There’s a whole industry dedicated to helping small businesses and start-ups get ahead. Lessons vary from managerial skills to branding to finding investors. Of course, there can’t be one overarching advice that can be applied to all businesses in all circumstances.
Nevertheless, here are some tips that can be useful to small and medium entrepreneurs from all industries.
Just remember your business is your own and you should arrive to your own conclusion about how to run it. Just try to learn from other people’s mistakes, before you make your own
Advice #1 – Spread the Word about Your Business
There is a myth about startups and secrecy. The industry is very competitive and there is an unwritten rule that you should keep your business plans a secret for as long as you can. This is just
wrong in almost all cases, except when your idea is closely related to some sort of patent that you have exclusive rights to. Business idea is usually an abstract concept of beliefs, values and practices you have planned for your company and it shouldn’t
be kept secret, because it can’t be patented and it’s not entirely unique.
On the other hand, you could benefit from sharing your ideas with people from the industry you can trust. Actually don’t limit yourself to the industry – your business idea is a product of your experiences and expertise. But if you want your business to
go far beyond that, it’s a good idea to listen and learn from people who can offer you different points of view. Use professional forums and social networks to reach out to people you couldn’t meet in person. And don’t be afraid to listen.
Advice #2 – Cash Flow Is King
Finding investors for your business is pretty exciting. Actually getting the money and starting the business is even more so, but when you start working on your company on day to day basis you realize that there’s a big difference between having money in
the bank and having a steady cash flow. Having enough money to cover various expenses indicates success, progress and profitability of your company. Having money in the bank just means someone gave it to you at one point or another (which is not bad, it’s
better than most people get).
Invoice finance is a reliable alternative to getting a loan and it helps with keeping your cash flow steady. It refers to asset based lending products that allow companies to finance slow-paying accounts
receivable. There are two ways to finance invoices. The first way is through a sale. Invoices can be sold to a factoring company in exchange for an immediate payment. The second way is using receivables to secure a revolving line of credit through an asset
based loan. These two options are similar in results but work in different way, making the second one more applicable to companies that need more than 1 million $.
Advice #3- Prepare for Rejections
Running your business means trying to convince people about something every day. This goes for investors, customers, employees, coworkers and countless others. In the process you’ll get
rejected numerous times. This is especially true if you’re starting something new and innovative that can upset the status quo in your industry (it doesn’t have to go that far; you’ll get that just for wanting your piece of the pie). It’s important that
you don’t allow yourself to be disappointed by these setbacks.
Keep in mind that these rejections don’t reflect badly on you personally or even on your business idea. They are just a part of doing business and moving up in the world. Try to think about each setback as a learning experience and find a way to gain something
Starting a business is a difficult and exciting experience. If you follow these relatively easy steps, and believe in a vision you set up for your company, you can’t fail. Make sure you have a reliable cash flow for your day to day activities, talk about
your work, learn from those conversations and stay positive during the hard times, it will make you appreciate the good ones more.