Are you a small business owner? Looking to get into business? Looking to expand your business?
The realm of small business is undeniably mesmerising. That’s why it’s important to decipher, and identify, the best ways that you can make the most of your small business journey.
Here are a few of my top tips that I have learnt over my business journey that will help you better become a more savvy business owner:
Do your due diligence
It’s easy to get caught up in the dream of owning a small business, however not every business is going to be in demand of its market, be in its height of success or be profitable. Talk to owners of the same or similar businesses and understand what life is like for them.
If you’re buying an existing business, look at the figures (at least the past 3 years of Accountant Prepared Financials), understand the operating costs involved (particularly leasing and wage costs), and any additional fees and costs involved in a potential sale. Ask to see analytics, disclosure documents and sample agreements (if applicable). If it feels like a stupid question; ask it.
Gain independent advice
I cannot stress this enough, and any good business owner or corporation will get you to disclose whether or not you have sought your own legal and financial advice prior to signing any contracts.
Reputable corporations and banks will be strict on your financial requirements, so don’t get caught out or taken advantage of when it comes down to the nitty gritty. Your lawyer and accountant dollars are well spent when looking at a business model – engage them.
Know your numbers
You need to understand your profit and loss.
You should always have a budget and business plan in place and be tracking and reporting your actuals. You don’t need to be a maths wiz to do this, you just need to know what is coming in, what is going out and what this means for your profitability. Having goals around your expenses are just as important as having goals around your revenue. Likewise, track and report on your marketing like a hawk. To get the most out of your budget, break down your monthly goals into weekly and daily goals.
Keep that mindset in check!
Understanding the impact of your mindset often takes years for business owners to master. Your mindset can send your business into failure, and likewise to success. Staying open-minded, keeping engaged with your passion, being open to learning and change and looking after your mental health can all have a huge impact. This is particularly important if you are the face and brand of your business. Ensuring you are eating well, exercising, engaging in passions outside of work and spending quality time with friends or family needs to be part of your weekly schedule.
Time is money
Poor time management, slow processes and poor efficiency will cost you money, and also affect your stress levels. Continue to review the way you are spending your time. Are you completing one task well or doing a lot of tasks poorly? I live by the Pomodoro Technique and have EVERYTHING scheduled – even my lunch! This helps me to stay focused on one task at a time with minimal distractions. I coach this technique to my owners all the time – Google it!
Stay true to your brand
If you have a business model that is largely successful to it’s market, be mindful of balancing business development with brand development. The longer your brand is around, the more your customers understand your brand for certain core values.
Staying true to these is important as your business develops and grows. Be aware of why customers are coming to you and what values your brand represents. A good, long-standing brand will typically stay true to its original core values as it successfully grows and develops with each generation.
Have a future plan
Every business, and business owner, will have a lifecycle. Ideally, when your business is at the top of its game and at it’s most profitable is when it should likely have higher value and be more attractive to potential buyers.
This is dependant on many more factors, but the goal here is to think about your future plan early, have your goals in place and get the best advice so that you can make your business the best it can be!
Abbie Burns has worked with over 600 small business owners and has a keen passion for helping coach owners through their journey. She has contributed to brand expansion for major international retail and tourism brands across Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States of America.
Abbie currently devotes her time to supporting women in business across Australia and New Zealand in a well-known fitness organisation. She has also recently launched a new travel and lifestyle blog, AZUREA promoting small businesses in regions she feels uniquely reflect their environment.
To follow Abbie, visit AZUREA at www.azurea.me / Instagram / Facebook