When It Comes To Small Business, Don’t Build Your House On Sand!

We all know the parable of the two builders. Most of us are taught it at a very young age, even if we’re not taught its biblical roots in Matthew 7:24. The wise builder built his house upon the rock and it was able to stand firm and endure the wrath of the elements. The foolish builder built his house upon the sand and it was subsequently pancaked by the approaching storm. It’s a decent lehrstucke for just about anyone whether religious or secular but it’s particularly pertinent for those starting their own  business.

In the digital era, there are more opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to start up their own businesses and take their talents to the free market. But in their zeal get trading they can neglect the fundamentals of preparation, inevitably to the detriment of their young enterprise. If there’s something we can all take from St. Matthew’s parable it’s that…

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail

No matter what the nature of your startup or where your skills may lie, there’s no such thing as too much preparation. Indeed, the better prepared you are, the more you can demonstrate that you’ve looked at your business from every angle and the more you can demonstrate a quantifiable demand for the products and services you offer and a gap in the market into which you can easily slot, the easier it will be for you to secure funding.

Know your market

Market research will be invaluable in helping you to determine not only the viability of your business but how you can subtly tweak your business plan to stay up to date and relevant in the face of a changing industry. Too many entrepreneurs treat market research as a one and done, but it must be woven into the fabric of your ongoing business plan and inform every strategic move you make.

You are not alone

Managing your own business involves spinning a lot of very disparate plates. Entrepreneurship is a multifaceted discipline. Some elements you’ll be familiar with and some will take you right out of your comfort zone. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are tools and support out there to help you to learn and grow as you take your business to new heights.

From help with ecommerce solutions to support with digital marketing and conversion rate optimisation there’s a plethora of support out there to aid you on your journey. Sure, it may represent an overhead cost that needs to be managed, but overheads can often reap dividends. Speaking of which…

Plan your cash flow

Cash flow is vitally important to any business. It’s what ensures vendors and employees get paid on time, what prevents your cash from being tied up in inventory that never sells and facilitates the smooth running of your business. Before you start chasing funding, chase down vendors and shopfitters. Get quotes so that you can accurately gauge your startup costs and your ongoing running costs including startup loan repayments. It’s the surest way to demonstrate to lenders and investors that you will be able to maintain a healthy cash flow.

Walk the line

Finally, all successful businesses must walk a fine line. The line between investing sufficiently in their business to facilitate growth while keeping overheads manageable and cutting down on unnecessary expenses. When you can walk this line, you’ll know that your house is built on a foundation of solid rock!

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