3 Things Your Small Business Needs
So, you have a small business, or maybe you're about to start one. There are some business rules that, when applied, can help ensure success. If not applied correctly, one risks sacrificing all to the "failure department":
1) Have a business plan. You don't need an elaborate one, but make a rough draft which includes the following categories: When, Where & How. Then broaden the scope of each section. If something will involve a cost then write down the projected amount. The most important step in the business will be cash flow. You need enough cash flow to begin, and then to ramp-up the business.
2) Have the proper, behind-the-scene basics. For example, permits, licenses, insurance, and an accounting structure. These essentials help keep you in work, above-board, and ahead of the game compared to other businesses. If you say that you can't afford them, consider the costs of adding them on the "back-end" after business is lost or fines incurred.
I've seen start-ups progress faster when these are in place. You get the best jobs or accounts when you look professional in these areas.
3) Have a basic marketing plan. By this, I mean you need some fertilizer for the business growth seed you will be planting. There are no magic bullets unless you either plan to dominate marketing with money, muscle, and the stamina to repeat the effort constantly. What you'll need are some weekly, "elbow-rubbing" contacts. Don't forget to leave them all with your twenty-second "This is how I help people" (not yourself) speech. You have time to grow your marketing, but keep the costs in check. Return on investment is the key thing. You will need to be able to measure the marketing return somehow.
Finally, in the grand scheme of things, find the aspect of your business that sets it apart, making it unique. Avoid copy-catting others in your immediate area. Find your niche and develop it. Keep your passion alive. Take time to reflect on the reasons you started the business.