The first two years of business operation is risky and shaky. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 50% of the businesses all over the country survive in five years. However, there are still many businessmen who are fortunate to have their businesses up and running in more than five years now.
Though it may sound disappointing to those who plan to start a business, I am telling you the truth. Business failures were not because of the market regression alone. Many businessmen acknowledge their recklessness in running the business most especially during the first two years.
At this point, I bet that you have decided to start your own business despite all the challenges along the way. That being said, enumerated below are the most common mistakes that businessmen commit. Any of these business mistakes can mess up your business’ chance to succeed.
1. Too little capital
Every business, insufficiency of capital is the number one reason for business failure. Most startup businessmen take capital requirements too lightly when starting a business. Let’s face it. You cannot go further with less. Regardless of what type of business you plan to start, be financially-prepared.
So the very moment you have crafted your business plan, find a business financing option that offers the most reasonable terms.
2. Lack of a business plan
When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
A business plan is the backbone of any business. As a businessman, you should carefully plan for the products to sell, cost of operation to secure, marketing strategy to use, and target market to satisfy. There must be a detailed marketing strategy in place to effectively promote your business to your target customers.
Take advantage of the richness of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in advertising your product or services. Gain followers and loyal customers. Remember that the word of the mouth is the best form of advertisement. So, work diligently on gaining the loyalty of your first 10 clients. Never underestimate the power of an effective marketing plan for a newly- put up business.
3. Failure to conduct market research
It is not enough to determine your target customers. Know what your customers need and want. Do a little research to know where they stand. Relevant feedback from them enables you to design your products or services in a way that interests them. A great product does not guarantee success in business. But in most cases, excellent customer experience does.
4. Hiring too soon
Startup businesses are likely not to make a good profit during the first few years of operation. It is best to hire part-timers rather than full-timers. Sub-contracting services from other professionals is a perfect idea too. In a case where you have to hire somebody who can help you deliver high-quality products and excellent service to your customers, choose someone who can do everything you need. On top of skills and ability are hard work and a good working attitude.
5. Wasting money
Irresponsible handling of cash flow gives a death sentence to newly-established business. Putting your hard-earned money on something that does not earn you a profit is a terrible business mistake. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Be clever in spending money.
Seek help from a trusted bookkeeping company. Having a clear picture of your business finances helps you spot business opportunities easier, make more intelligent decisions, and head off problems before they become out of hand.
Good bookkeeping practices hold back careless spending. Not to mention that such financial services let you stay on top of your business.
Starting a business is tricky. But, a grasp of the things that you should avoid makes it less overwhelming. Surrounding yourself with business experts and mentors you can learn from helps a lot. Learn to gamble. Don’t be scared to lose or commit mistakes. Occasional mistakes are forgivable. But, learn you’re your mistakes and experiences. Try new ideas and humbly face nasty feedbacks. These are all challenges to keep going.
Why Self-Funding Your Business is a Better Way to Go?
Starting up a business is a thing for the brave.
It takes years to build a successful business. It needs a lot of patience, perseverance, and hard work to make a dream business a reality. For most business owners, self-funding a business is tough- they confess. To survive, they needed to be financially-innovative.
As a business neophyte, finding clients is easier than done. Who would trust an unproven brand? It is for this reason that many aspiring businessmen consider finding a full-time job just to sustain their business during the first few months.
On a positive side, most entrepreneurs find sweeter success in self-funding business. For them, it is the best decision they have ever made in their entire lives. Do you want to know the reasons why?
Spelled out below are several reasons why self-funding a business is ideal.
Self-financing your business gives you the full control over its finances. You don’t depend too much on investors who could pull out their support anytime. It gives you financial freedom, the fact that you need not pay back lenders with a certain amount each month.
Being able to receive the entirety of your business’ profit is a taste of heaven. Self-funding your business gives you this advantage. Since your business doesn’t have investors, you take full ownership of all its revenues.
Avoid Excessive Spending
You live within your means since your financial resources are very limited. You only invest in marketing tools and business equipment when the need arises. This helps you prioritize your needs and regulate your business spending.
Self-financing your business does not need you to undergo the tedious process of loan application. You simply utilize your own savings just to keep the business up and running.
At this point, I feel that you are considering self-financing your business. If you do, you are definitely on the right track. To increase your chance to succeed, here are some tips that you might find useful. Go ahead and check them out.
Dedicate more of your time.
As you spend more time on your business, you bank money. If you can manage everything from your end, avoid hiring employees. It does not only save you cash but also allows you to master your trade.
However, in circumstances when you can’t carry out tasks on your own, hire someone capable of doing various tasks. Get the most out of his services.
Have a side income.
Your newly- found business won’t start generating profit right away. In most cases, it takes years to make it profitable. It calls for an outside income to keep it from dying in the vine. Failure to do so can burn your nest egg in no time.
Manage your time well.
As you juggle your tasks in your new-found business along with your full-time job, you need an exceptional time management skill. The moment that your business gets in the way with your full-time job, seek creative ways to manage the situation. You may request a more favorable work alternative with your employer- remote working for instance. Or let somebody perform some of the business tasks for you. Hire an employee. But then, it does not mean devoting less time to your business.
Be patient and appreciate small victories.
Unlike getting into partnerships with investors, the journey of a self-funded business is a little longer and tougher. Expect that the early stage of your business is the toughest. I think I have said that earlier. Challenges here are there can make you call it a quit. So it is important to be patient and persistent. Bravely face all these challenges and take the pleasure in the little achievements you get hold of. Be happy as you bring in a client. Your enthusiasm to push through amidst doubts and setbacks can bring you a very long way.
The Bottom Line
Even though small business owners started as workers of bigger companies, they never drop the idea of becoming their own boss. The secret of a successful entrepreneurship is a miscellany of optimism and individualism. Along with patience, persistence, good decision-making, and creative financial management, success awaits a self-funded business.
7 Apps to Use for Your Remote Business
COVID-19 hits the world’s economy very hard. As a business owner, you cannot afford to lose without giving a good fight. Admit it. The lockdown which lasted for a couple of months, has caused you big financial loss. So, you’ve decided to run your business remotely to bounce back.
To be honest, I admire you for such bravery. Running a remote business is not everybody’s game. Keeping the remote workers together even with their unique characteristics and location differences demands an incredible management skills. Fortunately, there are several great apps today that can help you bring your remote team on the same page.
When it comes to brainstorming sessions, video and audio communication tools are essential. Project management tools, on the other hand, can help business managers effectively put all their employees’ tasks in order.
UberConference is an impressive tool for video conversation. It works as if you are engaged in a real conversation. Unlike other existing communication tools, UberConference does not require any PIN. It has some unique features that are perfect for staff meetings and deliberations. Some of these include screen sharing, analytics, document sharing, and capability to make another call while you are engaged in an on-going video conference.
This app is one of the most popular due to its user-friendliness. It is suitable for webinars. To join a meeting, first-time users need to key-in a meeting code provided by the meeting host. They may opt to create their account too.
3. Google Hangouts
Aside from being very functional, Google Hangouts is fast and reliable because of its intuitive interface. Since it is powered by Google, it is well-suited to all Google services. It can be used in phone calling, video calling, and messaging. Although this app is not recommended for team conferences, it is a perfect option when it comes to exchanging a few words with clients. Well, almost all clients have Google account these days.
Over the years, Skype continues to fulfill its promise for a rewarding instant messaging and group call experience. It is amazing to know that this app includes new features other than group video calling. I am talking about instant messaging, screen sharing, voice messaging, and document sharing. It can be used for calling landline and mobile numbers too. Having this app in place allows you to reach your clients through their landlines.
As far as task management is concerned, Meistertask is the name you can count on. The simplicity of its interface can make your every project less difficult. It provides you with a project overview and progress reports. Its project board is adaptive to your team’s workflow. With Meistertask, you can stay on top of your remote business.
Loved by many remote teams all across the globe- that is ProofHub. As you sketch out your team’s day-to-day tasks, this app lets you pool your resources and get things done on time. You can also use it as you team up with your clients too.
Another thing that makes this app very sought-after is its easy-to-use interface. Its features include custom reports, time tracking, online proofing, real-time discussions, file sharing, Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and task management.
Apollo’s user-friendly interface is remarkable. It has an out of the ordinary functionality. Through it, you can make complex tasks look way a lot easier. It simplifies the tasks and maintains efficiency at all times.
This project management tool allows you to schedule duties, organize tasks, integrate e-mails, set project milestones, create contact tabs, and manage team discussions.
For a remote business owner like you, there is no way that distance can hinder your team to make a good profit. The experience in running a remote business can never be this good without these project management and communication apps that I shortlisted above. With these tools, I bet that you are more than ready to dash a remote business. Go ahead and take the lead.
Best Software to Use for Managing Documents in Your Business
If you are still using a filing cabinet to safe-keep your documents, you are way too behind others. Due to the popularity of document management software, more and more people have been using it since then. The software never fails to fulfill its promise of flexible document safekeeping. Having this kind of software in place lets you access and share important files while you are on the go.
Companies who go paperless including those that wish to better manage their important business documents have found it out of the ordinary. So if you are planning to utilize this software, you better give it a go, or else you will be left in the wake of others.
The number of document management software in the market is overwhelmingly. Hence, deciding which to draw on is never easy. This being said, please allow me to help you clear the cobwebs out. I listed down five fail-safe software that can help you manage your business documents.
This is the future of document management. It is powered with AI technology that automates the data management process. The moment you upload a file through it, it categorizes the file based on what it is by design. Though this software is not ideal for small businesses, it is the top choice of bigger enterprises.
Unlike other existing document management software, saving and accessing a company’s files need not have to be a headache. With M-Files, everything is perfectly-organized based on the established criteria. Another amusing fact about it is its automatic detection of duplicate content. It updates the documents in real-time. For that reason, you are assured that the document that you are viewing is the correct and updated one.
For two decades now, eFileCabinet continues its mission to help small business and enterprise owners manage their data online. It does not only manage your documents but allows you to sign contracts too. This is one of the most trustworthy data management systems in the market today.
For a minimum of $15 each month, you can upload any document or file you have in hand. As you need them, all you have to do is key-in the file name or locate them through pre-defined folders. These files are ready to be pulled up via smartphone or laptop anytime and anywhere.
When we speak of data security, eFileCabinet lets you work collaboratively with others on documents that are being uploaded to its system. Of course, these people that you are sharing the documents with are authorized to work on it from their end. A two-factor authentication is in place aside from file sharing and requests, and role-based permissions.
The feature that makes Hightail exceptional from other software is its ease in sharing large files. Being able to send 500 GB files to colleagues is mind-boggling. With this software, you can put in your file receiver’s email after uploading the file into your Hightail account. Set a file expiration date and password protection too. Lastly, monitor your sent files as to who downloaded or opened it.
The one million users can attest how dependable Templafy is in managing their documents through the cloud storage. It is one of the most in-demand document management software for large businesses at the moment. It is designed to manage content based on its relevance to your position and usage. This means that there is no chance that an accounting team pulls up marketing documents and vis-à-vis.
As I mentioned earlier, Templafy entails cloud storage. It lets you access documents from anywhere you are through any device you have. It can be used in both online and offline. These are a few of the many reasons why popular brands like IKEA and Pandora rely on their document management needs to Templafy.
Aside from being the best choice when it comes to professional document safekeeping, MasterControl is designed to track revisions. You can send the files for review to a particular person at the given schedule. You can take full control over the documents you uploaded in the software’s database. You can restrict other people from making revisions. Not just that, you can also utilize its location tracking facility to decide on the number of copies allowable for your files.
The Bottom Line
With document management software, managing important business documents has never been this good. Despite the slight distinctiveness of these above-listed document management software, they all give out the same benefit to business owners all over the world. To name a few are security, ease of collaboration, and user-friendliness. So no matter which of these software you choose, you are self-confident to be picking one of the best.