Develop a business plan
It’s good to know what you’re setting out to achieve, how you’re going to do it and what you’ll need in order to get it done (preferably in a certain time frame too).
Creating a business plan can set out these goals, highlight your priorities and develop strategies for a clearer vision. Not only does it help guide you through starting your own business, it also allows you to plan for the future, so you don’t have to be reactive to the unexpected.
This might sound like common sense, but it’s worth reiterating how helpful the right technology can be to your small business.
Would you need a laptop for meetings on the go, a printer and photocopier at home, multiple monitors to help with the spreadsheets or just high speed internet?
If you’ve worked in a similar environment before, take note of what helped with all the processes. For example, if you worked in an office and used 2 monitors, would that make a difference to how you work from home? Know what you will need to be as efficient as you were previously.
Also consider the different platforms available for processes such as bookkeeping, website management and much more. Ask for demonstrations and compare products before you decide.
Stick to a structure
It’s quite a change when you become your own boss. There’s no management lurking about to keep you in check. These changes can be difficult at the beginning, so why not stick to a routine?
This routine could mimic the activities you were used to at your previous job, such as waking up early and still going on that early morning jog, to taking your lunch break as soon as the clock hits 12pm. Or, this routine could be a structured timeline of how long you will spend on each task every day.
Having set work hours can also help to define when you should start, and also switch off at the end of the work day, so these lines don’t get blurred, which can lead to burn-out.
Know a little but about a lot
When you first start your small business, it can be confronting running all of the departments at the same time. While it can be challenging to begin with, spending the time to learn a bit about all of these areas can go a long way.
Having a basic understanding of all departments and processes (such as IT, bookkeeping and accounting) can help you work through problems yourself, rather than outsourcing or finding an expert - which can get rather expensive.
Set up your finances
It’s recommended that you set up a separate account for your business. It can keep your bookkeeping organised and accurate, help with accurate taxes and deductions you may be entitled to and gives you the ability to have multiple business account signers.
Creating a budget to manage your cash flow is an important step for your business. It can help you focus on the goals you have established in your business plan, review your finances regularly, consider seasonal trends and adapt to changes.
Reach out for help
There are many people out there with valuable knowledge who are happy to help. Whether they’re successful small business owners or experts in their field of work, be open to asking for help and support.