Measuring Business Outcomes to Improve
The business results should be detailed in the planning stages. Many small business owners fail to understand the importance of measuring outcomes. They are frequently too busy getting other jobs done and forget to take time to measure results. Measuring results shows how well their business is going. Every new start-up business performance needs to be managed and controlled. Failure to monitor outcomes, can result in an inability to achieve goals. Not measuring results, means you may not comprehend the problems.
Results you need to measure and monitor include:
leads and referrals
complaints and returns
debtor and creditor days.
Gathering information and analysing results, paves the way to improving the process of measuring them. Another bonus of measuring results is being able to spot the issues and having sufficient time to address them. This will enable the business owner to see how well the business is performing against the plan. If the business performance falls below expectations, one can step in and make changes.
Basic Business Mathematics
Basic Finance Concepts – free course
Book keeping and Accounting
Grants to New Business Startups
Grants to new businesses in Australia aren‘t all that well publicised.
A brief look using the Grantfinders reveals
Could natural horsemanship supply benefits the horse racing industry...
Look at the R&D Plan
Reduce the incidence and impact of diseases and parasites in horses.
Reduce injury and breakdown of horses in work and training.
Improve productivity in breeding.
Improve the safety of industry participants and the welfare of horses, and enhance the environmental sustainability of the industry.
Promote the quality, quantity and effective communication of R&D for the horse industry.
This plan covers 2006 - 2011. Get involved. Find out future initiatives and see if it is possible for you to participate.
Common Mistakes of Business Startups
Starting out in business is difficult. You have great ideas and are brimming with confidence - but sales are growing slowly. At least a third of all new business start-ups fail within their first year and half will fail within five years. This is no reason for becoming negative and giving up your dream. In this section I would like to help you keep your business intact by revealing common mistakes startup businesses make and offering advice that you will find interesting and useful.
Lots of money is not going to get you what you need. It is a fact that lean startup businesses do better than their wealthy counterparts. Why? Lean finances stimulate creativity which will motivate you to arrive at unique ways of getting what you want. Businesses that are financially comfortable, relax. The growth fails to reach targets, and the business suffers.
Taking out loans to fix the lean capital problem will see your profit margin eroded by loan repayments. This can cripple a business‘ working capital and its ability to service its clients. Seeking an investor to inject funds into a business startup will bring with it the loss of control. The investor is not going to supply funds without demanding a say in the way the business is managed and the direction it should take. The dissatisfied investor might legally take the business from you, and you will be left with disillusionment and a nasty taste in your mouth. Pitching to investors takes you away from your core business. Startup businesses are usually knocked back by investors. This loss of time will reduce your business progress. Consider how much better off you would be financially by working on the business instead.
Increased profitability brings with it a desire to spend. Don‘t spend your seed. You need to save from your profits and build a ‘cushion‘ to protect you from an economic downturn. Business continues in cycles of peaks and troughs. Savings will minimise the impact of a trough on your business operations. The farmer who spends all their seed will have nothing to plant and no future harvest.
Your business will grow to be successful and you will find you will need to engage employees to help cope with the rising demands. Before you race to do this - step into the role you hope an employee will fill. Do it for a couple of weeks. Find the obstacles an employee will encounter, experience them for yourself, and find solutions for them.
Whilst it is a smart move to hire talented employees, it isn‘t financially feasible for most business start-ups. Talented employees will demand high salaries, they are not often in for the long haul, definitely not fast workers, and tend to become entrenched in their ways of doing things. In fact you may be flushing money straight down the drain. If you want talented personnel, go and hire new graduates because they will work harder for a fraction of the price, and are more flexible. This flexibility suits a new business as it needs to adapt rapidly to the changes in its markets in order to survive.
Thinking Big versus Thinking Small
If you have aspirations of becoming a huge company overnight then forget it. Google started in a backyard shed. Large companies – Microsoft, and Apple - frequently had small beginnings. They didn‘t have big thoughts when they started.
You are a small startup business and have agility on your side. Larger bureaucratised companys, with their many layers of management, impede the speed of decision-making resulting in delayed responses to market changes. They can‘t react fast enough in a rapidly changing marketplace. Thinking big in this arena will see you spending more money than you‘ve got and you will become too slow.
Agility is an advantage and you have it. You will be able to move faster than the larger players regardless of your smaller resources. A small team, little cash – you will do what you need to do to survive. You can start with next to nothing for capital and grow by focussing on the benefits and advantages you have to offer as a small business. You have greater expertise and speed of execution. Thinking small? Actually you are a ‘boutique’. Tiny business? No, think of yourselves as being personalised.
Never underestimate the importance of sales. New business start-ups need to place most of their attention on sales and revenue. When your sales grow, you will eventually find your expenses being easier to manage. Irrespective of size, your great sales ability will keep business rolling in through your door. It is good to practice on family and friends to fine tune your selling skills. Your vision and the wants of your customers may be at odds. Survey your clients and prospects to work out what they want, and why they want it. Knowing why a client wants a particular service will go a long way to create a pleasing service. If you can create a product or service where customers would be disappointed if it didn‘t exist, then, you will become more profitable.
Thinking you know more than your competition is foolish. Don‘t ever underestimate your competition; they might look stupid, but they are still able to build a larger business than your own. Networking with others, asking them for their opinions and help will bring savings in time and money, and ideally improved insight into your competition.
Develop a vision of what you want your business to become in the future. A well focused vision will improve your chances of achieving your goal. If you can translate that vision into things which need to be done, then, you will have a roadmap helping you reach your goal.
The business realm is quite complex. Mistakes will cost. Racing to expand and achieve your envisaged goals can end in disaster. Learn to crawl before you start walking. Your business is your baby. You are a new entrant, experienced or naieve, there is much to learn before you start running and playing in the big fellas game. If you chose to expand quickly by creating multiple revenue streams you will struggle to find enough time in one day to run these additional businesses. Success is more likely to occur if you focus your time and energy into the one business. Learn to lead in your own space.
Becoming dominant in your own space will increase the value of your business and be easier for you when starting to expand. It will be easier for clients to accept the new businesses because they are familiar with your brand and service/product offerings.
Avoid it at all costs. When you were a child you thought like a child. You felt emotions with those thoughts and made decisions based upon how you felt and not logically. You cannot make sound business decisions if your emotions control your thinking and actions. Step back out of the situation. Calm down. Then you can re-evaluate the situation and make a logical decision.
The business startup sees the founders filling required rolls and controlling everything. Eventually you will have grown sufficiently to need to get your accountant to do your bookkeeping, engage a recruiter to hire employees, and someone to manage. Regardless of these new arrangements, you must know what is happening so you can avoid mistakes that will be made by even the smartest of your employees.
Beginning a business is difficult. Many founders don‘t realise how easy it is to ruin a business. If you do make mistakes, then welcome to the real world. You can learn from them – and that is what will make you a successful business founder. You have the smarts to learn and keep moving ahead.