If you are looking to become a small business owner (SBO) and are unsure of where to start or are seeking some “friendly” advice, this blog post is right up your alley. Inside we offer some tips for first time small business owners and those looking to start their own company.
Small Business Owner Advice
Let’s face it – not everyone is cut out to be an employee. Some of us were never meant to be passengers, and, after all, someone has to drive the car right? Whether you find yourself starting your own business because you are tired of others being in control of your destiny, or because you were forced into the position because of corporate layoffs, one thing is for certain: at one point in time, anyone who starts their own company is, for better or worse, a small business owner in the beginning.
Right from the start, any potential business owner must be able to summarize the core of their business to potential clients and investors in a clear cut and consice manner. Sometimes you only have a minute – or less – to get your foot in the door or gain the attention of an important prospect. Because of that, you need to be ready – and able – to summarie your business in 60 seconds or less. If you can tell someone a broad stroke and “sell” them on your company in 30 seconds, even better.
Another important first step for a first time small business owner is learning to pace yourself. Many times, a new owner will rush out and purchase a new company vehicle, office equipment, and furnishings that would make a Fortune 500 company blush. While rewarding yourself for your hard efforts and putting your best leg forward is certainly important, keep in mind that every dollar you spend frivously is a dollar you could have spent investing in the company of your future. That new truck you bought might look nice, but it could equate to a person answering your phones. Which is more important in the long term?
Equally as important as knowing you – and your company’s – strengths, is knowing your weaknesses. Do not get into the habit of lying to yourself about how great you or your business is. Look at it realistically, and know what you are good at and what you are not. If you have any shortcomings (and we all do), look to fill the gap by surrounding yourself with knowledgeable people and realize your business does not have to be a one-man army. If you do not excel at one area of your industry, try focusing on what you are great at. Anyone can be good at a niche – being great – and highlighting that greatness – is what will set you apart from the pack.
Along the same lines, know that it is impossible for you to be a master at everything. Even if you were, there is only so much time in a day, and relegating non-essential elements of the workload to others is a key to success. Your job is to sell the company and think of new ways to grow. You cannot do this and fix the corporate fax machine at the same time.
Similarly, knowing the ins and outs of financing and tax regulations can be a huge chore, as tax code and tax law changes frequently and is different depending upon location. Consulting with a certified public account, CPA firm, or tax professional is not just a smart move – its mandatory if you want to succeed in business. Don’t get bogged down in numbers – higher a professional accountant to do that for you.