Business Startup Advice: 3 Tips to Avoid Common Financial Mistakes

4 common financial mistakes business owners make

If you are a new entrepreneur, just starting your new venture, listen up in order to avoid common financial mistakes. According to the Small Business Administration, about two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least 2 years and about half survive at least 5 years. As one would expect, after the first few relatively volatile years, survival rates flatten out. A high percentage of entrepreneurs will experience failure within the first year of their business because they do not have enough cash.  (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Business Employment Dynamics.)

So what do you need to know to survive?

For starters, it’s imperative that you grab a strong hold on your financial situation, in order to avoid common financial mistakes. When you have a tight grip on your finances, you will be able to avoid some of the mistakes that many entrepreneurs make. When you have proper knowledge of your finances, you will have an easier time getting your start-up off the ground.

1.  Plan Ahead!

You want to make sure that you are able to plan ahead for any unforeseen disasters. We know that you cannot see into the future, but when you plan ahead, you will be prepared for anything. When you are prepared for emergencies, you will save yourself from frustrations and headaches in the future.

2.  Budget, Budget, Budget!

Aside from making plans, you need to make sure your budget is part of your financial plan’s foundation. Your budget will give you the ability to keep track of the amount of cash you have, your current expenses, and the revenue that you need to grow your company. Your budget will also give you the opportunity to meet all of your business goals. We encourage you to make updates to your budget on a regular basis.

3.  Finance 101: Brush Up On Your Skills

One of the skills you should have as an entrepreneur is financial literacy. You have to know your financial position in order to make the right decisions. Gain an understanding of your finances and find a way to organize your finances and your documents. Are you ready to make smart decisions so you can make waves in your industry?

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Business Advice: Keeping Your Eyes on the Competition

keeping an eye on your competition for business service owners

Keeping your eyes on the competition and what they can offer can help you to improve your own products and services. There are a few main types of competition to keep in mind.

Direct Competitors:

These businesses mimic your business model and target the same market. Convincing a customer to always choose your business can be tricky if the prices are similar. Thinking out of the box can help ensure you have recurring customers.

Online Competition:

Peruse the internet to see what your online competition offers. It can be helpful to take note of website design/layout, prices, and customer service. Making a call or sending an email as an inquiry from a potential customer can give you useful information, such as what they charge or names of suppliers/distributors.

Big Business Competitors:

One way to compete with massive marketing budgets and international resources is through a customer’s loyalty. It can be difficult to undercut Big Business pricing, so tune into your clients and ask them how you can improve. Building relationships with your customers can serve as an advantage over bigger companies that exchange a personal touch for profit.

Inertia Factors:

Keep in mind the volatility of the economy. Is your product or service niche something that people need during strict budget times? Is there another product that the customer would purchase instead of yours? It is also important to keep an open mind about future competition. The industry can turn at any moment, and competition can come up from the unlikeliest places.

A couple more tips:

In the end, even if your business strives to be the most innovative in the industry, it can help to keep an eye out for the other guys. Getting to know your major competition can help you plan for your business’s success. Finding networking events for your local industry chapter can be beneficial in finding referrals or general tips. Taking a course through the Small Business Administration is another way to brush up your skills.

Remember, running a business successfully does not to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

 

4 “Type A” Tips to Successful Money Management

business owner tips for successful money management

When entrepreneurs dream of being business owners, their vision of a successful enterprise rarely ever includes the image of meticulously managing the books. It can be difficult to take the time to sit down and review the financial statements which can make it easy to fall behind on money management. Here are four “Type A” money management tips to help you successfully keep track of where your finances are going.

  1. Send your invoices ASAP: The timeliness of getting paid depends on when you send out an invoice. Any delay in sending out your invoice decreases the chances you will get paid on time. Finding ways to automate sending your invoices out assures your mind that the task is completed.
  2. Walk, don’t run with your growth: While your business’s journey from start-up to small business had its own set of leaps and jumps, remember to pace your growth. A business growing too fast can get out of control making it difficult sustain; so plan to invest in your growth.
  3. Get creative with color: Taking the time to create colorful and organized spreadsheets for your own personal use can incent you to keep track of your accounts payable, receivable, expenses, cash flow, and so on. Creatively personalizing and interacting with your own financial spreadsheets helps motivate you to try to look at your figures at least once a month; and if you’re on top of it, once a week.
  4. Save, Save, Save: Every business has its good days and bad days. The best way to prepare for these income fluctuations is to add a weekly sum to a petty cash fund (or whichever way you like to save) and put some away when you have it.

Making a good habit of checking your finances is the best way to stay on top of the bookkeeping. A weekly or daily check takes less time than the daunting task of spending hours going over finances every quarter. These four money management tips will help you know exactly where your money is going and how to plan for your business’s success.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

Five Small Business Tips for the Entrepreneur

small business tips for the young entrepreneur

If you are anything like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably wondering how you can jump start your business and make it successful. Here are five small business tips for the entrepreneur to help you move forward.

  1. Start small. It seems obvious hence the term “small business”, but a surprising amount of people always tend to reach for their larger goals first. While that is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be overwhelming. Create short-term goals to help you get to where you want to be; utilize common sense.
  2. Ask for help. The phrase “pride goeth before destruction” can also be applied to the business world. Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and seek out the counsel of those in a similar career field. The best advice usually comes from someone who has been in it for a while. Never hesitate to contact someone you trust for help.
  3. Be realistic. More than likely, every successful business you’ve ever come into contact with came up with a realistic plan of action and stuck to it. The Entrepreneur website gives the following example:If you set a goal to earn $100,000 a month when you’ve never earned that much in a year, that goal is unrealistic.”  Being realistic may mean something as simple as an adjustment to your lifestyle. Determine what it may be and get it done.
  4. Stay productive. Your goals will not reach themselves if you are sitting behind your office desk staring at a computer screen; however, being busy does not mean you are being productive. Break up smaller, easier tasks and get them out of the way before tackling larger assignments. Remember, quality is always better than quantity. You want to give people your best work.
  5. Stay focused. With personal goals and other aspects of life pulling you in two different directions, it is important to stay focused on what is going on right in front of you. Multitasking might look appealing to the business person, but in the end, you’ll only get discouraged. Focus is key.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated. Keep it simple!

For more valuable topics to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at our website www.portalcfo.com.

3 Tips for Small Business Growth Planning

small business growth planning in Baltimore MD

Owning a small business is a dream for many people. If you would like to own a small business, or currently have one, growth planning is key. Here are three tips on how to grow your small business. Read on to find out how to ensure you are able to grow successfully and continue to maintain a strong profit.

1. Identify Ways to Improve Revenue

When you are looking to grow your small business, the first thing that you need to do is to identify ways that you can improve your revenue. There are many ways that an existing business can continue to grow revenue.

Some of the ways to do this would include by expanding current product offerings, sell additional products to existing customers, find new clients, or slowly increase the price of your existing product line. You will need to carefully develop a revenue and sales growth plan and approach to achieve these goals.

2. Consider All of the Costs

While growing your business can be a great option, you also need to make sure you fully consider all of the costs that will go into the growth. Growing a business will likely require you to hire additional employees, move into a larger space, buy more inventory, and spend on marketing.

It’s important to carefully consider these increases in costs and then project your future cash flow and potential capital needs.

3. Obtain Additional Capital

When you are growing your business, you may find that you need additional capital as well. Growing a business will require some significant purchases upfront, which could cause a cash flow concern.

In these situations, finding a working capital line of credit or other business loan from a bank could be a great option. Another option would be to raise equity from an outside investor.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more valuable articles to help you successfully manage the challenges of growing your business profitably, please search our blog at www.portalcfo.com.