With 660,000 businesses starting up each year a staggering 98% will not be trading after 5 years. So how can you be part of the 2% of the businesses that remain trading and be a start up success! Debbie Gilbert, owner of Businesswomen UnLtd shares 9 things you should do to ensure your business is a success.
All too often people do not do enough research when they start a business. Make sure you do proper research into your goods or service. Find out if there really is a need. Or is the market already saturated with people offering the same thing? If so you need to consider how you can differentiate.
Make sure you keep on top of your clients’ needs and reassess your goods or services. Your customers’ needs will change. It’s important to survey them on a regular basis and keep listening to feedback
Speak to someone who is qualified and has experience preferably in your industry. Get advice on a marketing strategy, website, social media and marketing plan. This will save you a lot of time in the long run trying things which don’t work. An expert will have experience and knowledge that can set you on the right track.
Understand your costs, pricing and tax. Make sure you know what you need to do to reach those financial goals. Speak to an accountant. A good accountant will save you money. They will know what you can claim for. Use an online system such as Xero or Kashflow to automate invoicing. Make sure you spend as little time as possible on accounting. Automate your client’s payments. For example, Go Cardless can collect automatic payment, or stripe or worldpay. Receipt bank can scan in your receipts. Keep your accounts up to date and check your progress.
A business plan is essential. It is the working document around which your business is built. Without one you are steering the business blind. Make sure you do an annual plan and then review every 12 weeks.
Read The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran
This book is a great blueprint to help you break down your targets and goals of the things you need to do in your business.
Always check your google analytics, social media stats and any other metrics in your business so you know if what you are doing is working. Is traffic coming to your website as a result of your social media campaigns and are people buying? Is your email list growing? Make sure you ask for testimonials as part of the end of your sales process. So, once a job is done ask people for a review. Good reviews are the basis of any great business.
Are you guilty of wasting too much time? Social media and emails are a big distraction. Switch off when working on a project. Or are you just a procrastinator and just lack focus? Streamline your diary. Use a system that works for you and block out time for activities that make a difference to your business.
Do what you say you will do. If you book an appointment with someone stick to it. If you say you will pass on a contact -do it. All too often people let others down. Never let your clients down. Always over deliver and never promise something you simply cannot do.
Most people work for themselves to gain flexibility and all too often swap a 40-hour employed job for 80 hours working for themselves. This is daft. You must make time for yourself and your family.
If you want more help and advice about running a successful business around your family its all the book ‘The Successful Mumpreneur’ by Debbie Gilbert
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