Thursday, January 2, 2020

Getting to Grips With the Nuts & Bolts of Running a Business

There’s an element of glamour involved with starting and running a company these days. You don’t have to look too far in the business press to hear phrases like ‘startups are the new rock ‘n roll’, and it’s true that there has never been a better time to set up on your own.

However, unless you get the unglamorous things right, the chances are your business will fail before it even gets out of the traps. Here are some things to bear in mind when it comes to getting to grips with the nuts and bolts of running a business.

The big problem with your business plan

Nothing is more important than creating a business plan when you are just starting out. Everything about your business idea, including concept, marketing, and financial plans must be sketched out in full before you lift a finger.

But don’t allow your plan of activities to become a problem. Markets, people and trends change all the time, and if you aren’t flexible enough to change with them, your company will be unlikely to make it in the long-term - it’s that simple.

You can't do everything

People that start their own companies get used to doing everything themselves - and it’s not much of a surprise. After all, with no profits coming in, how can you afford to pay staff or outsource critical tasks? However, it’s a good idea to realise you can’t be a jack of all trades if you want to establish some success.

Not only will your expertise in each area be tested to its limits, but you also suffer the prospect of burnout. It’s important to spend time working on your business rather than living inside it - and finding the right level of expertise to help where needed is critical, even at this early stage.

Operations is key

However, once you start hiring people, it’s essential to have a structured way of working - defining your operational procedures. A lot of startups and small businesses have an operations policy of ‘winging it,’ unfortunately, and it’s common for them to end up in serious trouble pretty quickly.

There are a few ways of ensuring you have a good structure in place for your company. The first is to learn about the processes you need - you could do an operations manager degree online or something similar. The second is to hire someone - either a full-time operations expert or an outsourced business consultant. The day-to-day running of your firm isn’t what you dream about when it comes to being a startup superstar - but it is vital to your chances of being able to live that dream in the future.

The legal stuff

It’s easy to forget about your legal obligations when you are working alone from a home office. But the second you start trading, paying taxes, hiring people, and trying to be a responsible company, you just can’t afford to ignore the law.

A good business lawyer will help make sure you are ticking all the right boxes when it comes to legal matters, and there’s also plenty of evidence that suggests your very first hire should be a human resources expert. Many small businesses have collapsed due to worker compensation claims, and it’s vital you take the health and safety of your employees, customers, and visitors to your premises seriously.

Any more tips to add about the nuts and bolts of business? Share your thoughts below!