Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Start-Up Survival: Part 2

All the vital tools that help a business person like yourself to get your message across – the sharp business cards, the eye-catching flyers, the seductive banners, the witty slogans – help you get customers to pay attention. Or better yet, bring them to your front door. 
The other part of the balancing act is keeping your business afloat to accommodate that increasing number of those valuable customers and keep operations running smoothly.
Last week, we covered the high level topics new businesses need to figure out first when starting out: the Vision, the Team, the Strategy, and the Action Plan. Now we’re going into the nitty-gritty points that small businesses should always have tightened up before charging full-steam ahead.

Legals and Agreements
Surprisingly, a lot of people go into business with each other on a handshake and hope for the best. In an ideal world, this should suffice. But the reality is that people are imperfect, no matter how much you love and adore them, and profit shares and business responsibilities should always be spelled out clearly and concisely so there’s no room for confusion, frustrations, accusations, or hurt feelings. Protect yourself and your business interests if you want to continue doing what you love.

The financial systems of a company are its lifeblood. Every business owner must have a strong grasp of their accounting, their cash flow, their expenses, and their revenues. If you don’t know what’s coming in and out of your bank accounts, something is terribly wrong. How do you make important business decisions if you don’t know if you can afford to make them? Take it from us: You don’t want to fall behind and balancing your books, because that won’t be fun scrambling to get them in order when tax season comes around. 

Contact and Communication
How do customers contact you if you don’t have an email, an address, or a phone number listed anywhere? Or what if you have all those things but no one to check up and manage all those avenues of contact? Purpose, meet defeat. Nothing will sink you faster in a customer’s estimation than being difficult to track down or difficult to communicate with. How often, how well, and how fast you can handle an inquiry is a reflection of the value you put on customer service. Nowadays, companies have to go above and beyond and not just be accessible but proactive in reaching out to the public through social media, native ads, and other creative avenues. 


Creativity is limitless, and most entrepreneurs spend their days in the land of dreams and ideas. But businesses and people live in the real world, the realm of regulations, order, and laws. Whether they are laws specific to an industry, health codes, tax laws, or labor laws, businesses and employers should always seek out to understand what regulations apply to their everyday operations. A single violation, fine, or lawsuit due to negligence could cause a business to go under overnight, so entrepreneurs must always question the rightness of actions and pay attention to changes in regulation.

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