Just before I started my own business, over 15 years ago, the boss I was leaving gave me this advice and I still use this concept as somewhat of a “litmus test” when making business decisions. It has served me well “the way you start will be the way you finish”.
Never lose sight of the fact that when you start your business it is okay to set boundaries, as this is YOUR business and YOU have the right to choose what services you offer, what clients you want to work with and what hours you want to work. This may take a little longer to build up your client base but when you do you will be working with ideal clients who appreciate and value your services.
Here are some tips to get you started and to ensure that your business is fun, rewarding, and profitable:
Prepare a list of what you want from your business. Set your goals and your boundaries and remember this is not just about money.
Prepare a business plan. This will provide you with direction.
Prepare a budget. Investigate all costs of operating your business and ensure your pricing is sufficient to cover these costs and adequately remunerate you for your time and effort.
Ensure you consider the appropriate structure to operate your business; this is where a good accountant is invaluable. They will also be able to review your budget and advise if you have missed any costs.
Ensure you have a system in place to keep good accounting and tax records and take advantage of cost-effective cloud-based accounting software. This will keep you in the ATO’s good books and will allow you to track business profitability. Don’t wait for your accountant to tell you this at the end of the year.
Surround yourself with professional advisors & mentors.
My parting advice, planning is paramount, have fun in your business and don’t forget that you need a work/life balance.