You are very confident in the work you do. You see an opportunity to put your personal stamp on your industry. You feel you can do a better job and give better service than your competitors. You have a burning desire to be your own boss and create a future you are in charge of… And you can!
In this article, we will now help explain how to run a successful small business and achieve success for yourself.
When starting a small business, it’s important to remember, the key is passion, an entrepreneurial spirit, grit mixed in with a skillset. Now, the good news is, skillset can be taught (via training and experience) or bought (via staff).
But passion, grit, and your tenacity are attributes that can only come from you. And that’s why business owners are some of the most amazing people on earth! And there are lots of them….
Small Business makes up 97%* of ALL businesses in Australia! Given that the exact definition of a small business is: a business with fewer than 20 employees, that’s a lot! 2’259’098 to be exact*
– *ABS FEO Small Business Counts 2019.
Put simply, a small business sells an amazing service or product for more than it costs to make a profit. Sounds easy enough right?
Heads up though… it’s tough! Successful small business owners are having to work 80 hours a week – that’s a hard grind! In those 80 hours, you are often doing 5-6 different job descriptions.
Doing the bookkeeping, creating invoices, chasing up money owed, paying bills, sourcing supplier deals, dealing with the tax office.
Creating a marketing plan. Defining your ideal target market, where they are and how to best communicate to them. Setting your marketing budget, deciding on logos, website design, social media business pages, creating online and offline adverts. Regularly test and measuring the effects of them all.
Converting marketing leads into sales through a sales funnel. Answering questions, attending meetings, showing previous work, overcoming objections, negotiating prices, most importantly keeping the flow balanced with new customers to finished work.
Recruit new team members by advertising, interviewing, inducting training and regularly reviewing them. Keeping staff excited, engaged and motivated. Giving them opportunities to develop their skills and grow in their career path with you. Handling disputes, their sick days, poor performance and being on top of all the HR legal laws.
Creating all the systems and processes that are needed to run the operations of your business. Procedures, paperwork, systems, from setting up first thing each day to finishing each evening. Essentially, this is creating the ‘How things are done here’ handbook.
Doing the actual work
No wonder owners are working such long hours. There’s a lot to do!
So how do you actually run one? What do you need to do day-by-day when owning and running your small business? There are a number of steps to succeed in business – we list them down below.
WHEN STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS, IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THE FOLLOWING :
What do you want your business to be known for? What reputation do you want to have? What does your business look like in 1yr, 3yrs, 5yrs and 10yrs?
How much time do you spend IN vs ON the business? Are you balancing your time between work and family? Do you feel burnt-out and overworked or satisfied with your hours?
Attracting new customers, knowing who your ideal target market is, what they do, where they are and what other interests they might have. Using social media, ad’s, signage, collaborating with other non-competitor companies that have the same market as you.
When someone responds to your marketing, they are now in your sales funnel. What is a sales funnel? It’s the process you take a customer on from the very first moment they interact with you to when they make a sale.
Asking questions, finding their needs, matching those to your product or service. Overcoming objections, negotiating when they try to bargain your price and taking the order and/or initial deposit payment.
This is when you either do the work or ship the product. This process needs to be efficient, professional, as promised and consistent. A client that comes back to you for a haircut, wants the same service you gave them 3 months ago.
If you gave them a cup of tea on arrival and a hand massage while your colour set the first time but not the second. You’re not being consistent in your customer delivery service and it looks unprofessional.
collecting cash, knowing your expenses, costs, profits, tax, marketing budget, etc… It is extremely unusual for any small business to have consistent money in and out every month of every year.Most businesses make no money for 3 months, just break even – ish for 5-6 months and make good profits in 3-4 months of the year.
Each business has a different cash pattern, different months they make money in. What are yours? Can you project your cash flow out for the next 6-12 months? This prevents you from getting excited and spending all your profits when you needed them to carry you through your down-time months.
Knowing your business and customer spending patterns is key.
If you are looking for further help with your finances, check out our finance course online.
Plan your business, put time into it, market it, make sales, do the work and collect your money. The trick is to always have a well-balanced flow of all of these. You should check in on these every year, quarter and month.
80% of small businesses don’t last longer than 5 years, it’s a terrible statistic!
The reason most close is due to … burnout. They worked too hard and didn’t see enough financial or time off in rewards. The lifestyle they thought they would have being their own boss and creating a future they were in charge of became a trap.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, there are 3 important things you can do to see you stay open and be happy doing it too.
This one means you have to know how your business is running. Where are you spending your time Vs is it giving you a return? Where are you spending your money Vs is it giving you a return. Doing time and money budgets helps to know this. Numbers don’t lie. If you’re spending 4 hours a week chasing up money owed to you, you’re not being paid for that time; you need stricter terms and conditions on your invoices.
It gives you time to recruit the right person, train them properly, have them go through their induction period so you know they’re a good fit for you and your company. Most small business owners become overwhelmed with work, hire the first person that responds to an ad or worse, hire a family member or friend and in the rush hasn’t made sure the person is right for the company or job and also doesn’t get trained properly.
Also, when you’re in your car listen to business podcasts or business, sales, finance books on audible. Plan holidays with your family 3-6 months in advance so staff and customers know you’re not available during those dates. Have set times off with your family, turn your phone off when you get home and enjoy a few hours every night with the people you are working so hard to provide for.
We hope you enjoyed our article on how to run a Successful Small Business the right way.
(c) Copyright 2021 The Milestone Academy
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