To celebrate the International Women’s Entrepreneurship day, we have put together 10 tips for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.
Napoleon once referred to the British as “a nation of shopkeepers”, but in fact this is something we should be overwhelmingly proud about: the entrepreneurial spirit is in our blood.
If you are thinking about starting your own business, what are the most important things to bear in mind? Here are ten top tips for entrepreneurs….
10 Top Tips for Entrepreneurs
1. Do What You Love
If you are passionate about what you are doing, you will work far harder at it and be more likely to succeed. There is no point giving up your 9-5 office job only to exchange it for something that doesn’t excite you.
2. Write a Business Plan
Probably the most important tip of all: most businesses fail because entrepreneurs jump into the deep end without knowing what they are letting themselves in for. Do your market research and create a viable business plan before you start
3. Make Friends with Your Bank Manager
Cash flow is another major stumbling block for many new businesses. Even if you have saved up your own capital, you may face unforeseen challenges that require a loan or overdraft facility.
Ensuring that you are on good terms with your bank manager will make it easier for you to access credit. They may also be able to help you with additional advice and contacts in the local business community.
4. Remember: The Customer Is King
Reaching out to potential customers and building rapport with current customers is the most important investment you will ever make.
Business is about relationships, and business growth depends largely on maximising those relationships: it is always far more cost-effective to conduct repeat business than to seek out new customers from scratch.Business is about relationships, and business growth depends largely on maximising those relationships. Click To Tweet
5. Build a Team You Trust
A business empire is not built on the sweat and tears of one single entrepreneur. Even if it is your baby, with your name above the door, you will need a support network of other people if your business is to grow.
Build a team of people who share your vision. Bring in those whose skill sets you need. Give them responsibilities and ensure there are good feedback mechanisms in place so that you can learn from each other.
Reward them well and show them respect. Your success depends on this team.
6. Communication Is Yet Another King
Whether you are communicating with your staff, with customers, or with the wider business community, clear and professional communication is essential. The way you present yourself reflects on your business, so make sure that all your communications are clear and targeted.
Make sure that your communication channels are open and well-managed so that queries can be quickly and professionally dealt with.
7. Automate Your Business
There are only 24 hours in the day so you want to focus your time on what is most important. Automate your regular payments, diary and invoices. Set up automated social media posts and email newsletters.
Ensure that when customers place their orders, they automatically receive follow up communications from you. If you are doing these things manually, you are wasting precious time.There are only 24 hours in the day so focus your time on what is most important. Click To Tweet
8. Keep Clear Records
Automating your orders will help you keep an eye on what is going on in your business. So too will using Google Analytics and other software for processing business data.
You need to know, on any day of the week, what your profit and loss account looks like, which marketing channels are effectively generating leads, and which leads are converting into sales.
Ensuring your financial records are up-to-date will also stand you in good stead come the end of the financial year.
9. Plan Ahead For a Rainy Day
No business journey is smooth, so hope for the best but plan for the worst. Be realistic in your growth projections and always have a backup plan in case you need it.
You never know when you’ll fall sick and be unable to work for a week, when taxes will rise, or when there will be a slump in the economy. Forward planning will reduce the likelihood that your business becomes an unfortunate casualty.
If you’re an entrepreneur, the chances are you want to do things differently. Keep abreast of the latest research and developments in your field, and be prepared to try new things.
Keeping your offering fresh will help you stay ahead of the competition and give you a sense of personal fulfilment too.
If you are thinking about starting a business, what is stopping you? Start writing your business plan and begin looking for ways to put your plans into actions. If you are an entrepreneur, share your top tips with us.