Starting your own business is exciting, but you’ll also need to be braced for a lot of work. Long hours, the stress of accounts, worries over money and finding your feet can all take their toll and make even the best idea in the world fail. So make sure your business goes to plan by following these three essential tips.
Deciding on your USP
Being very clear about what your business does and what it offers is one thing, but what differentiates your business from your competitors? Your USP will be your biggest asset in a competitive marketplace, so you need to be sure of what it is, and work at it too. Although this ultimately ties in with your marketing, if you understand your USP from the very start, you can build your business up to be different and better than the rest. So many businesses make the mistake of starting out with no real idea of what they’re offering, only to end up with a muddled mess. If you plan on opening a clothes shop for instance, what type of clothes are you offering? Why and how are they better/different from the shop next door? What is it about your shop in particular that will make your customers want to return? Ask yourself all this, and more!
50% of SME’s fail within the first three years, and the majority fail due to finances. Poor cash flow management, lack of customers, lack of access to finance, and the inability to pay tax bills are all responsible for the collapse of many businesses. For this reason, using an accountancy consultancy such as http://www.clough.co.uk/ is recommended. Your accountant doesn’t just tot up the numbers – they’re also a mine of advice on the finances to save you falling down on misunderstanding how much tax you should be paying or failing to properly keep accounts and audit your books.
A business plan can help you project your costs for the coming year but be sure to constantly check that all is proceeding as it should. You should also aim to check your business cash flow once a week and take action at the first sign of trouble.
You can’t rely on custom unless you have a truly essential business in the right location, so creating a marketing plan should be high on your agenda. This should include a website, so if you don’t already have a website – get one made! Attracting customers to your business can almost be a full time job in itself these days, but without an online profile you’ll be missing out on valuable interactions with customers – and their money!. Spend at least 30 minutes a day on marketing using social media channels, but remember not to make the entire focus on your product or service. Share valuable, fun, or interesting information and build a following. This way, you build trust and faith in your company and brand.
Wendy Lin is a successful female entrepreneur from California. Her family immigrated to the states from China. She faced many challenges, but has worked incredibly hard to make her businesses successful.