Starting a business is stressful and time-consuming; therefore, many forget the essential tools that they need to have in place at the start and strength jump into promoting their product or services. This approach may be easy and quick, but it does create a lot of issues in the long run. Additionally, it gets a lot harder to place systems in place when you engaged with your customers and busy with your business day to day operation. So the best approach is to create the foundation at the start so you can build on it.
In this article, we tried to narrow down this topic into smaller portions and provide solutions that are both cost-effective and achievable.
- Business plan
- Your mission
- Operation tools
- Strong online presence.
- Business plan
Despite its tedious nature, a business plan is the most exciting part of starting a business. This is where you can envision your business future and find out where you want to go and how you can get there. You can start planning your business by a simple SWOT analysis to find out what are your strengths and weaknesses. Then you can compare that with your industry competitors and come with a draft which we call competitive analysis. This information will help you to lay the ground of your business plan and come up with a strategy that will help you enter an existing market with a competitive edge. Click on the links provided above to find out how to conduct these analyses without going through too many details.
Once you have a comprehensive plan, you need to decide what is your ultimate goal, keeping in mind that every successful business has been built on an idea that provides a solution that solves an everyday problem. You can come up with a whole new idea or perfect an existing solution. It is really up to you, but the goal is to have a mission to deliver something that is both unique and effective. For example, you can start a cleaning business, and your ultimate goal would be putting together a team that is specialised in cleaning car tires. That is both specific and it is also solving an everyday problem. That doesn’t mean you have to start with cleaning tires. You can start a carwash providing essential services to start but in the long run, being the best at cleaning car tires is what you want to be known for.
3. Business Operation tools
There are tools that a business starter can set up later on in their business but there are a few that needs to be in place right from the start.
Accounting Software – Accounting software is the heart of every small business. You need to make sure you have the tools to buy and sell products or services without missing a cent out your balance sheet. While the old spreadsheet-style accounting is still common in the small business sector and you can certainly start off with that, it will be just a matter of time before you feel suffocated and outnumbered by the manual work required to keep the books going. Additionally, the old methods do not offer features such as instant invoicing or payment methods such as EFTPOS or online payment gateways which are an essential part of any business in today’s digital world. Therefore it is much easier to get yourself set up with accounting software that can expand with your business when the time is right. There are a number of accounting tools that you can start with depending on your business model and transactions volume. We can recommend the following, Quickbooks, Wave and Xero. You can set them up by going through their setup process or you can contact us for a complete solution including setup and training.
Business Suite – Every business will need essential tools to communicate and sustain. Tools such as emails, text editors etc… It is absolutely critical to have a business suite setup for your business which may cost as low as $8/user per month. The suite will include unified business operation tools, which will operate your email server and provide you with the essential tools to manage your business. There are a few decent business suites which are available in the market. The first and most common one is Microsoft Office which is Office 365. The package will include all tools that you would need to get started. Another great package is Gsuite (offered by Google) which is probably a better option for business starters. While the Gsuite offers cheaper starting plans, it is much faster and easier to run Gsuite in our experience. Again both software is quite popular so it really depends on which one you find more user-friendly. Business suites commonly come with calender and task managers where you can organise your operation and make sure that everyone knows what they are doing including yourself.
4. Strong online presence.
You can promote your business offline through your local channels, newspapers, flyers etc.. however none of that will replace the power of your online presence. Even if you manage to reach your potential local customers through one of the methods mentioned above, research has shown that 8 out of 10 customers do a quick google search before making their mind. So if you do not have a website or have a crappy old web page, you will jeopardise your chances of getting that 80% of your total potential locally. Through the right channels developing a website is an easy and affordable process which needs to be done at the start of a business. once your website is up and running properly, you need to have all of your social setups correctly to help your customer find you easier and quicker. With a decent website, you can expand your business outside of your local community and you can start to see a real transformation that will someday take you from where you are to a successful enterprise. We at Brissy help many small businesses set up their foundation and achieve their goals. We can help you with all of the steps above so contact us today to find out how we can help you get started.