Thursday, December 26, 2013

Starting-Up A Small Business: essential quick, short reads

So, perhaps you're thinking of starting a small business - or maybe you've just launched one.

And you're after some tips to help you get it right, because you're acutely aware that some half of new small business owners walk away from it all within the first 2 years.  Most of these budding  entrepreneurs typically commenced their business journey full of enthusiasm and excitement, believing they had the formula to succeed.

Too many of them end up walking away feeling thoroughly disheartened and disillusioned from the whole experience, realising they had been overly-romantic in their early views of life as a small business owner.

The reality of starting and running your own business is that there is much that must be learned. As with anything, good quality planning and preparation is essential - and of course there comes the time to recognise when bold action is required.

So what does it take to succeed as an entrepreneur and build a strong foundation for your business. Here's some short articles that offer plenty of tips and sound advice on how to effectively build a small business from the ground up .....
  1. Starting your own business - here's some things you should think through carefully before taking the plunge into small business
  2. Selecting the right business name - a good business name can help you win customers and project what you stand for. It should be short, punchy and memorable - but you may need to consider trademark issues
  3. Manage your cash flow - a healthy cash flow is the lifeblood for your business. You may need to squirrel away some of it for a rainy day
  4. Marketing your small business - marketing is about listening to your customers and identifying opportunity gaps in the market that can be exploited. Here's a simple explanation of marketing and some great ideas to help you grow your business
  5. Getting your website found by Google - if some of your business is generated through your website, then you will know the importance of appearing high on the first page of search engines, so that potential new customers can find you. One option is to pay for the privilege of a high ranking through the use of paid advertisements with Google AdWords. But the other option is to learn about search engine optimisation - and this offers a nice simple explanation
  6. Change & small business - adapt, innovate or perish - here's an important reminder about the importance of remaining flexible, and some great ideas on how you can encourage innovation in your business
  7. Time management routines for the small business owner - your personal productivity is dependent upon developing good healthy routines for planning and managing your use of time on a daily and weekly basis
  8. Self-motivation tips - there can be times in business when you hit an inner wall, and you get stuck with procrastination and inertia. Here's ten ideas for giving yourself an energy boost to get moving again
  9. Mental toughness - of course there will be many frustrations and disappointments along the path of starting-up and running your small business. Mental toughness will be one of the keys to your ability to remain resilient and persistent.
  10. How to conduct a job interview - once the business starts to expand, you will be needing to recruit staff. But if you get this wrong, it can cost you big time - so here's some tips to help you select the best people
  11. Getting the people management stuff right - when you have employees working for you, then your ability to manage and motivate others will become at least as important as any of the technical skills you might have
  12. Small business is all about relationships - a great reminder that a sustainable business depends upon building healthy relationships with your customers, your staff, your suppliers - and don't forget your family
These articles offer different types of ideas that can help you in both managing yourself and your business. Small business can be a tough gig - but when it all comes together it can be incredibly satisfying and rewarding at many different levels. But it requires hard work - no question about that.

Hey, if you're just starting out, here's a short video clip that offers some good quick tips -

Michael Gerber, of E-Myth acclaim, has studied the reasons why many small businesses fail. He explains that very often the entrepreneur is someone who possesses specialist technical skills (eg. as a plumber, hairdresser, architect or chef) combined with initiative and a strong drive for independence - which  are indeed important qualities. But to succeed in running a business, you also need to acquire additional capabilities in sales and marketing, financial management, people management and organisational skills. 

Although you don't need to become an expert in these areas, because to some extent you can outsource or hire contract specialist expertise; never-the-less you still need a solid understanding of these additional business capabilities so that you don't get "ripped-off" or mislead by "experts".

In other words, launching and growing a sustainable business requires you to become a student again. Commit yourself to continuous learning and gaining the range of business tools and knowledge you need to succeed.

About the author
Brian Carroll is the founder of a corporate training and leadership development company, Performance Development, based in Melbourne, Australia.  He is a qualified psychologist, experienced management coach and an engaging presenter, with a passion for helping people achieve their full potential