Our blog caters heavily to the marketing end of Best Small Business Startup Advice.
The fact is a new business has a lot more to worry about than just marketing plans and advertising budgets so our post here is geared to help you gain the best small business startup advice.
Before we discuss Best Small Business Startup Advice, I must explain that I have been a multiple business manager and serial entrepreneur for over 20 years. I started my first business at the ripe old age of 14 and culminating in my current marketing and advertising monetized fleet of blogs and websites I own now. Along the way I owned an aluminum polishing business, a retail store, a restaurant, and was co-owner in over a dozen websites since 2003. This included a now defunct search engine and social media hybrid that took 9 years and my leaving to kill it. I know as much about success as I do failure. Through it all I have come out the other end debt free, with a strong reputation, and a fair to good credit rating. Not all Entrepreneurs get off that easy when a business fails.
My Best Small Business Startup Advice.
Do not plan to fail but have an exit plan in place:
By this I mean that you should not making a list of signs your business is failing. You should not question the idea of how to tell if my start up is ready to shut down. Being negative or even studying the topic can give you bad mojo and triple your stress. Instead of seeing down sales as a sign your company is failing see them as a reminder that the real challenge is two fold. Maintain current clients through great service and high value. Recruit new clients to grow sales even when revenues are down. Sometimes the best time to start a new advertising campaign or add a social media marketing profile and plan is when business is sluggish.
[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]Do not plan to fail but have an exit plan in place: #business[/tweetthis]
Don’t forget to borrow enough to make payments on the loan if seeking outside funding:
A ton of businesses go belly up before their time because they forget to factor in operating cost such as loan payments. Interest, depreciation, insurance minimum requirements set by the bank or loan company are also a factor. It may seem like common sense, but I am reminded of my dad who had 3 BBQ restaurants between Florida and South Alabama. In his business plan not a dime was spent on hurricane insurance. He lost everything with one hurricane that came inland near Panama City Beach. He not only had no insurance but he had no depreciation plan or rainy day fund to rebuild.
Rainy Day Fund is Part of the Best small business startup advice:
Any business a advisor worth their salt will tell you to plan for 2-3 years of business operational cost. Especially when you plan on using borrowed money. They tell you this because a business can take 2-3 years to become profitable. Bills and the salaries of employees must be paid during this time. When bootstrapping a business nobody is loaning you the money to cover such things and you might have your entire retirement on the line.
Regardless of your standing the insurance comes with premiums and DEDUCTIBLES. It will cover things like minimum liability coverage for customers and employees but those deductibles sometimes leave unprepared business owners naked. The things they paid for in that protection or thought they paid for they still have to pay a portion of. There have been many business owners who simply had no funds to pay the deductibles on their insurance. They retired in debt because insurance pays nothing until you pay them. You may also see your risk rating come into play and modify your interest rate on your business loans. This is money not in the regular budget so pay this fund every month until you can cover these cost and 3 months of expenses.
Don’t make hiring and firing personal:
I have worked with family for over a decade. During my time in management and through 3 of my businesses I have even fired my own brother once along the way. Firing a member of family can be hard but necessary for business survival so weigh in your ability to terminate family and friends before making snap decisions to help someone close to you. A fellow business owner who I actually picked up his lease to start my restaurant hired his wife as a party planner.
The plan, expand services of his catering business. Being poorly trained his wife failed to do a good job. It caused several disgruntled ex-customers and losing the company nearly 20% of it’s business. Dan had to fire her but didn’t do so until the lawsuit was filed and when he did it resulted in the end of their 6 year marriage. This left Dan with heavy debts, a failing business that had to be sold to cover lawsuit settlement. It took him 7 more years to be in a position to start a business again. You should consider their potential reaction to being fired as well.
[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]Don’t make hiring and firing personal: #startupadvice[/tweetthis]
Protect your personal assets ie.. home, car, savings, retirement:
Ask tax and business startup professionals about incorporating in a manner that will protect your personal assets. This allows the business to build it’s own line of credit. Where this comes in handy is that you can put yourself on a path to being debt free if your company does fail. Tens of thousands of businesses fail every year. Your company would be sold piece by piece until debts are covered. If debts outweigh funds from these sales they often die with the company with the exception of personal liability suits, and taxes. Most other debts become write offs for the creditors. Judgements due to personal actions will often be handled as a separate issue. Credit Ratings may not be impacted by judgements if structured settlements are arranged.
Best small business startup advice, be an Evergreen Business:
Boom or Bust businesses or event dependent and others are necessities and generate residual income for decades. A Boom or bust business can sometimes run for years before collapse. The business becomes less viable. Other such businesses are anything investment based or in seasonal locations. The last of those examples could also apply to event related but they do recur and can be profitable.
Event related businesses for this purpose would be starting a trial lawyer starting a Law Firm without experience and reputation that would bring immediate clients. This Business requires the types of issues where a person gets sued, dies, needs debt restructuring etc… It can be very profitable to have a event based business. But it takes a ton of advertising and leads to generate new clients with new issues in your niche. An example would be that trial attorney. The best money for them would be in niche specialties such as those Mesothelioma lawyers. They only handle those type cases. A single website visitor can cost them $50 and a lead can require 10-15 visitors. That’s $500 to $750 just to secure one prospective client and for a often free consultation. These types of business need more start up cost and have a high rate of failure.
Best small business startup advice
Don’t just invest in advertising develop a marketing plan even before your business start up opens:
Advertising and marketing are not the same. You will soon find advertising without marketing is like peeing in the wind and expecting it to rain money. Advertising spreads the word about your company or your product. It tells the user nothing about your brand and culture which is what Marketing does. Without the brand and culture building you have people who never heard of you and can’t find information about you deciding if they trust you to offer a dependable product or service. Worse yet if you let disgruntled customers hit go under served. Then watch them hit Angie’s List and pray that satisfied customers offer testimonials to counter them. Your reputation may be beyond salvaging. It could be over before you even have a Facebook Fan Page or Twitter Account.
SERIOUSLY THIS IS 2016. You can get the best free press by releasing good press as great content as seen in the next tip.
Our absolute best small business startup advice is control your public image:
Your business will need to control it’s image. Stop letting the 1 in 10 who post something about you be the only person saying anything good. The rule of thumb is nobody pats you on the back. But customers will tell a friend when you screw up. Statistically this is 10-12 complaints to every one testimonial. You are need 9 more good things people can find about you on the internet just to break even. A trained content creator or PR specialist does this by having a website for your company with blog.
This person often called a social media marketer can be in house or someone you hire. A professional will take good deeds like sponsorship’s and donations in your community and show them off. Thus bringing attention to your business. The content will highlight team building events and happenings like product launches. Christmas parties, and employee anniversaries can also be a woven narrative of company culture and show people the human side to your business. Combine that with those testimonials and it’s a lighting rod for business growth.
This list is just a starter of things you need to know and consider best small business startup advice. Saved from being victim of my own hand. These tips have built respect for me as a marketer, business man, and consultant. I offer authoring services, social media marketing and more with a website launching soon to handle sales for this business. For the time being you can use the form on our advertising page to contact me for a quote.