Step by Step Financial Advice for Small Business Owners
Are you a small business owner but are looking to take things the next level? Are you looking for new ways of how to grow your small business? After a certain period, plateaus for any small business can happen. There can be growing pains associated with budgeting, hiring time management, client hunting and competition, and it be easy to fail under the pressure.
Before you start thinking about how hard it is to maintain your small business, try to get an optimistic perspective: there’s always space for growth. Here are some important tips and bits of financial advice for small business owners that will help you maintain and grow your small business.
Create a realistic budget
Instead of focusing your entire energy on the end result, focus on the journey. Evaluate your starting point and create a realistic budget that will work for now. Scale down the pricey plans and make your idea simpler so you can manage it with the finances you currently have. This is often the first port of call when looking for new ways on how to grow your small business.
Yes, there are investors willing to support small businesses, however, you have to prove your business model is manageable before you can attract them. That’s why you have to get realistic with the budgeting/
For starters, forget about fancy offices and the most expensive computers. Spend in the most minimalistic way so you can maximise the results.
Balance your business goals with your personal goals
We see this often: small business owners often get so consumed by their business goals that they forget all about life in general. They quit all contacts; they don’t see their family that much; they practically don’t live outside the offices.
You don’t want that to happen. You may call it commitment, but it’s more of an addiction that will quickly lead you to a burnout.
Write down your business goals. Plan how you’ll achieve them and how much work you’ll need to get there. Then, write down your personal goals. Those are important, too. Your contacts, hobbies, interests, loved ones… those are the things that make you the person you are. It’s important to own head in order: once you’ve done this your business will eventually take care of itself.
Overestimate the expenses
Nadya Riley, a member of the team behind SuperiorPapers, emphasises a good piece of small business advice that all business owners should know: “Always overestimate your expenses! You think you need $2000 for a marketing campaign that would attract more talent your way? Reserve at least double! Don’t make tight calculations that leave no space for unexpected expenses. You’ll always have unexpected expenses.”
When you’re creating a budget, don’t make it too tight. Be flexible and plan something extra for each expense you have in mind. That’s a good way to prevent unpleasant surprises that would drag your business to a disaster.
Observe your sales cycle
The sales cycle is not just a marketing theory. It’s a practice that works under most circumstances. It consists of seven stages:
- Identifying new potential customers
- Making an offer
- Confirming the potential of a prospect to buy your product or service
- Presenting an offer they can’t refuse
- Answering the prospect’s questions and addressing their concerns
- Closing the sale
- Attracting recommendations
Observe how all these stages work in the practice of your small business. When you understand them, you’ll be able to take your potential customers from one stage to the next one without losing them somewhere in the middle.
Remember: Time is money too
When you manage to reduce the time you and your team spend at work but maintain the results you’re making, we’re talking about productivity.
Do you notice that you and most of your workers are staying overtime? That means the workload is greater, and that’s a good thing. However, it also means your entire team is exhausted, and that’s not a good thing.
Consider hiring a few more people, even perhaps hiring a freelancer, so you’ll maintain the same productivity while giving everyone more time and personal space.
Don’t hire too many people too soon
Remember: you have to maintain a realistic budget. New hires mean new overheads and you absolutely need all the right people in your team, but don’t hire them too soon. Start with a minimal team and add to it when you feel the current workers are getting more workload than they could handle in the ideal circumstances. Maybe you need to hire a marketer or a business growth specialist to keep things moving.
Find the balance! When you notice that the workload and workforce are outside that balance, it’s time for new hires. More workload means your business is making more money so your budget won’t suffer from the new additions to the team.
Revisit your budget over and over again
Remember how you started your small business with a precise budget? You have your profit and loss budget, but are you tracking the progress and making the needed revisions?
Separate your budget into months for the budget period. Then, evaluate the goals you met and the expenses you made on a monthly basis. See how they fit in the big picture. When you notice that things are not going as planned, you’ll need to revise some aspects of your budget. If you’re struggling with the finances, it’s a good idea to hire an expert to assist you with the budgeting.
Ask for discounts!
Do you need desks and chairs for your offices? Are you buying multiple computers at once? Are you hiring an online service to take care of the content marketing campaign? Whatever services or products you need for your business, always find the most cost-effective offer! You need high quality, but you also need to mind your budget.
All businesses are willing to give you discounts when you’re ready to spend money. Don’t be shy and ask for them!
How much potential does your small business have? More than you believe! There’s space for every business idea on the market. Your approach, commitment, and enthusiasm will determine the success of your startup.