Do you find yourself wondering how to make your new business enterprise the very best it can be? Could your startup use an injection of creative thinking and planning to boost the bottom line? For the vast majority of small business owners, making focused efforts can bring short-term and long-term stability. Here are five ways to strengthen your company and bring solidity to its financial standing.
Use the 1-5-10 System for Planning
Planning is the secret ingredient of success. That old truism applies to sports, finances, entrepreneurship, and dozens of other fields of endeavor. For those who run their own companies, a powerful planning tool is the 1-5-10 method. To pull it off, spend an hour or so per day over the course of a few weeks honing your entity’s financial and operational plans. The numbers refer to the three plans you’ll be writing, one-year, five-year, and ten-year versions. Adjust each one as needed and store hard and digital copies in safe places.
Attend to Education Debt
It’s essential to get your personal financial life in order. For many working adults, that means taming their education debt. If you have multiple student loans, for instance, it’s smart to do some quick online research about how to take out a consolidation loan and combine them all into one monthly obligation. Not only do you have access to lower interest rates, but you can often get much more favorable terms and lower monthly payments. Another upside is that your business life becomes much less stressful when you can focus on it with laser-like aim and know that your personal finances are in good shape.
Stick to a Schedule
Make a daily schedule even if you work alone and have the freedom to set your own hours every day. Structure does wonders for lone entrepreneurs and people who work from home. It’s just too easy to get caught up in every little distraction and let the hours slip by. If you want to get your work out of the way and enjoy the rest of the day or evening, create a schedule you can live with. If you work at home, let others in your family know your work hours so they’ll leave you alone at the appropriate times.
Educate Yourself About Taxes
One of the major obstacles for entrepreneurs is taxes. Even if you outsource the entire taxation function to a professional, take time to learn the basics of sole proprietor or LLC (limited liability corporation) tax laws for your state. It’s very easy to under-withhold and end up owing the federal government and state a large chunk of cash at tax time. Additionally, most owners need to file quarterly rather than annually, so educate yourself about the basics of enterprise taxation.
Have a Backup Plan
Do you know what you’ll do if the whole thing goes bust? If your business concept turns to nothing after a year or more of trying, you might decide to toss in the towel and go back to a 9-to-5 gig, start another business, or do something else. The point is to have a Plan B just in case.