Are you thinking of starting a business? You are in good company. According to Forbes Magazine, each month more than 500,000 new businesses are launched in the U.S. Less than 1/3 will survive for three years or longer. After more than a decade running both a Just Between Friends sales event AND the franchise system, I have learned many lessons – often by making mistakes which is a great way to learn. One of my favorite things to do is help other small business owners learn from my mistakes. So here you go. My top three lessons and tips for anyone launching a business.
Get Involved – Spend some time getting involved in your community – focusing on the people and organizations that will support your business. There are networking opportunities everywhere you look and I recommend that you take advantage of them. The old adage is true “people do business with people they know, like and trust”, so spend time building relationships. By getting involved, you create higher customer loyalty and can develop “word of mouth” advertising. I attribute much of the growth and success of Just Between Friends to “word-of-mouth” from our consignors, shoppers and franchisees.
Create a Budget – I did not have a business education or background and there were several mistakes I made because of that when we were launching the franchise system. I learned (the hard way) how imperative it is to have solid working capital before starting a business. You should also have enough money to sustain you professionally and personally as you build your business. Watch that bottom line and your cash flow and always know where you stand financially. This will reduce those sleepless nights and help you focus on growing and meeting your goals.
Know Your Strengths and Surround Yourself with Smart People – There is only so much that you can do well. Figure out what your strengths are and design your business so that your responsibilities and tasks play to those strengths every day. Then hire others to handle the rest. Consider outsourcing functions such as bookkeeping, clerical and other tasks outside your area of expertise so that you can spend your time and effort on projects where you will be more productive AND will be improving the bottom line.
At Just Between Friends Franchise, we are looking for entrepreneurs to join our team and start their own JBF event in the U.S. and Canada. You will be part of an incredible team of successful small business owners with incredible support. Forbes Magazine named Just Between Friends a top franchise opportunity for 2014. To learn more, click here http://bit.ly/1D4tWiK
image © Sindlera