Gloria Martinez, WomenLed.org, Encinitas Chamber of Commerce
Small business owners know that they need to invest time, talent, and energy to keep their business successful, often learning through trial and error what works and what does not. But what if the “error” phase of the learning curve could be skipped?
The Encinitas Chamber of Commerce is ready to assist by offering five of the most important business practices that can help small business owners get off to a good start and build a strong foundation for success
1. Know relevant rules and regulations.
Before you make a plan, it is important to understand the legal aspects of business ownership. It’s wise to educate yourself on existing regulations before you even launch your business, as you’ll be required to start jumping through the legal hoops from the beginning. You’ll need to consider zoning, tax, employment, and copyright laws if your business plan is to be practicable. Seek out educational webinars to help you learn the ropes of business management, such as the ones offered by the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce.
2. Create a business plan.
Once you understand the legal landscape, it’s critical to craft a business plan. A good plan is intended not only to showcase your business to potential customers and investors, but it should also help you stay focused on your goals and maintain a coherent vision. A good business plan will include an executive summary, management bios, a product description, and a marketing plan. Most importantly, you must have a realistic financial plan that takes tax law in to account.
3. Put your money in the right account.
The financial portion of your business requires regular monitoring and tracking. To stay on top of your finances, it’s wise to open a bank account that is specifically tailored to the needs of small business owners. The best business bank account will offer high-yield interest and merge well with your payroll software. Other benefits to look for in the ideal account include free instant deposit, fewer fees, and cash flow projections.
4. Prioritize organization.
It’s not enough to have a plan that looks great on paper. You need to put it into practice. To do so, organization should be a priority. When you have a schedule, stick to it. Communicate clearly with customers, investors, and employees, so everyone is on the same page. Keep meticulous records and double-check regularly to be sure you are not making mistakes or omitting essentials. Enlist technology to help you in your quest for organization — scheduling and communication apps make a huge difference in this area.
5. Invest in your employees.
Finding ways to cut corners in some areas may be prudent, but not when it comes to valuing your employees. Employment models that rely on overworked, underpaid staff may look enticing if you’re thinking about economizing, but these plans are harmful in the long run to all concerned and definitely bad for business. Pay your employees and freelancers adequately and promptly, and find other ways to make sure they feel valued. Invest in your team, and they will invest in your business.
While learning the ropes of business management may seem overwhelming at first, remember there is a wealth of resources available online, including information from seasoned business owners. Seek out support from your local community, too, by joining your area chamber of commerce. Other benefits of membership in your chamber include increased visibility, promotion, and access to ongoing education. Encinitas Chamber of Commerce can help small business owners hit the ground running and support them as they develop and grow. Consider joining today.