Everyone wants to rule the world as an entrepreneur today. Many people are choosing to start a business rather than work in a 9 to 5 job, and it’s not hard to see why they’re making the switch. There are quite a few perks to being an entrepreneur, like being your own boss and working your own hours. However, many enter entrepreneurship with blinders on, not realizing that the “perks” of entrepreneurship are offset by hard work, perseverance, and an endless array of challenges. The sad news is that when startups fail, it’s not for a lack of good ideas but often because entrepreneurs are not prepared going into it.
That’s why we’ve prepared our list of 6 important tips for anyone who wants to start a business.
1. Cash flow is king.
You’ve probably heard this saying before “in business, cash flow is king.” and once you become a business owner you’ll understand why. Cash flow is the lifeblood of your business, and while it may be challenging to get customers and money flowing into the business in the beginning, you should make it your mission to overcome this challenge and get money coming in on a regular basis.
2. Do the hard stuff first.
As any entrepreneur will tell you, building a successful business is all about completing small tasks each day that contribute to achieving the bigger goals. Offering exceptional customer service, putting time into perfecting your offering each day, and keeping proper records of each transaction are all important steps that build up to the growth of your business over time.
It is easy to try and to do everything yourself all at once, which leads to burnout and failure. The best way to overcome this is to set a to-do list where you write down the most important tasks to complete for the day, with the urgent ones at the top and intermediate and lesser priority tasks following thereafter.
This will help you to prioritize your time and energy more efficiently so no matter what happens, you’re able to complete those critically important tasks. For the first few months, these items will include marketing, interacting with customers, and delivering your product or service with excellence — all of which will contribute to the bottom line of the business.
3. Wait to hire.
Hiring permanent employees can be an unnecessary expense for new businesses. You might be better off hiring temporary workers like contractors and freelancers for particular services, as this will help you to keep expenses to a minimum.
4. Rent instead of owning.
The best way to minimize capital outlays in a new business is to rent. You may want to rent out rather than buy your office space and equipment. This will enable you to keep running the business so that you’re able to survive through those first few years.
5. Test the market before you start a business.
Once an idea takes hold in an entrepreneur’s mind, it’s hard to convince them that their idea – no matter how great they think it is – might not work out. Truth is, there are several reasons why your product or service might fail, no matter how good of an idea it is. Test market your product first before you go full-time in your business, so that you’re still safe if it flops.
6. Prepare for failure.
When you start a company, you should prepare yourself for failures and disappointments. That may sound bad, but they’re an important part of the journey. Fail forward and learn from your mistakes instead of wallowing in self-pit because you didn’t get something right. Thick skin is necessary to make it in business, and the ability to keep a positive outlook so that you can shift the energy every time you feel down by changing your perspective about the situation.
Elena Tahora is one of the foremost specialists in smart business solutions, and has an extensive skill set that enables her to offer reliable and fact-based advice through the articles she writes. When she’s not busy being an elite consultant to the clients in our group of companies, Elena can be found snorkeling, taking walks on the beach or enjoying outdoor yoga with her two Yorkies.