Updated: Apr 28
Running a small business, whether you’re just starting out or trying to expand, requires a substantial amount of…..well…..everything!
Even, yes funding (moolah/money)
But how do I make it all work?
Well, it’s best to utilize as much as you possibly can.
#1) Start with a strong support system - This can include friends and family but this isn’t an option for everyone and it’s more advantageous to find support in people who not only understand what you’re trying to accomplish but have been there themselves.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, so pick the minds of those who came before you. Get their input on what worked, what didn’t, what they’d do differently if and when they do it again, but don’t listen to the discouragers, the naysayers. The best support is realistic but never discouraging.
#2) Staffing - time is limited for all of us. It’s the one thing you cannot buy more of but you can buy someone else’s. It doesn’t need to be elaborate to start and is a great way to test out training, processes, or even just help you speed up project completion for customers and clients. That said, be sure to get the right person. It is a working relationship but a relationship nonetheless. Make sure their work ethics, desires, goals, etc., are compatible with what you are trying to accomplish.
Don’t be afraid to 1099 them, meaning bring them on as a contractor. This freelancer can help take things off your to-do list and, for a price, may even get it done faster than you!
#3) Finances - Bootstrapping is the process of growing your business through its own revenue, meaning any money earned is reinvested back into your business to keep growing. This is a great process and should be done, but if you can fund your business (and your personal finances) with other avenues, it’s greatly encouraged. That said, look up passive income streams or borrow from other sources (get creative such as friends, family, and even an insurance policy). Perhaps even rent out an asset of yours to others.
Let’s extend this topic a bit. You must have someone help you manage these funds. Too many business owners spend their evenings and weekends at their kitchen tables, sorting through receipts and invoices, trying to collect on invoices, all to find out how much they made. Some expenses bear fruit upfront (money generating equipment) and others that provide in the background (accounting and tax specialists). The last thing you want to do is make business decisions with no idea as to how much you made, incomplete or even incorrect financial data. This is where we really stress investing and not neglect.
Poor data leads to overpaying taxes, poor financial statements that lenders won’t or can’t use, and too much uncertainty. Remember us mentioning that contracting or hiring someone else will likely give you someone who can do it faster? The most successful business owners did a lot on their own to start, but never forever.
#4) Coaching - Just as businesses serve a niche, so do coaches. There are sports coaches, money coaches, life coaches, marriage coaches, and too many others to list! Business coaches serve a niche too, at least the best do.
Your customers hire you for your expertise, so screen for a business coach who knows your business in and out. Each industry, both service and product, have its own trials and difficulties, its own needs and demands, and often its own constant changes. Think about this…..tech stores have to keep up with not only what they sell, but how they sell (apps, online stores, ease of shopping, payment options). Trades businesses have new and advancing equipment options, customer needs, techniques, codes, and regulations to follow. While your coach might not know every little detail of your industry (like building codes or the latest RAM power for computers) they should know how to advise you to overcome those issues. Hopefully, they spend some time researching the latest industry news to help you be proactive and resilient.
Don't hesitate to reach out for help. List your biggest priorities or pain points, start one at a time, and remember to reevaluate every 3 to 6 months. As your business changes to supply and demand, so will your business needs.