next day and to start, maintain and expand your enterprise. Simply put: proper business financing is key.
Before you launch your small business, you should:
- start a budget and stick to it
- pay off all your debts
- cut back on your spending
- determine how much you need to get by
- calculate how much you can fiddle around with for your startup.
2. Operate within Your Means
Whether you have a hefty small business loan, or you just received a massive inheritance from your great uncle Ethel, it can be tempting to spend every available penny on your business. You might think that the more you spend on your company, the more successful it can become. Wrong.
A successful business doesn’t generate sales, boost clientele and potentially win awards by spending all its capital on operations. Instead, many startups operate within their means. In other words, they don’t:
- take out enormous loans
- work in opulent settings
- unnecessarily expand into foreign markets
- adding your brother’s wife’s nephew’s cousin to payroll.
In the end, if you only have $23,000 to work with every year, then that is what you will do. Indeed, if there’s one piece of advice that failed business owners wish they were given is that they wished they better managed the pennies.
3. Save on Marketing Dollars
Thanks to the power and prevalence of digital marketing, you don’t need six-figure campaigns to get noticed. Instead, with a free Twitter account, a strong Facebook acumen and $100 in Google ads, you can still market your brand without having to break the bank. Of course, there’s a lot more than you can do than just tweet and ‘like’ without an immense investment.
But what? Here are some tips:
- engage with your audience and thank them for any kind words
- search engine optimisation (SEO) is still key, even in 2019
- email marketing is not dead – the rumours of its death have been greatly exaggerated
- be active, not passive, on social media; do concentrate on only a couple of platforms
- website design is still the most important investment you can make.
4. Find Experts
Many people tend to believe that entrepreneurs are jacks of all trades. While this might be true in the very beginning, startups eventually grow their team and add talent to their talent. It is important to remember, however, that when you do hire professionals to join your small firm, you need to take on experts.
In other words, don’t fall for hiring your college roommate who once drew a stickman as your lead graphic designer. Likewise, refrain from adding your boyfriend or girlfriend to your workforce because they gave you the puppy eyes.
5. Allocate Your Energy Wisely
There is a general misconception that every entrepreneur needs to burn the midnight oil in order to be successful. On the one hand, it is correct that you need to work more hours than you would at your old desk position. On the other, however, you do not need to clock in 23 hours a day with only one break every seven hours.
Let’s be honest: sleep is the most important thing you can get. Without an adequate amount of sleep, you will not be able to function correctly, your mind will not work the way it always does, and your mood will be one of morose and melancholy – not exactly the characteristics of a tycoon!
The important lesson from this is to allocate your energy wisely – don’t burn it all.
6. Treat Your Customers Right
Have you heard of customer relationship management? This is an approach, which uses data, analytics and automation, to take care of interactions with prospects and current clients. This is just one of many techniques to make your customer front and centre of your business.