(business survival – 5 minute read)
Seeing as how our business is coming up to our three year business anniversary, its a great time to reflect on what the journey has been like for us. It’s also a great time to share some tips with our dear readers on how to survive those first three years in business!
Nothing ever really goes to plan
No matter how much planning and preparation you do, there will always be unforeseen challenges and obstacles. It’s important to be flexible and adaptable, and to have a plan in place for how to handle these situations.
A contingency plan is great to have in case things go absolutely south. I remember how at the start of 2022 we had big plans to get on top of our annual returns, create a video series and so much more. Then a virus hit our old website, and that took a lot of time AND money to fix. Valuable security lessons were learned and we’re stronger because of it!
Cash flow is KING!
Managing your finances is crucial to the success of your business, especially in the early years. Keep track of your expenses and income, and be proactive about finding ways to cut costs and increase revenue. More important than profit is your cash flow.
Always invoice your clients early. Always follow them up for payment. Make sure that you have enough in the business to pay your overheads and your staff. Remember, if you are ever in doubt whether or not you need to buy something for the business, wait and see before committing cash to it!
Build a strong team
Surrounding yourself with a team of reliable and talented individuals can make a huge difference in the success of your business. Take the time to find and hire the right people, and make sure to invest in their development and training.
When starting out in your first three years of business, be open to hiring individuals with little experience but with lots of motivation. Not only are they cheaper than experienced hires, it is easier for them to adapt to your team culture since they have no other experience.
Stay focused on your core business
It’s easy to get sidetracked by the day-to-day tasks and challenges of running a business, but it’s important to stay focused on your long-term goals. Regularly review and revise your business plan to ensure that you’re on track to achieve your goals.
We got sidetracked by trying to break into the process and systems consulting work. However that took our attention away from what we were really good at. Financial confidence is our core activity and we take pride in our compliance work AND our financial/business content.
Stick to your strengths and grow them!
Here’s to many more years!
Three years isn’t a long period of time and many small businesses fail within the first 5 years of operation. So we’ve still got a ways to go to prove ourselves. Still, with a right set of values and a great pool of clients, we believe that we’re going to make it!