Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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If you have a job that you just don’t like, it can be very tempting to quit and go it alone running your own business. The trouble is, it can take a long time to earn enough money from your own enterprise to pay the rent! And running your own business may take up far more of your time than your regular nine-to-five.

Think about the long list of big brands that have folded over the last few years. It can make you feel like you’d have no chance surviving the ruthless economy and market shifts.

But if you have a good plan, a great idea, and the tenacity to see it through, you might just make it. Sure, running a business is always going to be a lot of hard work through a lot of long hours.

How To Start And Run A Business Without The Tears
If you want to avoid the pain, the tears, and the financial ruin of failing, take a look at this guide on how to start and run your own business:

Need Or Want?
Do you need to run your own business, or just fancy having a go? Perhaps you want to enjoy a lifestyle change that gets you out of that two-hour commute every day.

Are you in it for the riches and the power you think you can achieve from being head of your own empire? Or are you keen to turn all that passion for your favorite hobby into a money spinner?

The more you want it, the better because something needs to keep you going through the really tough times. But you can’t succeed in business if you’re just doing it for yourself. You need customers, remember?

You need to be providing your clients with a service or product that they need or want. You also need to give your staff the financial reward and other benefits they need and desire from their dream job. Don’t forget the taxman will want his cut too!

There are lots of reasons for going into business for yourself. There will be plenty of reasons for giving up too. Set yourself some realistic goals and make a plan for achieving them. If you can get what you need by working for someone else, this could be the better choice.

So you’re still keen to start up your own business? You’re going to need an extraordinary idea. You may even need more than one! Are you an inventor, a creative, or a facilitator? Where do your strengths lie? Keep your ideas list to things you know you can excel at.

It is always best to have a proven ability in whatever it is you want to do in business. Any early clients are going to ask who you’ve done work for before. Start putting your portfolios together.

Sometimes you will see a product or service already proving to be a success. But if you see a new angle on it that customers will want, this could be your big idea. Presenting products in a different way or for a different use could be one way of finding something new in something old.

Of course, if you do come up with something completely different, you may have to push to create interest, desire or need for that.
Working Online

Start Small
Don’t quit your day job just yet. It’s always best to invest a little and start small rather than giving up everything and losing everything. Sure, you won’t be an overnight millionaire. But you won’t have the bailiffs knocking on your door either.

Finding your first client may be as simple as selling your product to your best mate. If it’s good and he likes it, ask him to tell someone. Social media is a great platform to quickly spread the word about a new product.

As the clients or customers come in one by one, you’ll soon have plenty of work to manage. If you have several products or services to offer, be sure to cross-sell, upsell and resell on each transaction. You should work to increase the lifetime value of each customer.

Keeping in touch with the customers you already have so they come back time and again is cheaper than finding new ones.

Keep your premises as small, streamlined, and cheap as possible. When the money you’re making is small, you are small.

Don’t get ahead of yourself and pretend you’re something you’re not. You’ll spend far more money than you’ll make. And you’ll be wasting valuable time that could be spent taking care of your valuable clients.

Get The Kit You Need
As a new business, there won’t be much that you need. As orders increase, you may need to increase the staff, equipment, the size of premises, and marketing efforts. But at that point, the money will be coming in to pay for it! Of course, every business needs investment to grow.

The startup phase is no different. You will need to invest a little of your hard earned cash to get the kit you need to set up your business.

As well as registering your business, there will be other expenses that are essential. You may think that starting up as a sole trader or self-employed one-man-band will save you even more money. You’re right. However, be wary if your business sells to corporate clients.

You may struggle to get paid without a registered business and business address. Even with this extra level of formality, some corporations will credit check you, find out you’re a startup, and refuse to work with you.

If you mostly sell to private clients, a sole trader arrangement is more than adequate. You may need to set up a special bank account, though, if you trade as a business name.

Make sure you have a computer with internet access that you can set up your website and check social media accounts on. None of this should cost you anything right now. However, if you travel with your devices, make sure your insurance covers you!

Decide Who Wants You
And why! Can you describe your typical customer? Do they live in a particular town? Do they earn a lot or a little? Are your customers mostly male or female?

What’s the average age of your customers? And why do they come to you for their goods or services instead of your competitors? It’s important you understand who your customer base is so you can appeal to them with your brand and other marketing efforts.

If managing money isn’t your forte, you might want to rethink going into business for yourself. Budgeting and cashflow are the most important things you need to learn fast when running a company. Keep your overheads low all the time.

Make sure you have a percentage put away for savings. What about your salary, pension and benefits? To make it easier to manage your business finances, use a good bookkeeping service.

You’ll be able to see where your money is going and use it to make more informed judgments about purchases and investments. Your bank and other investors will want to see impeccable books if you’re asking for a cash injection.

Marketing is simpler than you think. It is all about bringing people to your business and converting them into customers.

You need to understand the marketplace your business is in. For example, if you’re setting up as a freelance writer online, you'll need to promote your services to businesses using direct mail.

Buying an expensive advertising slot on national TV would be wasteful. Know where your customers are and approach them where they are most open to your offer!
Working on Laptop in the garden
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Customers and Customer Service
It is so important to provide excellent customer service. Not only will your customers be happy to share a good experience, but they’re more likely to remember you. That’s where you can profit twice as they’ll come back to you time and again.

Make a mistake, and they will share that negative experience with even more people, making you even more memorable. They’ll never come back, and you’ll struggle to acquire customers after a bad review.

Eventually, you’ll find your orders start to exceed your capacity to fulfil them. It’s time to hire staff or outsource. Temp agencies can often provide the employees you need.

You'll have none of the expense and commitment of hiring. There are also companies that specialize in areas like customer service, logistics, or sales you can use. It’s always a good idea to hire someone to do the jobs that are taking you away from doing what you’re best at.

Look To The Future
Starting small, growing steadily, and don't get ahead of yourself. These three things could be the best ways to stay successful in business. Sure, you might have big ambitions, huge goals, and incredible dreams.

Everyone thinks about getting rich and retiring early. But the reality you’re likely to face is hard work, long hours, and challenging circumstances. It’s hard to succeed, but these tips should help you get through it without the tears. What’s your big dream for business?

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