Entrepreneurship – A Journey Like No Other – 3 Tips to Kick Start Your Business

Making the decision to branch out on your own is not one to be taken lightly. Entrepreneurship is truly a personal journey like nothing you’ve experienced before. My first venture into entrepreneurship began in 1993 when I made the decision to leave the corporate world and set up my own boutique apparel sourcing agency. Like so many other people, I was convinced that it would be an easy task as I was going into the same line of work that I had just left. I knew the business like the back of my hand… or so I thought.

It wasn’t until I actually got into the business that I realized just how much I didn’t know. It’s easy to believe that the business will run smoothly because we know our craft very well, but we didn’t take into account the various other roles that we would also be responsible for i.e. accounts, administration, operations, marketing, sales, etc. As a one person operation we wear all of these hats.

If you are an individual who has given considerable thought, you’ve weighed the pros and cons and have decided to go for it, then here are a list of must-dos to start your journey on the right path.

1. Write a Business Plan.

Yes, I can hear you right now. “Why do I need a business plan when it’s just me? I know what I’m going to be doing.” You still should write a business plan. Writing a business plan creates clarity. It documents what it is about the business that makes you special (your USP), and gives you a clear picture of where you want to go and by when. Think of your business plan as a starting point, much like mapping out your destination before beginning a journey.

Keep in mind that your business plan is a living document. It’s not a one time process. Continually update it as you gain new information and insights into your business. Having a written business plan from day one of operations gives you something to look back on to track your progress and your successes.

2. Establish a Sales & Marketing Strategy.

It is essential that you create a sales & marketing strategy that outlines how you will promote your business to bring in sales. Marketing a business today cost a lot less than it did fifteen years ago thanks to the internet. As a start up, you don’t have to implement expensive print campaigns, but you need to have some type of advertising and marketing campaign in place so that consumers know your business exists. I’ve witnessed many start ups that are hurting for business and they wonder why they have no customers or clients when they’ve done no marketing what-so-ever. Hoping for business isn’t going to cut it. As the CNN journalist Anderson Cooper once said, “Hope is not a plan of action.”

Start by determining your marketing objectives, set a monthly budget and then decide how you will allocate those funds over the various marketing activities. I’m aware that many start ups don’t have a lot of money to pour into marketing, but that shouldn’t stop you. The internet makes it possible for you to get your product or service out in the market through free online business listings and classifieds, online article marketing (that only cost you the time to write the article and upload it) and free online press release submission.

3. Include financials as part of your business plan.

Including financials in your business plan is critical. You need to be able to map out by month where your projected income is coming from and what your expenditures are. At the onset the initial figures will be estimates, but at least this will give you some idea of what you need to be earning each month to cover your expenses and make a profit.

In lecturing entrepreneurship students who write their own business plans, I am surprised at the numbers that include both projected income and expenses, yet only look at their sales and fail to see that their expenses far outweigh their sales and they are out of business before they even start.

Having a good idea of your potential expenditures in advance also gives you the chance to look at alternatives and downsize expenses before you actually spend the money. Startups need to conserve as much of their cash as possible while waiting for that first sale to take place. Remember the saying, Cash is King. You’ll be surprised how fast your hard earned savings get eaten up.

Preparation is one of the first steps in setting up a business, so prepare and write your business plan. There is a saying that goes, ‘if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.’ Avoid that trap and set yourself up for success from the start.

Getting It Right With a Business Coach

If you are currently operating a small business in Australia, and are looking to expand your business, then it might be an idea to look at getting a business coach to come on board your business.

One of the very first things you need to look at when thinking of expanding your online business would be to create a well designed landing page to get people on your list. Using a business coach is a good idea as they can help you every step of the way in making the most of your small business.

Why it Would Be a Brilliant Idea To Enlist The Services of A Business Coach

A business coach will have the expertise needed to help you every step of the way in ensuring your business becomes successful. They will be able to assist you in setting up a well optimized website that will be equipped with the necessary infrastructures such as an optin page, auto-responder, content management system, marketing emails, social media platforms, etc.

In addition, you will receive all the tips you need to ensure you are at the forefront of managing your small business through using the latest business tools while drawing from their years of knowledge. The advice given will be in your best interest as they have the know how on what is all needed to make the most out of your small business in Australia. You can be sure that your business coach is in the best position to advise you due to being involved in helping other small business owners reach certain success.

Planning is Essential When Working With Your Coach

There are certain things that would require your careful consideration when working with your business coach. When setting up your website, you need to know how to create attractive pages for your site so you not only attract more people, but also have a sense of pride in your own work. Your coach will show you how it can be achieved.

Then you would need to draw up a business plan in order to prepare for when it is time to approach banks, financial institutions or investors. You should be able to show them your projected income as well as your expenses.

Other things to consider would be; how to get targeted traffic, what the best method of advertising would be, where to advertise so you attract visitors, what your competition is doing, and so forth.

Making a Success of Your Small Business in Australia

With the help of your business coach, you can be certain that your small business will turn into a roaring success as they will guide you every step of the way.

You will gain insight on what methods to use when marketing to attract more customers to your business. As your coach specialise in this field, you can be sure they will help you to be up in running in no time at all.

Not only will they show you how it is done so visitors will be beating a path to your website, but you will guided along the way to ensure your small business keeps running smoothly at all times.

What to Prepare When Seeking Commercial Business Financing

Okay, you’ve got your million dollar idea, now it’s time to put in the work on it. Your business model is set, or already budding. All you need is the physical space to grow in. Whether you’re initially building your business or you’re expanding into a larger space, you’ll need to secure the necessary funds to invest in your business’ new home.

The only thing standing in your way then becomes the business financing or commercial loan lender. There is a process that the auditors take in regards to deciding how much (if any) money you can be lent and what the terms of the loan will be. Although there is much that is out of the borrower’s hands, there are a few things that you can take into account to hopefully get the best rates possible. The following are some of the criteria that a loan auditor will judge your commercial loan application on for business financing.

Your Business
First of all, are you an already established business that is looking to take the step to the next level or are you a young start-up business that is looking to build a customer base. If you’re already established, a loan auditor will want to see that you’ve got an established customer base that is not only growing, but will follow you to the next step that you’re planning on making. If your business is a start-up, you’ll need to prove that your business plan is well thought out and will succeed. Only a thriving business can pay back a loan, and an alternative financing lender isn’t going to want to risk money on a pipe dream.

Your Market
Next, you’ll need to assure the business lender your plan has an untapped or growing market that requires the alternative financing to reach. Think about it this way; no one’s going to lend you money to invest in a dying or oversaturated market. Prove that your market is lively and booming through research, solid numbers, and area analysis. A loan auditor will take both your information and passion for the project into account.

Your Finances
No matter how strong a business idea, you’re not likely to get business financing from a lender if you’ve got a poor financial history yourself. Take a look at your credit report. If it’s not looking stellar, there are steps that you can immediately start taking to begin to remediate that problem. Also, a clear outline of what every bit of the alternative financing will go to will work heavily in your favor. Show the loan auditor that you understand the gravity of business financing and can spell out exactly what each cent will do to make your business stronger.

A little preparation and your meeting with the loan auditor should go very well. Alternative financing is a big step is making your business aspirations come true. Make sure that it is a financially sound and safe step by preparing you business plan and finances beforehand and getting the best loan terms possible.