Tips for new small business owners

20th June 2016

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You’ve thought about this long and hard, considered all the pros and cons, and finally decided: It’s time to start the business you’ve always dreamed of. No doubt you are nervous and probably don’t know where to start. Starting your own business is not easy – it’s no use lying about it. But you probably want to make a success of it, which is why you’re here. AK Tax has helped many small businesses get off the ground and helped them grow. Over the years, we’ve picked up some gold nuggets which we’d like to share with you.

Plan and Strategise

Before you start your business or add a new product – plan. A good way to start a business on the right foot is by doing a thorough business plan. If you put enough thought into it and come up with a solid plan, it’s like following a recipe. If you’ve already prepared for A, B or C, when it happens, you’ll know exactly what to do. It not only saves time, but it will help keep the stress levels low.

Get a Mentor

Having access to someone in a similar business who already went through the motions and made it through can be invaluable. Similarly, experienced accountants such as AK Tax are in the unique position of having a backdoor into many businesses. We work with many different companies in various industries, and we’ve experienced first-hand which strategies work and which don’t.

A mentor will help you navigate through the difficult times and be your soundboard to bounce ideas off, which will help you to avoid unnecessary mistakes.

Attend Networking Events

Spend time with like-minded people and build business relationships at local networking events. Check out Kent Online for events in your area. These events have excellent guest speakers addressing topics that may interest you and help steer your business in the right direction.

Build a Buffer

Always have a buffer in your account for a rainy day. If you don’t have the hard cash, at least have access to it in the form of overdrafts, loans, or investors. Build up a buffer with enough funds to cover overheads for 6-12 months.

You will face hard times from time to time – a buffer in the bank can ensure you’re able to keep on trading till you’re through the dip.

Outsource Non-Core Functions

You may not have the staff with the expertise to perform all the necessary tasks. Outsource functions that you and your team can’t do and don’t like to do. It saves time and money, and keeps morale high. Functions you can typically outsource, either partly or in full, include IT, marketing, accounting and payroll (our business advisory packages can help here).

Don’t Grow Too Fast

This may sound counter-intuitive. After all, you’re starting a business to make money and ultimately grow. In fact, it’s quite satisfying seeing your business grow from its infancy into a strong business that can support not only yourself but also your employees and the community around you.

But if you’re still figuring your business out, adding more products or contracts can quickly wreck your business. Before you invest in growth, make sure you have the following nailed down:

  • Processes: Make sure procedures in all departments run smoothly and efficiently, and you’re up to date with your accounting and admin.
  • Staff requirements: Will your current team be able to handle an expansion or will you need to appoint more staff? Make sure you train any new staff members before it gets too busy, or you’ll find yourself playing catch-up the whole time and always putting out fires.
  • Financial stability: Any new venture takes money to get off the ground. Can your current business sustain you and pay for overheads? Are you going to use funds from your existing business to fund the expansion, and if so, how is it going to affect your current business?

Keep Going

You will make mistakes. Accept it, learn from it, and keep going. Running a business isn’t easy. You’ll have many hiccups along the way, but in the end, it’s worth it. You’ll work long hours, and it may take a while to gain momentum, but that’s all part of the journey. Make sure you’re prepared, and enjoy the ride.

We love to support new business owners to bring their dreams to fulfilment. Contact us for a strategy meeting or to discuss our monthly packages which can assist you with your accounting, tax, and payroll needs.