Have you been thinking about starting your own small business? Or are you in the first few years and are struggling with managing what can be an overwhelming and confusing process?
We know there is no perfect method that can get you there, often it is just a matter of trying what works for you - but we have some helpful tips to take your small business journey to the next level. And remember... don't be afraid to step outside of that comfort zone - it's where all the best things happen!
1. Be a researcher!
One of the best things you can do at the start (and really any time) of your small business journey is to be constantly researching. As a business owner you have to wear multiple hats and in an average day you will be sales, tech, marketing, accountant and more - trawl the internet for articles, blogs and others experience to see how you can possibly avoid some of the pitfalls.
Don't just stick to online research though - get out there in your local community, attend events and chat to those more experienced to find out some of the do's and don'ts.
2. Focus on solutions
We love focusing on the fact that every problem has a solution - don't allow excuses or situations that might seem like roadblocks stop you from accomplishing something.
Yep, it can definitely be scary! Starting a small business you will come across plenty of problems and it is for sure not without some risks.. but making clear plans and outlining your pathway to achieving goals will make you a star!
"Don't allow excuses or situations that might seem like roadblocks stop you from accomplishing something."
3. Listen, absorb, learn
Take it all in! Listening to others and not just relying on your way of thinking can be a game changer when it comes to the small business world. We can't say it enough, but keep things documented and writing out your plans will help you keep track of what worked and what didn't.
When you speak to other business owners or entrepreneurs don't be afraid to jot down key points they mention for your own reference.
Often creative or driven minds can make the mistake of thinking they "know it all" - so make sure you are really being open to people who have been there, done that.
Of course staying true to your vision and your end goal is important - but there is no limited on how much you can learn. Be a sponge and develop a wealth of knowledge that allows you to make educated decisions.
"Listening to others and not just relying on your way of thinking can be a game changer when it comes to the small business world"
4. The Bare Necessities
In our opinion, one of the most overlooked things when starting a small business is sticking to the simple things that work and allow you to grow. Don't overcomplicate your work or your finances by adding in things that are just "frills".
Learning the difference between needing and wanting something is huge - unfortunately in the beginning you need to adjust and realise that you have sacrifice some of lives luxuries.
Especially in your first couple of years you need to focus on doing the basics right and creating a strong foundation for your business on which you can build.
Minimise your costs where possible, this means you can slowly get your clients attention and add a little extra to the details as you get busier.
5. Be confident in selling yourself & your brand
It can be tough in the beginning to be brave enough to speak about what you do - however, time and experience will bring comfortability, so you need to practise and get comfortable with spreading your message.
Small business owners need to be amazing at engaging with others and if you aren't your income is in jeopardy. Not feeling confident? We say the good old 'fake it til you make it' will work for you every time - it might be hard to start with but the longer you put it off, the further away success is.
"Time and experience will bring comfortability, so you need to practise and get comfortable with spreading your message."
6. Write a plan
Yes, it's an obvious one - but creating your business plan is essential is determining where you are headed in the future.
There are amazing resources nowadays for your custom plan - any easy Google search will provide you with templates to get started.
You will need to include things like: the type of business (e.g sole trader), location, an analysis of your market/audience, descriptions of products and/or services to be sold, a plan for your marketing (how are you going to reach your audience and sell your product/service) plus much more.
7. Be aware of the 'need to knows'
Ok, now we know the legal bits can seem a bit boring but if you invest time in understanding them it will pay you back in spades.
Things to think about are registering your business (ABN), your tax responsibilities and if hiring inform yourself of the laws pertaining to employees.
8. Be consistent
In order to make an impact with your clients you need to deliver consistent quality each and every time.
When you begin your business, create unique ideas that will set you apart from your competitors and plan specific ways you will approach delivering the product or service to your client.
You might think this seems like insignificant detail to sit and write down - however, having a detailed strategy/plan for your customer service is how you will provide a high level of quality each time a client enlists your help.
Remember, if you have employees everyone needs to be on the same page with the brands message and how you deliver it - otherwise clients may receive differing information when they speak to different people (which can look very unprofessional).
9. Quality over quantity
Find your niche! Choosing one area that is your speciality is so important to your success.
Don't start out with too many different products or services - this creates confusion and unsure of your brand.
Find one thing that you're amazing at and do it over and over again - once you have established a steady income and regular clients get a feel for if your audience would like to see something new. You then have the ability to test out new products or services without tipping the rest of the business on its side.
10. Schedule time to assess
Lastly, you have the ability to create whatever you want for your business - but making excuses like "I don't have enough time" won't get you anywhere. Make it a priority to sit down and assess how you are tracking with your budget, sales of new products, employees etc.
Even brainstorm ideas that will keep the business exciting and take time out - switching off your brain helps to bring back fresh ideas and keep you motivated.
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