My Top 10 Tips to Starting A Business
If you are anything like me the summer break and long weekends is the perfect time to let your entrepreneurial mind run free. Allowing ourselves to dream, plan and create new plans for our future!
Many of us return from these breaks with ideas to kick start a new business, so to give you that added boost to implement some of them I wanted to share some of my top tips with you.
After a few times round I’ve learnt a couple of things!
#1 – Do what you are passionate about. Owning your own business is not as easy as you may think or as easy as some people make out – It is hard work! So waking up each day to something you are truly passionate about is going to be your key motivator to get through those tough times.
#2 – Write everything down, buy a new journal and put all those dreams to paper. Think about services, products, operations, processes, how will things work, look, how will your customers feel, what do you want the business to look like in 1/3/5 years, who are your customers, how many of them is there, is that enough, do you need staff? And so on – these start creating a bigger vision and giving you a big picture dream to guide your smaller daily action plans.
#3 – Share your plans with a “few” trusted friends or family members, or even a mentor – get advice, take it on board and adjust where necessary.
Above: Two of my friends – Emma and Terangi (centre) Terangi was a constant sounding board for me during my planning of Motivate Me in 2012.
#4 – Once you are 100% ready to do this – DO IT! Act, don’t sit and dwell, get the ball rolling with the basics – register your company, set up a bank account, secure a domain name, set up social media handles (FB, Instagram) – by doing these tangible things shows a big sign of commitment, its puts it out there and gives you more push to keep going.
#5 – Sign up to Xero! – Seriously! Implement the Xero accounting system into your business from DAY 1.
When I started Motivate Me in 2012 I made the mistake of NOT signing up to Xero. I chose to hire a cheap local accountant to do my accounts and effectively it ended up costing me way more over the 2.5 years I was with them (not just in fees but in also tax bills!), I had no idea how my business was performing and to pull any sort of reporting data from their files was, frankly, a bloody nightmare!
I didn’t know what revenue channels were performing the best, I couldn’t see what areas in the business were costing more than budgeted, it took ages to pull an updated P&L or cash flow report and historical reports were hard to find.
When I did move to Xero, running my business became so much simpler! It was easy for ME to view everything about how the business was tracking and gave ME a sense of control. With Xero all the accurate and up to date information is right there on the app or website and helps me make more informed business decisions, quicker. Don’t wait till you “start making money etc” do it from day dot.
You can also watch my BIZ CHAT interview HERE with XERO National Country Manager Craig Hudson (Pictured Below).
#6 – Keep your start-up costs as low as possible – depending on what sort of business you have started you may need larger funds to fit out a premise or buy expensive equipment – but wherever you can save money and not spend in the early days, don’t. Always be mindful of when you can expect sales, cash flow and profit to start rolling in – you can’t keep spending if you are not making money.
#7 – Not being aware of tax obligations is the downfall of many potentially successful companies so as well as XERO and a good accountant that you can communicate with effectively one other tip I give is set up a “TAX/GST” bank account and get into the habit of transferring 30% of ALL income that comes into the business into that account. This will keep your tax fund healthy and you will be able to pay your IRD bills when they come in. Just don’t touch the money! Be strict with yourself, tell yourself that It’s not there and it’s not your money to spend.
#8 – Ask for help, ideas, contacts, introductions from others out there already doing it. Don’t be afraid and don’t think you must find it all out yourself. You will come across people that are willing to help more than you could even imagine.
#9 – What is your plan to replace what you do? – Always look at what you physically do on a day to day basis within your business. Can any of these tasks be outsourced, automated, done away with or are you ready to hire a staff member. Look at your cost in time being spent on growing the business or even with your family vs what it would cost to have someone else do that. In the long term you don’t want to be a slave to your own company.
#10 – Have an exit strategy – this is something I didn’t think about, I always thought this was my idea, my baby, my business, I’d have it for ever. Until one day a mentor spoke to me about an end game plan that got me thinking. Will you be prepared to sell your business, what if someone approached you about a sale, are you planning on building a large family business, if you were to sell it who would buy it, will you target specific buyers? These are all questions that need to asked at some point – because it will determine how you run, set up and manage your business going forward.
So, there you have it, my TOP 10 tips to starting a business. I hope you found some of those useful? If you have been through the start up journey and have advice, learnings and tips to share I would love for you to post them below.
And if you missed it check out my live FB interview with Xero National Manager Craig Hudson HERE
Chase those dreams and give it your all!