If you are already the owner of a small business or you are thinking of starting a small business, then the first step is to develop a well formulated business plan.
Surprisingly, many small business owners do not have a well considered and detailed business plan. Having a plan with sets of clear goals or targets and specific strategies for achieving these goals and targets is critical for informing your decisions and ensuring you stay on track. Your business plan needs to be revised on a regular basis. Depending on the nature of your business this could be an annual review which aims to keep you in alignment with your goals and to address any potential threats or problems before they get traction.
Coaching sessions are tax deductible and are a valuable way to help you set up a sound business plan, clarify goals and decide on specific strategies for achieving these goals.
As a business owner you need to be well resourced to deal with stress, overwhelm, time management, motivation, decision making, problem solving and managing conflict. Establishing and maintaining a healthy work life balance feels like mission impossible for many business owners. Anxiety and depression are other challenges that many small business owners encounter. Counselling is an invaluable way to resource yourself and support yourself in maintaining your energy, enthusiasm, motivation and well being all of which are vital for success. You can make an appointment here. Also check back for posts to be published over the coming weeks on many of these topics.
The Power of Information
In business, having easy access to sound information and updating information, is one of your greatest assets.
As a small business owner it can be overwhelming trying to stay on top of the many facets of business ownership. Probably the greatest challenge for most small business owners is having enough time for anything beyond the day to day management of your business. Set time aside regularly to monitor and actively manage information that is relevant to your business.
Staying well informed of changes in legal and accounting matters is critical, for example meeting new obligations around record keeping and privacy requirements.
It is also wise to keep yourself open to new opportunities and ideas that support development and efficiency. In business you cannot set up and then expect the business to flourish. Even if you have a successful business, new competitors or unexpected events can quickly impact your success. You and your business need to be continually evolving to stay competitive.
Technology advances are transforming many aspects of business virtually on a daily basis. You may discover some of these advances could have tremendous beneficial applications in your business saving time and improving efficiency. A simple example is the use of e-fax where faxes can be sent and received directly from your email account.
It has become essential to have a web presence and investing in a well functioning website is sound advice. For instance it is advisable for your website design to accommodate the trend towards using mobile phones for online searches. SEO (search engine optimisation) needs to be a priority in developing your website so that you can be found amidst the overwhelming number of businesses online. A social media interface (such as facebook, LinkedIn, twitter) has become an essential small business strategy to remain competitive and safeguard success.
Small Business Resources
Startupsmart is an excellent Australian small business resource website. Here you will find over 5,000 articles on virtually all aspects of small business ownership and management. You can sign up for their newsletters, including a newsletter for sole traders.
Articles range from how to buy a business, franchising, government regulations and cash flow, to legal matters, how to hire staff, work/life balance and website and social media topics just to name a few. There are links to short courses, webinars and training opportunities.
There are several government websites offering comprehensive information and support for business owners. Websites that are well worth visiting are www.business.qld.gov.au which is targeted to Queensland businesses. The national website at www.business.gov.au/ provides ‘essential information on planning and starting up a business’ including free planning templates, checklists and registration and licensing information. You can view a video about the kind of help you can access.
Small business owners can find out about obtaining finance through government grants and loans at http://australianbusinessgrants.com.au/