Tips for a successful small business

Starting a business is the easy part. There are millions of people getting started every day across the world. At the same time, there are millions who close their business as they run into any number of difficulties.

Running a successful business takes many different skills, time and patience. It is going to take time to be successful and sustain this success. You need commitment and a willingness to keep evolving and learning as you grow.

Here are the most common reasons that small business fail:

  • The money runs out – It takes longer than planned for revenue to come in and offset what has been spent on the business.
  • Competition – The competition has been around longer and they are stronger. Your battle is too difficult.
  • No demand – While your product or service may be amazing, ultimately there is no demand or very little need for what you are selling.
  • Your pricing – Too cheap and you can’t afford to stay in business, too expensive and people may struggle to see the value.
  • Partnerships – An extremely high percentage of partnerships breakdown and the business fails.

There are plenty of reasons for failure beyond these above. It takes a lot of hard work and persistence for a long term sustained success in business.

Starting a small business in Australia

Some things are more important than others when you are getting started. It is very easy to get excited about the logo and the products and forget about many other things that are important but perhaps not so exciting.

  • Do your research – Who wants what you will have on offer? What problems are you going to solve with your service or product?
  • Make a plan – Write down your plans and the research you have undertaken. Make it a living document to show your costs (current and future). Marketing plans, location, short term and long term plans and goals.
  • Financials – How much will you need to start the business? How much will you need to run the business? How much will you need if it takes longer than you think to generate income? Note: It is going to be more than you think!
  • Licenses and registration – What licenses do you need? Register your business name, URL, social media and more.
  • Register for GST – In Australia we have GST. I recommend that all business starts with the idea that they will be reporting GST. If you plan to earn more than a hobby income this is essential.
  • Technology – Using software like MYOB, XERO, Quickbooks or similar will make running your business so much easier than you could imagine. Yes, it is a monthly cost (tax-deductible) but it will save you so much more in the future. This software allows you the ease of use to stay on top of your income and costs and anyone can use them.

Running a small business in Australia

Let’s say you have gone beyond the starting phase and you are now running your business. What do you need to focus on to ensure that you have ongoing success for your small business?

  • Know your financials – You need to know where you are at with your business at any given time. This way you take action if you need to hustle for more business. Using great software is key, as mentioned above MYOB, XERO or Quickbooks are the leaders in this area. With the ability to reconcile your bank accounts daily there is no excuse for not knowing your position.
  • Embrace the experience for your customers – Consumers are smart and they will go elsewhere if they do not get a great experience with your business. Make sure that the user experience for your clients/customers is easy and answers their questions.
  • Evolve the business – Not evolving over time will hurt your business.
  • Marketing is essential – Even when you are busy you should be marketing your business. Your marketing should be across multiple channels to spread your awareness rather than just relying on one or two.
  • You can do it alone – Not everyone has the goal of running a business with many employees. Some people and their businesses can generate more than enough income on their own. You just have to wear more hats or outsource to other professionals.

Ultimately being self-employed is amazing. Whether you employ people or go it alone it can be a rewarding experience both emotionally and financially.

If you need help with the marketing of your business contact Kelly @ My Sassy Business.

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