10 things that every new business owner needs to know
Being an entrepreneur can be daunting. Even if you have confidence in yourself and your product/ service, it’s difficult to stay on top of it all when you’re first starting out. Love Energy Savings is a small business itself and as we’re currently going from strength to strength in the energy market we’d like to share our advice with you. We also work with thousands SMEs throughout the UK in a variety of different sectors. As a result, we’ve put together this list of 10 things that every new business owner needs to know to give you every chance of success.
1) How to keep your business passions alive
Before you consider undertaking a new business idea, you need to have a serious think about whether the product/service you intend to sell is something that interests you or not. If you’re interested in what you’re selling yourself, then you can translate that passion into sales, as you’re motivated to make plans, commit time and find ways to make your business ideas work.
Plus, work will all of a sudden become enjoyable! People love enthusiasm, so if you can maintain this, it will be reflected in every step that you take for your new business. From writing content for your website to operational documents, to recruitment and more! Your devotion will shine through.
2) How to get to know your customers
Once you’ve decided upon your big idea, you need to get to know your target audience inside out! No doubt by this stage you’ll have already given this some consideration, but now’s the time to get down to the nitty gritty details and figure out how to entice your customers into a sale. During this stage, your research will be your best friend as it will reveal opportunities for you to pursue to really delve in on your target market and make an impression. So be brave and enjoy exploring!
3) Be prepared to make mistakes
Mistakes can often leave a nasty taste in a new entrepreneur’s mouth, raising questions on whether you’re qualified to run your project. This can put a pit in your stomach regarding all that you’ve put into your plans so far. Have faith!
If this applies to you, we’ve got news for you - even entrepreneurs with vast amounts of experience make mistakes! So don’t be too hard on yourself when you make one (because you will). Concentrate on what you can learn from your mistake and how to prevent them reoccurring in the future. Always keep your objectives in mind and remind yourself of why you wanted to be a business owner in the first place, as well as how far you’ve come already. Stay motivated, stay focused, and keep going.
4) Accept that you’ll need help
Running a business requires a lot of work and can be extremely overpowering, so don’t be ashamed to admit when you need help. This could be anything from getting a baby sitter to look after the kids whilst you finish your daily paperwork, using external accountancy services so that you can concentrate on operations, or asking your partner to proof read an important letter for you.
Asking for help isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength! It proves that you will not just sit there with your head in your hands when things get tough, you will find a solution – a quality that all successful entrepreneurs possess. There’s lots of support out there for new business owners especially so make the most of it, it’ll help you keep your business under control.
Here’s a couple of additional articles that could be of use to you if you’re looking for some advice:
5) You need to give yourself a break
Yes, your commitment to your new business is inspirational!
Yes, you’re a hard worker!
Yes, you’re beginning to make your mark on your chosen market!
This doesn’t mean that you have to be all work, no play. We’re not saying that there won’t be days that you’re rushed off your feet and that you need to work late - that territory comes with the job - but there’s a famous saying that says it all, it goes as follows:
“Work to live, don’t live to work”
We all know there’s truth in it. If you allow yourself to be worked into the ground you’ll get stressed, which results in you not being able to do your job as effectively, and in the end your business will suffer for it. So take regular breaks, make sure you eat/drink plenty and make some time to spend with loved ones, after all what are you doing this for in the first place? Whether it’s for yourself or your family or whatever other reason, it’s not healthy to never take a break.
Remember: If you neglect to make time for yourself, you will eventually fail in every other role you have.
6) Starting your day motivated is good for business
How you start your business day can set the tone for how the rest of your day is going to pan out, so start the day on a high.
7) Never lose sight of your objectives
This could be applied to your personal life or running your business. Your objectives are what will later become your achievements, so nurture them, check up on them and stick to them! Every task that you complete for your new business should have your goals in mind.
Any successful business will always adapt to its environment if it wants to survive, so anticipate that your plans will change, then change again, without your overall mission being compromised. Be prepared to deviate a little from what you were expecting, and safeguard your plans with back up where needed. This doesn’t mean that the outcome will be any less successful; it just means you’ve taken a slightly different plan than originally intended.
8) Work out how you can reduce costs
This especially applies to you if your enterprise requires large premises, but even if you’re working from your home office, there’s plenty of ways that you can reduce your running costs.
Love Energy Savings specialise in using buyer power to bring down energy costs for small businesses just like yours. We could save you up to 40%* on your business energy bills in just a few minutes and even better GUARANTEE** to beat your initial supplier renewal quote or we give you £1,000 cash. It’s a win-win situation and there’s many other business out there that’ll give you a similar service on phones, broadband, insurance and loans etc, you’ve just got to find them. However, as far as energy is concerned, consider yourself sorted! Simply pop your post code in the box to view your potential savings online, or call 0800 9888 375 today to receive the best impartial advice in the industry.
If you’d like further advice on reducing your business running costs, why not check out some of our money saving, business advice articles?
9) Stay on top of your accounts
We’ve all done it; we’ve left that laborious task with a tight deadline until last minute and ended up getting ourselves into a flap about it.
Heed our advice, if you fail to stay on top of your business accounts, you will suffer the consequences. Not only will you find yourself buried in a mountain of paperwork, you could incur penalties for not filing your accounts on time. When starting off, it only makes sense to stay on top of it all from the beginning, this way you won’t be constantly trying to catch up, will be less stressed and will therefore have a better functioning business.
To view a full list of potential penalties for late account filing click here.
Alternatively if you’re not a particularly numerically gifted individual, you could always factor in the expense of an accountant. By doing this you’ll be able to shed the weight of dealing with your finances and benefit from any experience and advice that they have to offer. It depends on where your priorities lie, but don’t disregard it as an option to relieve some of the stress from your shoulders.
10) Keep an eye out for funding opportunities
The UK government is extremely supportive of new businesses and there are currently masses of options available to assist with growth, marketing, start ups, consultancy and much more. So use the tools available to you and analyse what you’re entitled to on the government “Business Finance & Support Finder”. You never know, you could find the assistance you need to move your big idea up to the next step.
*£1,772 (40%) is based on average savings across all customers over 12 months (2013-2014)
**T&Cs available on our website