From small college starts up to running a blog to watching friends grow successful businesses, I’ve learned a decent amount about what it takes to run a success small biz. After listening to the video cast with Seth Godin I really got thinking about the financial side of a small business and what it takes to succeed. I decided to dig into past experiences, successful entrepreneurs, and books that I’ve read, to put together a solid post on straight to the point tips to cover the financial side of a small biz:
Keep costs low.
Seth Godin brought this up in the video cast and I couldn’t agree more. It may be tempting to move out of your parents place and rent out an office downtown, but what’s the point? Does your small biz even need an office? Can you not operate from your laptop inside of a coffee shop? Or from your parents basement?
Seth brought up not even owning a printer. I agree with that 100%. Before anyone jumps at me about ROI and investing in your company- relax! That’s a different topic for a different day. A printer is not an investment. A lease on a brand new office is not an investment. Those are just clutter. An investment is taking a course where you’ll fundamentally shift the way your mind or business operate. Keep the clutter away for now.
Never be the CEO.
I know it’s a cool feeling to respond to a client’s email where you sign off as the CEO. It’s cool for you. Not cool for the client. You don’t want too seem too “small biz.” When the CEO responds to mundane emails, it shouts– small biz. Give yourself a lower title. Be the Manager of Products (or the VP of Marketing, as I like to proclaim myself). Don’t be too quick to name yourself the CEO.
Cut out the problem clients.
We all want to makes lots of money. That’s cool. But we also need to learn how to turn down money. Not all clients are good clients.
For example: One my friends runs a construction company. He always found himself stressed out by the private customers. They want the best prices, the quickest delivery, and customization. Eventually one day he snapped and dropped his private customers. Now he only deals with other businesses. They got a big budget and they don’t break his balls over the small stuff.
Sometimes what you don’t do is more important that what you do. In this case, the customers you decide not serve can be as critical as the customers that you do choose to serve.
Outsource the time consuming stuff.
Yes I know that this contradicts the very first point. It’s still true though. Many tasks need to be outsourced. On my blog I outsourced all of the design and logo stuff. Why? Because I have no artistic/technical skills and I almost lost my mind trying to figure out a theme. My sanity is worth a whole lot more than a couple of hundred dollars. So is yours.
Avoid information overload.
There’s a ginormous amount of information out there on starting a successful business. 99% of it needs to be ignored. Investing in your business is great but you need to stop spending money on every “get rick quick” or “grow your business fast” book or course that comes out. That money would be a better investment if you gave it back to your customers through customer appreciation programs.
Now I do realize that there are internet entrepreneurs writing for Untemplater that are making 10x what I make and are way more successful than me. You don’t have to agree with this article word for word, but at least take a moment to process the points.
Now it’s time to hear from you guys about tips for small biz (it can be financial or productivity or anything else!).