Running a business, given its share of rewards and risks, could be a very daunting challenge. It is commonly thought that running a successful business requires large amounts of capital, hundreds of employees, to name a few – this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.
In this difficult economic climate, running a business is made a much harder task. If you are willing to accept the challenge, then you must do everything in your power to enhance your chances of success. There are a few tips to help bring success – they could increase your odds for success.
1. Define the business idea
You could go to bed and dream of an idea that could grow your business. Once you’ve come up with an idea, you need to ensure that there’s a market for it. Your business idea doesn’t need to be new, but it needs to distinguish itself from the competition. Document your idea and welcome feedback (positive or criticism) from trusted industry experts as this could help you modify your project.
2. Make a Business Plan
A concise and effective business plan is a very big step towards success. Without any doubt, the most important item on your success checklist is the business plan. It is a description of the market environment, an analysis of your business’ strengths and weaknesses and a template from which your subsequent plans will be developed.
The business plan could be a short MS Word document. However, the document should provide information about your business’ size, management team and financial statements, amongst others.
A business plan should convincingly show evidence that your business can sell enough of its products or services to make a satisfactory profit and be attractive to potential investors. However, in order to be able to write a business plan that will ‘wow’ an investor instantly, you need to demonstrate a solid knowledge of the market.
3. Stay on top of your cashflow
Once you have developed a sharp business plan, you can begin to identify your funding needs. Once you’re in business, cashflow is king. Many businesses fail because they run out of cash, even though they have solid business plans and staffing levels.
Stay on top of your cashflow and be wary of accumulating unpaid invoices with your customers – you do not receive any income if you fail to collect sales payments from your customers. If this is the case, an invoice finance facility could release up to 90% of the value of your outstanding sales ledger, usually within 24 hours of raising an invoice.
4. Be aggressive in marketing
How do you reach out to the public? How do you improve your brand’s awareness? It’s simple – marketing. The final step in the success ‘ladder’ involves creating an ongoing marketing strategy.
Develop a marketing plan that describes how you will make profit via sales to new and repeat customers. Once you’re in business, you need strong marketing skills and management tools in order to stay in business. Remember, your competitors are watching you.
Your marketing strategy will guide you on how you are going to penetrate the market. Furthermore, the strategy could sell your company to capitalists in order to raise the funds needed for your business.
This guest post is written by Sema Fongod from Touch Financial, the UK’s largest invoice finance broker.