Running a business is an exciting adventure for an entrepreneur. Having total control, being your own boss, and watching your company grow over the years, is a proud and thrilling moment. It’s no wonder many individuals opt for opening a business rather than being an employee.
However, with all that excitement, it does come with a lot of added stress, exhaustion, and learning curves. There are many things you can do to prepare yourself for a successful business. Some, though, you must learn on your own.
If you’re looking at starting your company, we have nine things you’ll want to know first.
1. Money Isn’t Everything
Are you going into business solely for the money? You’ll want to rethink your business model then. When running a company, money isn’t everything. Yes, it’s essential to have, since you need it to operate. However, it’s important to note that money is only a portion of the overall picture.
2. Customer Service is Crucial
You know the old saying, “the customer is always right?” Well, for the most part, those are words to live by when operating a business. In some circumstances, you won’t be able to please every client you encounter. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, though.
Customers and clients are what keep your business running. Having adequate customer service is a crucial element in running a business. If you’re constantly brushing off clients, not replying to their enquiries, or having poor manners when speaking to them, it will reflect how successful your business is. Spend time learning customer service tips and tricks to keep everyone happy and returning.
3. You Need a Business Plan
Before you do anything with your business idea, creating a business plan should be step one. It may be tedious and time-consuming to write everything out. However, your business plan is the roadmap to your success in the future.
Business plans lay out the foundation for your company. You make short-term and long-term goals in your strategy, show the cost of operation versus how much income you’ll have, and what you all need to do to get your business started. Not only that, if you ever need funding, you’ll likely require a business plan to show you have something worth investing in.
4. Life Insurance Isn’t a Bad Idea to Have
When starting a business, you may acquire debt in the process on top of keeping your company open. What would happen if you unexpectedly passed away? Who would take over the business, and where would the bills go? They would go to your business partner (if you had one) or your family.
Life insurance is something every business owner should consider for many reasons. First, suppose you have key employees that keep your business operating. In that case, life insurance can help protect your company and cover the costs of operation while grieving the loss and transitioning to the successor. Getting a life insurance policy is a way of keeping your business afloat during stressful times, whether it’s losing an employee, partner, or you as the owner.
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5. Your Team is the Backbone of the Company
As your company grows, you’ll need employees to help you out. Part of being a good business owner and a solid manager is remembering how vital your team is to its success.
Keeping your employees happy is vital to your business. Did you know that it can cost thousands of dollars from the time you hire someone, properly train them, and integrate into the company? Think about how much time, energy and resources go into training a new team member. If you have a revolving door of employees that never want to stay, find out why they’re quitting. It’s in your company’s best interest to have team members stay long-term.
6. Always Be Listening and Ready to Learn
Always being ready to listen and learn is a point that ties in many of the things we’ve already mentioned. As the owner, the best way to get a pulse on how the company is doing and where improvements are needed is by listening, watching, asking questions and learning. Putting on blinders and doing your own thing will only frustrate your team and keep your business from moving forward.
7. You’ll Wear Every Hat For Awhile
Although you can assume that you’ll likely fill every position of your company when you enter the entrepreneurship world, it cannot be understated and overlooked. In the beginning, money is usually tight, and you’re working hard to gather momentum so you can grow your team. Before that happens, though, you’ll be playing every role in the office.
Be prepared for exhausting days of long hours. You’re in charge of opening and closing the doors, ensuring each task is completed, all the bookkeeping is down, the business is cleaned, and the social media accounts are updated. Until you can afford to hand tasks off to other employees, you’re in charge of everything.
8. Connect With a Mentor
A mentor is someone who provides guidance and support on your new journey. Your mentor should offer insight that can help you avoid any disastrous decisions that your mentor already encountered. Not only that, your mentor is someone who can hold you accountable to your business plan and keep you on track.
9. Find Work/Life Balance
At the start, this may seem impossible to achieve. However, it’s essential for your health and sanity to learn how to balance your work and personal life. Spending all of your time at work can negatively impact your personal relationships. On the other hand, if you don’t give your company the attention it needs to grow, you’ll only make it so far.
Finding a work/life balance is a trial and error path, unfortunately. You usually learn the hard way as it is different for each entrepreneur.
Ready to start your business? The above nine points may not guarantee success, but they will help you create a business with the potential to develop into something big.