In business your end goal is always going to be to make money, even if you started your venture for reasons aside from money (such as having more flexibility and wanting to put your skills to better use).
Running your own company can be really satisfying and rewarding, but if you’re not making money then you won’t be around for long. So no matter what your reasons are for starting your own company, you absolutely need to be turning a profit. If things start going wrong and you’re no longer taking in as much cash as you need it can be really stressful, however there are things you can do. Here are some ideas for where you could be going wrong, and what to do about it.
There are lots of reasons that startup companies get in a pickle with money. From going overboard and running up too much debt with overhead costs, to poor budgeting, even the company owners own personal debt can come into play. You need to be charging the right amount for your services too, good market research will help you to price competitively.
Most businesses will have equipment that they need to make their company run. Although equipment is necessary, sometimes businesses tend to upgrade to the latest on the market before their current equipment has become outdated. Clue yourself up on how long your equipment should last after buying it, and get regular checks on everything to see if any minor repairs need doing before it turns into something that’s going to cost a lot of money. Make sure all equipment is turned off properly, kept clean and most importantly, make sure that the people using it are trained to use it correctly. It can be a struggle for smaller or newer companies, when you don’t have the cash up front to buy new and the most modern equipment then you might feel your only choice is to go second hand. However, you also have the option to hire, giving you access to good, modern equipment when it’s new and not have to worry about maintenance costs.
Theft costs businesses around the world trillions each year, and you’re not safe just because you’re a smaller company. In fact, many businesses prefer to target smaller businesses because while they dont have as much money, it’s easier for them to do. Whether you’re a shop, office or warehouse, it’s important to have the right security in place to keep your assets safe and keep criminals out. Never keep excessive amounts of money overnight, and invest in CCTV, good quality alarm systems and online security should never be overlooked either. Many crimes are now committed online and can involve stealing customer data (which is later sold to criminals and used in all kinds of ways) to rinsing bank accounts and much more. Get serious about both physical and online security.
When you’re a company owner, there are all sorts of legal issues that you need to take care of, if any of them slip then there can be serious repercussions which your company can struggle to recover from. You need to make sure your products, premises, customers and staff are all kept safe. You need to follow health and safety laws to the letter, and ensure everyone working for you is qualified to do so. You need to ensure you’re paying the right taxes, and avoiding conflict of interest with other businesses (you can find conflict of interest software to make this easier). Get yourself insured so that you can cover your own back, but always be cautious and careful too.
Customers have plenty of choice when it comes to shopping with businesses, this means there’s strong competition for you. One thing that customers will always expect a good standard of service. Think about yourself as a customer, if you shopped somewhere and received a rude response from a company, would you be reluctant to return? Of course you would, chances are you’d take your custom elsewhere. So don't overlook this within your own business, if your staff are performing poorly and not up to the standard your customers expect, consider hiring new employees or extend their training so their performance improves.