Entrepreneurship in the 21st century is all about identifying a need and providing innovative solutions to existing challenges in different sectors of society.
In the quest to make a profit from solving other people’s problems, many beginner entrepreneurs face a myriad of challenges that may not have immediate solutions depending on the type of business and the environment.
That is essentially what the journey of entrepreneurship looks like. Hoops and hurdles along the way that when jumped the business graduates to a new level and is what makes trying it out exciting and rewarding.
As you continue to figure out how to maximise profits, chart a new path, popularise a new line of products, whether to partner or not, or whether you should take a business loan now, here are financial hacks to smoothen your way.
It may be hard to know if you are tightward or are making the right saving decisions. Depending on your savings approach, it could either support or derail your business success.
To start, ask yourself the following questions, in sequence:-
Next, identify and understand your responses to the above for financial planning before making any financial decisions to buy, save or sell. Here's a breakdown of how to do so:-
First, fixed expenses such as rent, insurance, accounting and legal services, transport, and utility bills.
The second section is extra expenses that are avoidable but fall in the ‘nice-to-have’ category.
Third, set aside some percentage of what would be your total monthly expenditure for emergencies such as unexpected expenses relating to employees as well as for miscellaneous expenses.
This is to help you take baby steps towards learning how to manage your finances as you grow your business.
For example, you learn how to note and avoid unnecessary costs, how to track, and review your expenditure, monthly.
Money well spent is always worth it. To avoid unnecessary expenses and reduce costs here are a few tips;
"If you want to go fast, go alone - if you want to go far go together."
Let’s put this in context – so let's say your area of professional expertise is in the medical field but lack the digital marketing skills required to get your business noticed online - and outsourcing is not a suitable option.
You can partner with a skilled professional or professionals to provide the skill(s) required for long-term, affordable solutions to current and future HR requirements. Do your research and recruit a business partner who's a digital marketing expert with a record of successfully generating leads, brand recognition and digital marketing tools proficiency.
Every advantage that online tools provide in private or social settings, is also experienced in the business world.
Adopt relevant technology to generate revenue and save on labour costs. Avoid the stress of taking on too much manually or having too many employees in the nuts-and-bolts of your entrepreneurial venture.
Appreciate the old or outdated for what it can do before you toss it out. These are the key points to remember about how to manage and deal with obsolescence: -
Take, for instance, your photocopier version is no longer used but does produce high-quality copies, don't toss it out for the latest.
Learn to separate personal and business funds and stick to each budget.
Ideally, your business is supposed to sustain itself without dipping into your personal funds after you inject in the initial capital. If you are not careful, you might get into personal or business debt just to keep the business afloat.
Nobody likes being in situations that they have to tolerate rather than feel at home so don't compromise on creating a safe work environment. It is your responsibility.
Take the necessary steps and more by training your staff and getting the space fitted with the safety appliances, such as proper ventilation, fire extinguishers, first-aid kits and others.
The more accidents that happen at your workplace, the higher the monthly premiums you may have to pay for insurance. You may lose important talent if your workplace is not considered safe as well as if you fail to create a great culture that makes your team want to stay.
While marketing will always play the most important role in making your business profitable, the costs can quickly spiral out of control.
Don’t miss out on the affordable offline and online marketing tools that are available for every business.
To get costs down could mean hiring a professional marketing firm to handle your marketing and in turn get the best value for money, or, wing it yourself and create a bespoke plan that best gets you closest to the market niche you are targeting or build an in-house team (or team member) who can quickly adapt your marketing budget to your business needs.
The truth is that there isn’t going to be a magic-bullet approach to getting the most out of every dollar you spend on marketing, but as a beginner entrepreneur you definitely have to keep your eyes on that marketing budget as it could quickly increase your operating expenses.
Your first marketing brainstorm should first be about how much free marketing you can get, and how sustainable can you make it as long-term plan to keep marketing costs low.
Humans are to err, so this hack highlights the need for due diligence to avoid overpayment and underpayment of your taxes
Did you know that professionalism and cordial relations are non-negotiable in businesses, and it’s a practice that affects everyone who interacts and is associated with your business?
As you start off your entrepreneurial journey, you should seek references from other businesses and trusted, like-minded professionals as a source of professional recommendations.
So, whether you sell cars or groceries, each entrepreneur must aim to forge long-lasting relationships with suppliers, to support smooth-business operations.
So, reach out and network.
Invest in affordable communication tools that help you share your business information like free online directories, and online marketplace apps/websites.
Time gone is time gone, and in today's fast-paced world, it takes a lot to stay focused on when to work and when to wind down.
Therefore, how does one ensure that they're making the best of their time?
There's a common notion that the only time one engages with legal professionals is when things go bad, or very bad – so to start, let's kill this notion.
The legal system protects business rights and liberties, maintains order, establishes standards and resolves disputes in different aspects of a business.
As an entrepreneur, you interact with government institutions, other businesses and individuals. You are likely to experience situations where you'll need legal services to protect and defend you from costly legal suits, penalties and reputation damage.
So, if you're looking to patent your invention, register your business name, onboarding and handle HR requirements, you'll need legal services.
Here are some tips to enhance legal protection as part of your SOPs:-
For instance, a legal partner-on-board means you save money in cases of lawsuits, as well as they'd provide expert, hands-on guidelines to ensure your business operates within legal boundaries.
If you're looking to start an entrepreneurial venture (and you need help picking what to get into), consult a legal expert to suggest what business organisation works best for you, for example, sole proprietorship, partnerships, corporations or creating a limited liability corporation.
Anyone can do better with the right help to regularly remember the bright side of entrepreneurship, such as providing employment, gaining profits, growing customer base, industry recognition, and so much more.
Maximising opportunities - doesn't focus on looking for a financial lifeboat; it focuses on available resources to build on the 'wins' that push you closer to your business goals.
Here are opportunities to maximise on:-
Consider asking professional peers, friends and family members for financial sponsorship, which often leads to you getting more connections in the professional scene too.
Take advantage of tailored credit options to support businesses at different business cycles, sectors and profiles for various resource access, like loans for cars, start-up loans and so on.
Keep in mind this is a contractual agreement. Legal expertise is required to help you understand the contractual details on what to reject and what to sign off.
You may opt to maximise a customer's interaction with your business by providing a shareholder option for mutually beneficial support, financially and operatively.
Being an entrepreneur is a delicate dance. Do yourself a favour and appreciate your choice to be entrepreneurial by being diligent and choosing to have the right mindset, skills and character.
Every businessperson plans to succeed, so even when it seems like some individuals have the Midas Touch, it isn’t so. No one skips the demanding cycles of entrepreneurship.
The balance of learning to work with what you have, and to be willing to learn is a core part of the entrepreneurial success.