Running a Business
You've successfully started your business, established your business, and you've made it through the first year and survived - well done!
Give yourself a pat on the back because you deserve it...but now what...what are the next steps you need to take on your business journey to make sure your business is a success?
Years ago I read a really great book by J. Paul Getty called "How to be Rich". It's a good read and I advise any business owner to read it...one of the things he suggests is saving money - austerity if you will - the big bad word which we all know from watching the news. But the reality is - it isn't a bad word - it's just common sense. Why spend $2 doing and achieving the same result that you could of achieved if you'd only spent a dollar. Surely every business would want to increase its profits and if it meant the service or products you offered were of the same quality - really what have you got to lose? By the way the book doesn't focus on getting rich, but more your state of mind on being rich and how you operate as a person and in your business.
Another great book I read was called Boo Hoo - another great read but for all the wrong reasons. This book showed how a start-up online retailer of sports and designer clothing called Boo Hoo spent "shit loads of money" and that is the only way to describe it; on expensive Lear Jets and expensive website design that was just too ahead of the game for the speed of the internet at the time. The whole book is an excellent example of how not to run your business. Funnily enough the website is back live again selling fashionable clothing.
The two examples above kind of demonstrate the poles apart nature of running a successful business as opposed to running a business doomed to failure.
In essence if you want to run a good business, and we are sure you do then it's vital to keep a grip on your money spend. We're not saying you shouldn't spend any money on your business, but what we are advocating is spending it in the right areas of your business. If spending on a new machine means greater savings in the long run and higher profits then surely it's a no-brainer, you simply have to buy a new machine. If you'd like a new desk for your office that is going to cost you $2000 but provide no improvement in workflow - then you have to ask yourself the question - "Do I really need that bright new shiny object?"
If you haven't already written a business plan for your business, then shame on you - don't think a business plan is merely to get you funding - it's a document for your business that provides a blueprint of how you should run your business.
We have over 6000 business plans listed in our easy to find listings from 24 hour and DVD and Video Hire to Zumba Tuition.
So now you have no excuse for not writing a businesss plan!
Obviously you'll be wanting to expand you business and a great way is obviously to advertise your business.
When you initially started running your business you probably bought too much of one stock (assuming you are selling tangible products). Managing your stock is a great way of keeping control of the money spend. You might also want to have a dig around...you could be sitting on a load of old stock that people don't even know about if you've forgotten to list it or put it out there!
Another important aspect of your business is keeping up with the trends - your business could die a death if you don't innovate and move on to new and exciting products...of course it costs money to do this so you need to be in control of your time and cash flow in order to pay for this innovation.
Make sure you stay legal - check any licences that need re-newing. Make sure your accounts are up to date, if you don't pay your taxes on time you can get hefty fines not to mention a visit from the tax man - do you really want to use your time talking to the tax man when you could be running your business instead?
Do you or your staff need extra training - for sure it can cost money to train up your staff, but if they are trained up they are more likely to run your business more efficiently and safely. Would you like a law-suit against you because you had someone doing a job they shouldn't of been doing? A law-suit could end your business in a split-second.
Lastly you should keep on keepin on as Curtis Mayfield once said!