Starting (or investing) in a new business is not something that is for the faint of heart.
Start-ups require tigers; people that are willing to go above and beyond to reach success.
Whether you’re setting up shop as a freelancer, opening up your dream store in your local area, or investing your hard earned money into something already up and running, it’s pretty much a leap of faith.
There are so many things to think about, to oversee, and to do on a daily basis it can make your head spin. Add to that your regular day-to-day commitments and tasks, and it’s a recipe for overwhelm.
With all of these things bearing down on you, it should go without saying that organization is often the keys to the kingdom.
That said, to stay on top of everything your business (and life) requires while still keeping your sanity, there are a few things you should think about.
Almost all businesses have a multitude of client and vendor contracts that they need to keep organized. For someone that works from home, ideally organizing them doesn’t require a massive, ugly file cabinet in your house as a conversation piece.
As a business grows, these contracts can become very difficult to keep track of. Even extremely small businesses can fall prey to the looming necessity of contract organization and management, especially if said business is any kind of successful.
In order to better keep up with all of the paperwork, many business owners decide to work with a dedicated contract management company to oversee this process.
Proper financial management is one of the most important aspects of overseeing a healthy business.
Due to this inherent importance, it makes sense that this work should ideally be done by a qualified individual with years of experience. (Although I realize sometimes it’s hard to let go and let someone else manage your money. Yes I’m speaking to all of you fellow control freaks.)
If you don’t currently have anyone on staff who can handle this kind of work, then you have a couple options. You could potentially hire on a finance officer or accounting/tax professional to keep track of things properly for you. You could also contract with a financial management firm to work directly with you in handling your financial affairs.
Or you could teach yourself to use financial management software and keep your little control freak inner dork happy. Just consult on occasion with a professional to make sure you’re on the right track and that nothing is falling through the cracks that could come back to bite you later.
Contacts and Networking
Part of the basic daily work of any business owner is to build contacts, to network, and to keep track of potential business leads. AKA marketing.
All of this can be extremely difficult to stay on top of, which is why many business owners fall back on contact management software in an effort to streamline the process.
Such software can be very useful in the day-to-day operations of your business because it saves you the time and trouble of organizing all of your contacts by hand.
But any tool is only as good as its user, so make sure whatever method you use to stay organized is one you will stick with and use consistently, and is easy to scale.
Starting a new business is kind of like writing a book, skydiving, or getting married: it’s on a lot of people’s bucket lists.
And just like most bullet points on these lists, starting a business takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to succeed (as does pretty much anything in life that matters.)
In order to successfully build a new business, you have to know your limits and surround yourself with reliable, trustworthy help so that you’re not left completely burned out at the end of those 15 hour days.
And there will be 15 hour days!
Things you can do to prepare for the inevitable exhaustion and potential stagnation at the start of a business venture might be to create a strict time table for yourself regarding goals and your time and resources put in.
You could also consider partnering up with a friend or two who already knows what they’re doing that you can really count on for mentoring when days feel tough.
I’d also recommend reading a book about starting a business.
In fact, read several books.
When you want to succeed, study how other people have already done it. Learning to manage your own time appropriately can be the difference between success and failure.
Keeping Everything Together
There are a lot different elements that go into running a successful business.
For many entrepreneurs, this can mean you might put in 15 hours a day 6-7 days a week. I know some entrepreneurs that log even more time than that in fact.
It’s just not sustainable for very long and can quickly lead to burn out if you’re not careful.
Know your limits. Know when to outsource certain tasks to maximize efficiency and productivity.
Hell, outsource tasks that aren’t even related to your business if that frees up more of your time to focus on the good stuff! (Housekeeper anyone? Personal chef? C’mon ya’ll know you feel me here.)
Fortunately there are companies like Contract Logix that exist solely to take over specific aspects of your business that are becoming too cumbersome for you to handle on your own.
Utilize them when and where you can, so that you can free up your time to really focus on the things you love in your business and that bring you the most revenue.
When you’re spending less time on the nuts and bolts of running your business and more time on bigger picture aspects like developing relationships, marketing and branding, and quality of products and service, it allows your business to grow quicker, faster, and far more effectively.
Over to you!
Any other points you should consider before starting a business? Have experience to share when it comes to keeping a business organized and efficient? Please share your thoughts in the comments below and take a moment to share this post with someone who might find it useful!