24 Jan 10 Top tips for Starting a Successful Business
By Katy Berrill, Tuesday 24th January 2017
The Entrepreneurial Revolution is upon us, with so many going alone and setting up new innovative businesses. Working for yourself can be incredibly rewarding and liberating, but on the flip side the responsibility, pressures and stress of getting it right can be too much for many with 95% of businesses failing within the first 3 years.
At Bid & Tender Support, we believe there are fundamental things to get right to ensure that you remain in the 5% that survive those initial few years of trading:
1. Work out your offering based on what people want – sounds obvious but even if you have an idea, it needs to be something others want to and need to buy whether it is a product or a service
2. Cash is King – from the one word go, keep a close eye on your Cash Flow. Structure your income to include upfront fees, deposits, monthly subscriptions or staged payments – anything to keep the cash coming in regularly rather than large chunks of money on completion of work – if the Project runs over you could end up working a long time with no money.
3. Keep checking and trimming costs where you can – assess what you actually need to start off with and be careful not to get side tracked by clever deals which draw you in to something you may not need just yet. Even those £20 subscriptions every month add up!
4. Budget both Income and Expenditure in advance so you can see where your business is coming from, this will help with resource planning, growth, financing and marketing. For larger companies, or businesses which make payments to lots of different suppliers, it can be helpful to use some kind of vendor management software.
5. Focus on Sales and Marketing in a planned and continuous manner – rather than just when you are quiet. It’s too late then! If you don’t convert those Leads into Sales – one of your Competitors will!
6. Find ways to increase profits, cash is important but being profitable is what enables us to invest, improve and grow.
7. Test and Measure everything – See what works – if it doesn’t earn its keep, question its place in your business this goes for equipment, IT Systems, services, products and staff
8. Be Open to Learning from others, from courses and from your own mistakes
9. Don’t discount – instead offer added value propositions – so people get more for their money. This way they value what you do instead of seeing it as something which is cheap.
10. Get a Coach – This may seem an extravagance in the early days but starting a business can be quite lonely and going from a role where you were accountable to someone to having no one to answer to is also daunting. By using a Coach you have an external perspective to your ideas plus someone who you are accountable to which can only help drive success through the setting and measuring of goals and achievements.