Nobody ever said that starting a new business should be easy. Or that transitioning from startup to small business status would be a walk in the park.
The reality is that driving growth and achieving sustainability at small firms is tough but with the right approach and ambition, there is no reason these goals can’t be attained.
Here are 5 finance-related ways in which you can look to give your startup a better chance of success:
1. Be obsessed with sales
Unless your business is selling its products or services to paying customers then it is difficult to claim that you really have a business at all. That might sound harsh and there will always be important preparation and promotional work to be done but unless you are succeeding in closing sales then it will be impossible to establish healthy cash flows or keep your company afloat for long.
2. Measure everything that moves
Financial details can be hugely revealing about how fledgling companies are developing and where they are going right or wrong.
By measuring all incomings and outgoings meticulously, you can equip yourself and your new business with what can be invaluable information reflecting the progress you’ve been making or the missteps you’ve been taking.
3. Be ready for anything
For startup companies in any industry financial difficulties and cash flow problems can emerge as if from nowhere and start causing serious problems very quickly.
These issues can all-too easily lead to disaster unless certain contingency plans and alternative financing options are in place to guard against the worst potential impacts.
4. Focus on invoicing/payment procedures
It can be easy for passionate and ambitious entrepreneurs to overlook the importance of what should be straightforward processes around invoicing and getting paid by clients and customers. After all, there are likely to be far more interesting challenges to be found elsewhere within the context of a startup operation.
However, any attention paid to the business of ensuring prompt invoicing and pursuit of payments is well spent and can make a major difference in keeping your cash flows moving.
“You don’t close a sale, you open a relationship if you want to build a long-term, successful enterprise.” – Patricia Fripp
5. Keep costs down and build the right relationships
Our final tip is perhaps quite an obvious one. We all know that keeping costs down can help to balance our finances but in the context of startup operating it bears emphasising and the goal should always be pursued with real determination. A key way of achieving this aim is always likely to be by establishing strong working relationships with trustworthy suppliers and partners.
Hopefully you’ve found these tips useful. Financial management and operational prudence might not be the most glamorous of subjects but every startup has to start somewhere and healthy cash flows will always be essential to success in any enterprise context.
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