You’ve taken the leap of faith and got your business started, translating plans to reality. It’s a very exciting and nerve-wracking time and we understand you need all the help you can get. We love small businesses (that’s where we came from!) and love helping out. Below, we’ve listed down some of the most helpful advice we can give you in the hopes of inspiring you further, pushing you to keep at it and encouraging you to succeed!
1. It’s all in the (Business) Plan
It’s good that you have a vision but it also matters that you have a roadmap to success. A solid, well-researched and well-planned-out business plan will help get you there. This will help identify your business goals, company profile and marketing plan.
2. Let your money talk
Small businesses usually fail because of debts and loans. Banks are there to help out, yes, but it’s key when you’re starting out to use as much of your own money. This will help free up funds that would usually go to paying your loans to your immediate business needs. Profits will steadily stream into your business fund instead of just being used for payments.
3. Just do it!
If you wait for the right time, it will never come. For an anxious new business owner, the timing will never feel right and if you wait too long, someone will come along with the same (or sometimes, better) business idea. The battle is one half courage and part of the fun is going at it with passion and wisdom. So if you have your business plan and financial capabilities to start now, just do it!
4. Scope out the competition
Little else inspires one to do better than competition. It keeps you on your toes, always looking out for number one and although some people might not want to admit it, there are some things to be learned from competitors, especially in business. From a distance, you can clearly see what works and what does not for other small business owners and you can apply these to your own venture. So take a look around at your competitors and adjust your next business moves accordingly.
5. Creativity is key
You can be the third t-shirt shop on the block but if you’re creative, innovative and daring, you can expect the profits to keep rolling in. It’s true that uniqueness is difficult to achieve but it’s possible.  Once a month, get your team together and brainstorm. Someone, no matter what designation, is bound to have a lightbulb moment that can take your brand to a whole new level and blow the competition out of the water.
This goes double for marketing and branding. You need to make sure your business is one step ahead of the game and the only way this is possible is through creativity.
6. Hire the right people
It’s not just about professional qualifications. You can find someone who ticks the boxes of all your job requirements but if they do not share your business’ mission, vision and team spirit, they will never fit in and work well. You need a team of professionals who understand and share your purpose for putting up a business. You need a team behind you who cares about the business and the customer all the same.
A small business owner is only as good as the people who work behind him. So make sure you hire people who can contribute, deliver and work to improve.
7. Be on time
This concerns paying your bills and taxes. These are part of the responsibilities of being a small business owner. You want to make sure you’re able to properly monitor and take care of the business cashflow. Not only that, you want to keep your head above water when it comes to accounting and bookkeeping and nothing can throw your balance off better than overdue payables. Make sure you have a calendar or ledger of all your payables and their due dates so nothing falls into the cracks.
8. It’s all about consistency
The key to creating long-term money-making habits is consistency. As a small business owner, you will learn which of your practices work and which do not. Over time, you will be able to weed out the do’s from the don’ts. Make sure you create a list and stick to the do’s consistently. This will make sure your small business will not only make money, but will stay around for a long time to come.
9. Provide top-notch service
There’s no marketing tool better and more effective than word of mouth. This can only be achieved by providing great service to your customers consistently. Small businesses sometimes forget the end user in their strive to start out big. Remember, if you have happy customers, you will need to spend less money on marketing.
Walmart and Sam’s Club owner Sam Walton said it best: “There is only one boss: the customer. And he can fire anybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
10. Legalise it
It’s all about keeping receipts, plans and every other paperwork that you need to keep track of as a small business owner. Make sure you have a dependable accountant and trustworthy financial adviser if you can get them. Talk to a lawyer while you’re at it. Starting your own business is exciting and you’re expected to be anxious. Nothing can ease anxieties better than knowing that everything is done properly and legally.
Big things come from small beginnings. Everything you do from the start of your venture into owning your small business shapes your fate and the future of your dreams so make sure you proceed with cautious excitement.
With the ten items above, we hope we’re able to inspire you to take that leap of faith and we hope that your leap leads to a destiny of success and a fruitful business.


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