Tools and Tips to Get Your Start-Up Off On the Right Foot
Opening a business is not for the fainthearted. It is stressful, time consuming, risky and can feel like you are wading through treacle. The often spoken stat is that over 50% of new start-ups fail within 5 years.
Never the less, new businesses continue to open every day – 80 an hour at the last count and not a single one of these new business owners believe they will fail, but it does happen. So we want to give you a helping hand and have put together a number of tips and tools that can help give your business the best possible chance of succeeding.
Know Who You Are
Everyone is going give their two cents on what you should be doing and how to do it. Instead, you should create a clear identity in your mind and only include people who have that same vision.
This doesn’t mean you should ignore advice from people, on the contrary. Being a business owner will give you tunnel vision at times and thus can be difficult to spot things that aren’t working – outsiders may be able to spot these mistakes better than you can.
This advice is relevant whatever the industry you are in, your mission is the core of the business – each and every decision you make should always be preceded by ‘will this action help achieve the mission of the business?’ If the answer is no, do something else.
Get You Accounts in Order
As a start-up owner, you have enough to struggle with as it is, let alone trying to juggle your accounts alongside the day to day running of things.
Not everyone is an accountant and there is no question you will need help at some point while running the business. However, hiring a full time accountant is expensive. One option, therefore, is to use a dedicate piece of software to help manage all your accounting and financial matters.
Quickbooks, for example, has been designed with start-up and small business owners in mind. The software will help you: ensure your accounts are accurate and HRMC compliance, run your payroll and manage your invoices. Of course,
Quickbooks is not the only player in town, there are a plethora of other providers out there who can provide similar software. Do your research and select one that works best for you.
Learn to Say ‘No’
The advice to business owners has always been ‘say yes to everything and figure out how you will do it later’. This is completely understandable for a new business owner, why would you throw away work that may never come back?
However, when first starting up a business your most precious resource is time – don’t waste it!
Instead, your mindset should be more methodical. Consider which clients are worth getting involved with and which opportunities are most worth your time.
It’s too easy to bog yourself down in too much work because you have taken on everything that is thrown your way. Is that really the best use of your time and resources?
Protect Your Data
Data is the lifeblood of any business; invoices, customer information, sales records and any documents that contain sensitive business information are vital to keeping things running.
What would happen if you lost that data?
While planning for a disaster is not the most glamorous part of running a business, it is imperative. Those that don’t plan a clear backup, disaster recovery and business continuity strategy put themselves at great risk.
Aside from the potential financial costs that could incur (especially with GDPR on the horizon), companies who can’t recover within 10 days are almost guaranteed to close soon after.
There are a wide range of backup and disaster recovery solutions to choose from. However, start-ups should strongly consider a cloud backup solution, over their own on-premises solution, due to their low cost, implementation speed, ease of scalability and reliability (providing you select the right partner of course).
Running a business may be overwhelming, and these tips will not magically take all the weight off your shoulders, but they will ease the burden slightly and ensure you get off to the best possible start, giving yourself the best chance for success.