If you run a small business or are looking to start one, I’d like to congratulate you! Indeed, it is no small feat. Entrepreneurship is a pretty exciting journey… but at the same time, a very daunting one. Whether your business would succeed or fail depends largely on how prepared you are for the journey ahead and how you go about it even when you launch.
In this post, I’d share Tips For Start-Ups and Small Business Owners, a few tips that’d better equip you. I hope it blesses you!
Luke 14:28 says, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?”
Like the above scriptures, a lot of people start up business because the idea is pretty exciting so they just run with it. When the challenges start to roll in, they are taken aback and are unable to combat it successfully. Hence, there is need to do your homework well. You may need to carry out surveys and test the market before you launch out. It is also important that you define in clear terms what your business objective and plan is, your audience, your revenue plan, your expansion plan… Make sure these are broken down to details. Knowing all these would help you make better and more informed decisions.
Define in clear terms what your business objective and plan is, your audience, your revenue plan, your expansion plan... Click To Tweet
2. Have a startup customer base before launch out and then consciously grow it.
These are the guys whose interest and loyalty you have been able to capture maybe from the surveys and market tests. They are usually family and friends. Work with them to know what they want, how they want it and how much they are willing to let go for it. Encourage your customers to give out referrals with maybe little discount codes. Also, ensure you have solid customer relationships. Like the saying, “Customer is king”, treat them well and your business would thank you for it.
3. Be diligent.
Despise not the days of early beginnings (Zech 4:10). Put in your best, don’t imagine that at startup, you can perform below standard because the profit is non-existent or small. People should be able to trust your brand regardless of how long you’ve been in the market. It is your diligence and consistency that would ensure your growth (Proverbs 22:29) From day one, ensure the services/goods you deliver are top notch.
4. Money matters.
Startup and small business owners should learn to separate business funds from personal/family funds. You can make use of free basic accounting software to keep track of your spending. Budgeting is also very very key…. don’t spend spontaneously even if it sincerely is for your business, budgets give you room to properly think things through.
Startup and Small Business owners should learn to separate business funds from personal/family funds. Click To Tweet
Professionals also advise you start out with your personal funds. If there is need to borrow some more, ensure you don’t borrow so much that you spend the first year working for the money lenders’ interest. Small businesses and startups certainly do not need a lot of baggage holding them back so they can run/grow faster.
If there is the need to borrow some money, ensure you don't borrow so much that you spend the first year working for the money lenders' interest. Click To Tweet
5. Start out as small as you can.
You may work from your home for the first few months rather than get an office space. Your business in its early stage can do without the fancy office decors and amenities. You may also need to contract out some roles rather than get full-time employees. This would give your business time and space to grow without running into debts.
6. Don’t start out as Father Christmas.
Don’t start your business selling on credit every time. Family and friends are usually the number 1 culprit here. Apart from people you can trust to pay you back soonest, don’t give out your goods, services on credit especially at startup.
7. Spend your time wisely.
Don’t just be all over the place. Build a schedule and be as strict as possible. This would save you from being overwhelmed and missing out on the important details. Set reminders to check your emails, call your clients and just basically be organized. An entrepreneur’s day doesn’t always go as planned as different things (mostly unplanned) can come up. Make allowance for this too.
8. Goals, Goals, Goals!
“…Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it…” (Hab 2:2)
Write down your goals (financial and otherwise) Make it plain… Don’t just do a 5-year plan and end it there…Break it down to years, quarters, months, weeks and even days. Ensure the goals are actionable, measurable and realistic. Follow through with it. As time goes on, you may need to review, update them.
Don't just do a 5-year plan and end it there...Break it down to years, quarters, months, weeks and even days. Ensure the goals are actionable, measurable and realistic. Click To Tweet
9. Find a mentor(s).
Many have gone ahead of you. Many would come after you. Find a mentor(s) preferably in your niche that can hold you accountable for your actions and inaction. He/She would know in more specific details the loopholes in your niche and would better prepare you and advice you. Also, build networks with people doing running similar businesses.
10. Take advantage of social media.
You can make positive use of social media irrespective of the nature of your business. Social media can help you build better relationships with your customers and help you significantly grow your customer base.
11. Engage the Holy Spirit.
I deliberately made this the last point because way too many Christians leave their own responsibilities and hope for miracles. Like my pastor would always teach, even though God works miracles, man was not made to depend/survive on miracles. We can do our own part, engaging the Holy Spirit and trust Him for amazing results. There is supernatural help and provision in the person of the Holy Spirit even in the natural areas of our lives. I’m a living testimony!
This list, in all honesty, is not exhaustive. I’d like to hear what you think of these tips. Feel free to add your own in the comment section. I’d absolutely love to hear from you…