Making Smart Financial Decisions In Your Formative Years
Starting up a business is one of the most challenging---yet one of the most rewarding things you can do. If you have the fiery spirit of an entrepreneur living inside of you, you’ve likely heard the call to branch out and create something of your own.
With all of the excitement and vision that comes with starting a business, there also comes with it plenty of uncertainty and fear. What if your idea is not well received? What if you make financial mistakes that threaten to shut you down before you even get off the ground? Do you have everything that it takes to succeed in business? Do you even know what steps to take to ensure your continued success?
Take a breath, grab a coffee, and realize that countless others have gone before you and paved the way. They have made their influential mark on the business world, and along the way, they have acquired real-world skills and advice that you can use to avoid some of the pitfalls that business owners succumb to in their formative years. Those first few years in business are a critical time; decisions must be made confidently, you must engage in clear thinking and employ solid strategies to ensure your longevity. Read on to see what you can do to ensure the long-term financial health of your business:
Manage Your Cash Flow Well
The single most common reason for startup failure in the first few years in business is the failure to manage cash flow well. As tedious as it may seem, you need to keep an accounting of every dollar made versus every dollar spent, and every effort must be made to operate in the black. No matter how good or innovative your idea is, it will be worthless if you run out of money to market and produce your product. Establish a budget and stick to it religiously; you’ll be able to take a few more risks in the coming years as you secure a larger influx of cash.
There will be expenses coming at you from all directions when you start your business. While you may not have the money to hire a full-time accountant, you still need to maintain control over your budget. Make sure that money you spend goes toward the development of your business, and make room in your budget for things like marketing and product development, as these two things will keep you moving forward. Avoid unnecessary expenses and situations that can quickly drain your account. When you are first starting up, there is no need to maintain a large office in the heart of the city, and you certainly don’t need catered lunches and top of the line hotels as part of your business expenses. Sticking to a budget is wise planning for future prosperity.
Be Optimistic, But Prepare For Setbacks
You don’t know where your adventure is going to take you as you start out; it’s best to prepare for the worst possible situation by keeping some cash on hand for emergencies. Be smart--don’t quit your day job until you are sure that your new business venture can support you and your family consistently.
Keep both business and personal reserves in an emergency savings account. Unfortunate situations come up when you least expect them, and having cash on hand to deal with these issues will ensure that you don’t have to dip into your operating budget to cover your mistakes. You will also need to account for expenses like medical insurance and retirement income, things you may not have thought much about when you were employed by someone else. Failing to plan for your future is planning to fail; take into account all that you will need for future expenses when tucking money away into savings.
Realize That Time Is Money
Nothing has more monetary value than your time; everyone has the same 24 hours to deal with that everyone else does--what are you doing to make yourself more productive than your competition? Plan your schedule and your daily activities in such a way that you feel good about what you accomplish, yet find time for self-care and personal matters as well. Giving yourself a good balance of business productivity and leisure time will add to your effectiveness as a person all the way around.
Focus On Creating Quality Customer Relationships
Your customers will be the lifeblood and future success of your business. The sooner you master the art of customer acquisition, the more likely you are to achieve your business goals. Identifying and streamlining the process of customer attraction will allow you to lower your operating costs and increase the profit of each sale.
Acquisition is only half the battle when it comes to dealing with customers; you now need to keep them! How can you focus on creating the type relationship with your customers that keeps them coming back for more? How can you ensure that they tell their friends and family about you and turn them into loyal customers as well? Answering these golden customer questions will keep you in business for years to come.
Don’t Forget To Pay Yourself!
You don’t need to pull all the cream off of the milk at the beginning of your venture; you have obligations to others that are necessary to stay in business. You do, however, need to pay yourself enough to live comfortably. Don’t forget about your needs and desires as you build your business. After all, you branched off into business for yourself to create a better life, right? Start creating that better life right away!
Set Solid Financial Goals
It’s not enough to say, “I want to create a multi-million dollar corporation.” You need to establish a who, what, where, when and how. Making your goals specific, measurable, action-oriented, and giving yourself a time frame for completion makes you S.M.A.R.T. SMART goals make you more productive, point you in the right direction, and give you parameters for creating lasting success, one goal at a time.
Need A Little Help? Call MaxGroup Business Solutions
MaxGroup Business Solutions is a team of professionals who have been there, done that. We put theory into practice by helping you achieve your business goals, making it possible for you to build the business of your dreams. With our customized marketing packages and a proven success record of explosive business growth, we will help make your business dreams not only possible, but achievable. Visit www.maxgroupbusiness.com today to take business building to the next level of growth and success!