Starting a small business is an exciting experience. However, there are steps to take to ensure it ends up being a positive experience rather than a negative one that you’d rather forget.
Here are seven tips for starting a small business that you likely haven’t heard.
Bootstrap Whenever Possible
One of the challenges with the influence of the startup culture is the idea of taking on investors from day one. There are pros and cons to this approach, but many entrepreneurs end up feeling as though they’re still working for someone else when they start with an investor.
Instead, bootstrap whenever possible. Raise your own funds before looking to banks and investors for financing. It might take longer to make progress, but there’s pride (and control) in doing it yourself.
Be Frugal, Not Cheap
Knowing the difference between being frugal and being cheap will impact the success of your business. Being frugal means shopping around and starting small. Being cheap means purchasing low-quality products or cutting off your nose to spite your face.
For example, if your small business is creating gifts with laser cutting, you’ll need the right tools. Shopping around to find the best value for your money and starting with a smaller machine is frugal. Buying the cheapest option without assessing the value, and making lower quality products as a result, is cheap.
Outsource from Day One
Another important consideration when starting a small business is the opportunity cost of what you’re doing— that’s why it’s important to outsource right away. If you’re spending two weeks struggling to DIY your own website, that’s two weeks you could have been networking to find customers.
Know which tasks to outsource and work with a contractor to do so. If it’s not a revenue-generating task, it can be outsourced.
Learn to Say No
When you start a small business, people will try to take advantage of you. Friends may ask for discounts. Family members may ask you to watch their children because you “aren’t working yet.” Being generous and sharing your enthusiasm is great when starting a business, but know when to draw a line in the sand.
Address Your Personal Finances
Creating a financial plan for your business is just one part of the puzzle. As a small business owner, your business finances will impact your personal finances and vice versa— even with business entities in place to protect your assets.
Work with a financial advisor to ensure your personal finances are in a healthy spot. Determine your plans for retirement, what happens if you get sick, and how to manage your personal credit score.
Make Self-Care a Priority
Starting and running a small business is mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing. Create a self-care plan from day one, clarifying when you’ll take time away, how you’ll practice self-management, and what support you need to make it happen.
Create Win, Place, and Show Goals
Finally, set multifaceted goals for yourself and your business. Rather than an ultimate goal, create a win, place, and show goasl. A win goal is what happens if you exceed your expectations. A place goal is for when things go well, but you were hoping for better. Finally, a show goal is your bare minimum accomplishment that you will push for.
This three-tiered approach creates a positive mindset and teaches you to celebrate your efforts as a small business owner.
Use these unique tips to shape your dream life as an entrepreneur.
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