Guest post by Laura Burkey
Congrats on jumping into the entrepreneurial world.
It’s an intimidating and exhausting realm that can be the most rewarding career move you’ve ever made.
There are tons of tips for first-time business owners, but we compiled a list of the top ten that you need to know.
1.Check out VoIP services
Voice over Internet Protocol means that your phone runs through the Web, as opposed to a landline provider. Many companies offer small business packages, and these could save you money versus getting a standard mobile phone or land line. Be sure to look into the equipment add-ons and network coverage.
2.Create a set of values and a mission statement
What do you and your company stand for? This is a list of core values to which your company sticks. Character, customer service, honesty, integrity, communication. Narrow it down to five morals and operate your business interactions with those in mind.
Then, create a mission statement. Make it one to two sentences that embody your core values as well as how you view your business. Post them in a visible location and look to these documents when making business decisions.
3.Set tomorrow’s schedule
Before closing up shop, review tomorrow’s plan. If you didn’t have time to create a schedule, now is the time to map it.
Construct a to-do list of tasks that must be accomplished, calls that need to be made, and meetings scheduled.
Remember to include breaks every fifty to sixty minutes.
4.Meet with at least two clients a week
Growing your company while maintaining a superior quality of service is the sweet spot for entrepreneurs. Since there are limited resources and people, a lot of the prospecting falls to you. Make a requirement to meet with two clients – one new and one old – a week. This will keep the cogs in motion without sacrificing too much time away from the day-to-day operations.
5.Hire people to strengthen your brand (an accountant, a call center, etc.)
We all have weaknesses, and it takes a strong person to realize this and react to it. Pick an area or two where your company requires help. For example, if you’re not comfortable keeping the company’s books, then hire an accountant. Spending the extra cash now will save you headaches later, not to mention that extra time can be put toward tracking down new clients.
6.Compare office supply prices
Depending on your trade, paper, pens, ink, and other supplies drive up overhead costs. It’s important to research reward programs and to take advantage of them.
7.Research the competition
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Know what your competition offers, their strengths and weaknesses and general pricing structure. Explain to prospects what makes you different from the other guys, which doesn’t always have to be price.
Think church bulletins, community newspapers, or newsletters. Other options include social media sites and industry sites. Join the conversation and create a positive online reputation.
9.Attend at least one training seminar a year
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the daily grind of sell, sell, sell, no matter what industry you’re in. The only way to improve is to learn. Check out industry seminars or webinars that can help you bring your company to the next level.
Join area business groups, and network your tail off. This isn’t just to cultivate clients.
Such acquaintances can provide sound advice or make key introductions when you least expect it.
They might not be important today, but you never know who or what they will be in the future.
About the author:
Laura Burkey is a blogger who writes about a variety of topics including gardening, social media, and gutters for a range of websites including Reputation.com.