Punch Newspaper: Managing Small IT Service Business Profitably [ICT Clinic Page]

It is a known fact that most businesses these days cannot do without one aspect of ICT or the other. So, would you consider money spent on IT as good, long-term investment or perhaps simply an uncalled-for expense? When put to optimum use, IT undoubtedly has the potential to help your customers become more responsive, thus helping your small business to grow, especially when compared to what is presently achieved through the traditional way of doing business.

As we all know, all good things in life come at a price; so does good IT service. It is a specialized field. The one place where you can best find the necessary guidance and information that your small business needs is through a well-entrenched and reputable provider of IT services.

These strategies might be of help in properly managing your IT services:

Read more on Punch Nigeria Website

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4 Ways Small Business Owners can Cut Costs

 Guest post written by Carol Wilson. To gain exposure by writing for us, read our write for us guideline.

As a business owner in a tough economy, you may be struggling to pay your bills and pay yourself. You probably know that your business is just in a slump, and it will recover. However, it can be tough to plan for good times in the future when your financial situation is so uncertain now. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to cut costs and free up more cash for your business.

Here are four money-saving techniques you can try out to improve your company’s financial standing:

1. If possible, let your employees work remotely

If the majority of the work your staff does is on computers, your employees don’t really need to be at the office. They can work from the comfort of their homes and save you money. Letting your employees work remotely means you have to pay less for smaller office space and pay less for office maintenance. When employees work from home, productivity can be an issue. However, setting daily goals for your staff will help them stay on task. An added benefit of letting your employees work remotely is that they’ll likely feel as though they have a better life/work balance, which will result in fewer absences and sub-par work that’s a result of burnout.

2. Embrace cloud computing

You can reduce your IT costs quite significantly if you use cloud software and services. Storing your data on the cloud means you won’t lose it if your computers crash. Losing data can put a definite financial strain on your business because you’ll have to pay your employees to re-collect data. Additionally, most cloud-based software is more affordable than traditional software. And using the cloud means you don’t have to pay for a dedicated server and extra IT staff to keep it up and running.

3. Ditch the paper and printers

Your company can share the bulk of its documents digitally and send faxes using an online fax service. Exchanging documents digitally means you use less paper and ink, and therefore have to purchase less of those somewhat pricey office supplies. Additionally, using an online fax service eliminates the need for a fax machine that you have to pay to maintain. Keeping all of your important documents on your company computers (or on the cloud) also means that things stay more organized and there’s no need to hire a file clerk.

4. Shop around for better insurance

You’re probably paying too much for insurance, and you’re probably paying for coverage you don’t need. Sometimes not going with well-known, bigwig insurance companies can save you a lot. So, re-examine how much you’re paying for workers’ compensation, business liability insurance, and health insurance for your employees. There’s a good chance that you will be able to save some money on your insurance if you fully explore your other options. Talk to your business associates and do some research on the internet to find the best insurance deals. Why overpay to over insure your business?

As a business owner, reducing your operating costs should be one of your biggest priorities. Don’t let your business go broke because you’re paying too much for office space, office supplies, and insurance. Try out the tips above, and get your business on the right track to financial stability.

A small business owner herself, freelancer Carol Wilson believes that entrepreneurs and small business owners should know about the proper types of business insurance available to help their projects grow. She encourages your feedback by leaving a comment below or at wilson.carol24@gmail.com

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4 Small Business Lessons from my experience with Clickatell.com

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Hmmnnn, can I really say I am one of those using the Internet to make an impact? I leave you to be the judge of that, maybe not now but in the days ahead.

Talking about Impact, Google and Facebook are 2 companies making great impacts online. I was happy to hear of Google’s clamp down of sites doing all sorts and SEO firms using ‘blackhat’ techniques to rank, read about it hear. Thumbs up Google for levelling the field a bit!

Did you read the post Pointing out South Africa’s clickatell.com anti-Nigerian Policy? Well I wish to inform you that it has produced some positive results, which I am proud of….

Clickatell.com has informed me of their willingness to accept my Naira mastercard which they had earlier rejected.

Now, what is important for me is not just the fact that I have attained a personal objective (which is to use their central API, something I am not sure of continuing with anymore) but the fact that I have started something others coming behind can leverage upon whenever they need to use their services.

That said, I want to stress that clickatell.com is a serious and forward looking company, which they have proven with the way they have handled this case.

They have kept in touch using all of the following means;

  1. They have put 2 calls through (at 2 different times)
  2. They have sent a couple of follow up emails
  3. They have also stopped by this blog to leave a comment.

Am I impressed? Yes I am. Am I still pissed? Yes and No, Yes because this was totally avoidable and No because the company has done everything humanly possible to show that they are a listening company and that I respect.

What are the small business lessons from this experience?

1. Never be too proud to admit when you are wrong.

Clickatell.com is a medium-to-large IT company in many regards and could have as well called my bluff. What would I have done? Maybe write another one or two posts at most and that would have been it. So the lesson here for a small business is that you should not lose sight of the fact that you exist to serve the customer, however, big or small you are/become.

It doesn’t hurt to say I am sorry!

2. Follow up.

Most SMEs have issues with adequate follow-up. We (CFA Leverage) aren’t exempted, for example in the month of March, we sent out proposals in excess of $20,000 to numerous prospective clients but we managed to pull in less than $3,000. This is a typical example of how poor follow-up hurts small businesses.

If clickatell.com did not effectively follow up on me, I probably would have been writing another post castigating rather than commending them.

Create adequate follow up mechanisms!

3. Leverage technology.

I am so fascinated about Technology, hence the founding CFA Leverage, which represents our passion to help individuals leverage the Internet.

I want to commend clickatell’s use of technology and the Internet. Let me explain, My plan when I wrote the 1st article about them was to send the link to their management staff, officials of the NCC and any other person who cared to listen. I told members of the CFA Nigeria blackberry team of my intention and I was advised that the best way to approach it was to write, SEO optimize it and then leave it for them to discover it via Google. I took that advice and never mentioned it to clickatell.

But to my utmost surprise, clickatell.com found the post and left a positive comment stating the solution already proferred, rather than trying to justify their actions/inactions. I am not sure how they found the post but a basic and free tool that I use always is Google Alerts. It gives me the opportunity to know the much I need to know about competition.

I have set Google Alert to inform me whenever keywords such as SEO Services, Social Media Marketing, SEO in Nigeria etc. are mentioned. This way I can easily work hard to stay ahead of the game. (I know I am letting out my strategies but it’s all part of the Internet game – no one is loser)

Let CFA Leverage help you leverage the Internet effectively!

4. Use Incentives to your favour.

Yes, it is permisible to bribe (not in that sense) your clients if you have to, as longer as you are certain you are doing the correct thing.

The last email I got from clickatell.com is an offer of discounts whenever I am ready to start buying from them. This part I admire so much, as it’s part of giving your customer that WOW experience.

My joy will be full only if and when clickatell.com boldly accepts credit cards issued by Nigerian banks as a show of confidence in the Nigerian people and her economy. I rember that a number of well meaning people discouraged me from pressing on and asked me to simply look for alternatives, my response was that they don’t understand.

Don’t wait until there is trouble to offer your (prospective) clients an incentive.

What do you think about this experience with clickatell? Do you think I missed out any lesson?

CEO Domino Information Company Limited

Highlights of the DICL Small Business Enterprises Workshop

CEO Domino Information Company LimitedThe Domino Information Company Limited (DICL) small business enterprises workshop has been more than a blessing to me personally, it presented me another opportunity to learn from much more experienced entrepreneurs and consultants and I say kudos to the DICL team for putting this together.

One thing was clear at the event;

….for any economy to develop, Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises have to be supported and nurtured to grow, otherwise there will be no meaningful development for that economy.

The Small Business Enterprises workshop was very successful because of the quality of training and resource persons that delivered them.

Agenda for the 1st day of the event was as follows;

  • Planning Process
  • Previous year’s review of small business enterprises
  • Panel session on Finance and Human Resource Management

While I appreciated the presentation and past year’s review, I enjoyed the panel discussions most because it presented small business owners the opportunity to ask questions on issues that are bothered them most.

The panel discussion sessions featured 6 people; 3 for Finance and HR respectively:

Finance Panel discussion on financing your business plan had;

  1. Mr A. Sowunmi – Development Finance Directorate
  2. Mr Sonny Ekadayen – Bank of Industry
  3. Mr Sola Olubode – CEO, Money Com Micro Finance Bank

Small Business Enterprises

The panel discussion on HR management strategies for Small Business Enterprises had;

  1. Mr Emmanuel Etomi – Former, Head of Recruitment, Shell Nigeria
  2. Ms Aisha Maina – CEO, Aquarian Consult, Abuja
  3. Mr Dele Ajisebutu – CEO, Global Outsourcing Services Ltd

Small Business Enterprises

Both panel discussions were moderated by the CEO of Domino Information Company Limited, Mr Uzo Nduka.

It was a great event. We picked the brains of the discussants as much as we could and as always I learnt so much.

The workshop continues tomorrow, with the sole aim of helping all participants present to come up with at least the first draft of their business plans.

I intend to follow their guidelines to produce a business plan for an Internet start up idea currently being pursued by our team.

Trust me to post my experience after tomorrow’s session until then…. I have to go now.

If you would like to attend this event, then I suggest you call Onome on 08166263527 right away!

What’s the experience of being a Small Business Enterprises owner been like?

Uzo Nduka of Domino Information Company Limited

Special Invitation to Attend a Small Business Workshop Series

Uzo Nduka of Domino Information Company LimitedI urge you not to underestimate the importance of small business workshops, I strive to attend a number of workshops yearly especially if they are highly practical.

To this end, I wish to invite you to attend this highly practical and informative small business workshop organized by Domino Information Company Limited led by Uzo Nduka, a small business coach and strategist who has earned my respect!

Consider this….

On the 1st of January 2012 fuel subsidy was removed, workers went on strike, businesses were forced to shut down and many people went to the streets to protest. We are now in February and most micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) operators are asking ‘’what next?’’. The ongoing banking sector reforms, Boko Haram and the cost of fuel are combining to make life difficult for MSMEs.

While we may never be able to know what is next, we can plan and prepare to adapt, to survive, to grow and to make profit in 2012.

The Domino Information Company Limited (DICL) team is very pleased to invite you to the 2012 Small Business Planning Workshop Series.

Date: 1st – 2nd March, 2012

Time: 8-30am to 4pm

Venue: Peninsula Hotel, Block 94, Plot 16, Beside Brass Motors, along Lekki-Epe expressway, Lagos.

Small Business

Please note that this Small Business workshop series is not your usual workshop and that you are not coming to receive a lecture from experts. It will be a hands-on and practical exercise and you will be working with peers and colleagues to create your own robust business plan for 2012.

Below are 3 Objectives driving the DICL Team

  1. It is time to run your business with precision and direction, spend 2days with us and have a business plan
  2. Show me a successful man, and I will show you a man with a plan, come get your 2012 Business Activity Plan
  3. Success in business is not by default, 2 days at this workshop will clearly show you the how, where and when.

Hear them: We promise that at the end of the workshop, every participant will leave the venue with their own 2012 Business Plan. A plan that will help you and your team remain focused on your business goals throughout the year.

DICL and her partner, Moneycom Micro Finance Bank, will provide the tools, technical expertise and other resources needed to achieve this. The Small Business Planning Workshop Series are backed by DICL money-back guarantee.

Remember, it is reasonable to spend one and half days planning and deciding how to the rest of the year should go.

For enquiries, please contact us using the information provided on the attached flyer.

God bless you and see you at the workshop.

I endorse this small business workshop 100%

How Much do You Actually Need to Start a Small Business?

For people that keep postponing the pursuit of a viable small business venture on the guise of not having sufficient capital to set up the business, here is a word of advice for them – actually you don’t really need a lot of money to start some types of small business.

With little or no capital you could start up a host of potentially lucrative businesses which are mostly service based but could sometimes also be potentially retail businesses.

For instance with as little as N10000 (ten thousand naira), you can start a boutique business anywhere in Lagos or Abuja. What is involved in owning a mini boutique apart from a small inventory of quality clothes, shoes and fashion accessories? The truth is that with the little capital you have saved up, you can start a small business of your dream, especially for job seekers who are becoming tired of the job search.

A Small Business that is ideally suited for this category of ventures are mostly home based businesses.

You can find a lot of home based business ideas from doing a simple brain storming exercise in which you ask simple questions with a view to coming up with as many answers as possible. Here are a few small businesses you may consider as viable home based businesses; selling provisions from home, laundry service, repairing of gsm and other electronics, network marketing (also known as MLM), affiliate marketing, article writing/marketing, sewing clothes for people, hair dressing and viewing center to mention just a few.

These businesses can grow with time and become very profitable even to the point of employing others. You don’t need to have millions of naira to start a profitable small business and with that kind of thinking (thinking big but starting small) the sky is the limit to what you can achieve as a business person.

Many people are mistaken in their believe that small businesses are not profitable because they tend to associate a profitable business with one that generates large volume of sales and therefore big profits however the truth is that a business in which thousands or hundreds of thousands of naira is recorded as net profit are equally profitable depending on the scale of the business.

If I make let’s say N100000 from a small business in 3 months when what I actually invested in it was N50000 then that business is profitable what I need to work on instead is increasing sales and minimizing cost to make it more profitable. Sadly, many of our entrepreneurs don’t think that way and fewer still understand what ploughing back your profits in a growing small business really means.

So regardless of your financial situation, I’ll suggest you take a good look at what you have and see what you can make of it. With as little as N10000 or even less you can actually start making a lot of money in a couple of months time not that this is a sure banker but if it has worked for some people in the past why shouldn’t it work for you?

Another good reason you may wish to consider for starting a small business with little or no capital is the valuable pieces of business knowledge you could gather along the way as you progress, if you fail it won’t hurt you so much and you would have acquired a couple of business skills to guide you in future whereas if you fail with a lot of investment made in a business, the outcome could be devastating.

Therefore, I urge you to run with that small business idea that crossed your mind during recently if not for anything to learn the ropes in owning and managing a business but possibly to also grow and expand into a successful business just as many success stories in business will testify.

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What Ambitious Small Business Owners Should Learn from Accidental Entrepreneurs

One trouble, two small notes, LinkedIn website and then the emergence of a top entrepreneur…entrepreneur

The above line is not just a phrase but the phases of the problem faced, the actions taken and the entrepreneurial service organization that eventually surfaced for Henk van Ess.

Henk needed to find a way of extending the life of his new iPhone battery and he sent an enquiry note to some LinkedIn groups. The best answer to his enquiry came from a Chinese manufacturer representative. Subsequently, he bought a new iPhone battery based on the information provided by the company representative.

Having been satisfied with the use of the battery, Henk posted a message, again, on LinkedIn saying:

“You hate the battery life of your iPhone? Perhaps I have the cure.”

The outcome of this message made Henk an accidental entrepreneur serving the Chinese company as a distributor of iPhone batteries.

Elizabeth G. Saunders was more than once in and out of the corporate world. She never realized that on her ‘last’ job quitting, the emails sent to her colleagues asking them to help join her in another job search would only be drawing opportunities of contract businesses to her.  Taking the unintended business route, Elizabeth became an accidental entrepreneur.

Rebecca Matthias was fed up with old-school maternity outfits when she was pregnant of her first child.  Her quest for chic outfits for pregnant women accidentally led her to become the CCO (Chief Creative Officer) of her own retail empire.

In other to enjoy how one can hit a business through fanciful ideas for enterprises, it may be good to cite more cases of people who have unconventionally or unintentionally become Entrepreneurs. However, more interesting than that is to draw out the inspiring attributes found across the above cases and many more which aspiring Small Business owners must find very beneficial.

The cases of Henk, Rebecca and Elizabeth as narrated above and so many other instances of accidental entrepreneurs I studied are instructive that:

Turning to entrepreneurs by them happened accidentally by fun or by force.

While a high number of cases came about by being forced (those laid off their jobs, those having neither a job nor a business, those not making ends meet even while employed and mostly those who identified or personally faced one problem or the other), many other cases showed how new Entrepreneurs are born by fun (those tossing with their hobby and those trying – or are encouraged to try – to turn their ideas, interests, knowledge and skills to business).  The people in the latter category is apart from those who had their businesses in unplanned ways based on what many of us will call ‘luck’.

Rather than subjecting themselves to the pressure of their situations, those ‘forced’ into businesses, like Elizabeth G. Saunders and Rebecca Matthias, made their utmost by moving on and those who made their business discoveries like fun, such as Henk van Ess,  were not slack in heating their way up and in making a huge success in their ventures.

Note that at the onset, all the three people mentioned here and even in the cases not mentioned, never wasted any of the momentary opportunities that came across their ways.

The entrepreneurs really focused on filling people’s desperate needs.

The accidental Entrepreneurs took action and fit their products and services to the dire needs of people.

They shut out distractions.

The chance-based entrepreneurial venture owners did not have divided attention.  They shut out all types of distraction as much as they could to attain success.

Fun, force, luck,  any of these you can envisage along your business aspirations. Now that you are informed better, don’t fail to develop the readiness and the ability for catching the moments of your own transition to the entrepreneurial world.  Don’t fail, too, to stay sturdy in order to get to the top along with your own business, whether small or big.

Do you agree that the hints here are not what you can neglect in materializing your entrepreneurial aspirations?

Do you realize that there are so many ways being alert enough of opportunities coming your way can help you to become an entrepreneur earlier than you expect?

Like Henk, Elizabeth and Rebecca, you can also be an accidental entrepreneur.

Small Business Lessons

4 Small Business Lessons from Steve Jobs ex-CEO Apple Inc.

I wrote the 4 Small Business Lessons from Steve Jobs immediately after he resigned as CEO of Apple Inc. long before he died of Cancer…. So long Steve – the world misses you!!!

Its no longer news that Steve Jobs has resigned as the CEO of Apple Inc., what might be news today are some of the Small Business Lessons inherent in his life and time as Apple’s CEO.Small Business Lessons

The question that’s got me thinking is; what could have motivated an assuming guy to build what is arguably the most capitalized company in the world today?

Could it be sheer luck, passion, commitment, his team etc.? Steve Jobs is one guy I admire so much just by reading his compelling story. Here’s a guy who got kicked out from his own company, only to be called back some years later to help rescue it.

Let’s explore some Small Business Lessons from Steve Jobs

1. The first Small Business Lesson is that Steve Jobs had a great team

This guy was surrounded by the best in every field needed to make the Apple dream a reality, he sold the Apple dream to them and they bought into it. These people are so proud to be insanely great (one of Steve Jobs’ favourite phrases), they joined him to shape Apple into what she is today!

Do you have a great team or you are doing all the work alone?

2. The 2nd Small Business Lesson is that he stayed focused and kept the entire organization focused.

It is reported that every Monday, Steve Jobs and his executive team usually checks out the entire business, including products under development. A tedious process that is almost always the same from last Monday’s and the reason for this is simply because he wanted everyone to be on the same page. This partly explains why Apple is so innovative as a company.

Is your small business focused?

3. Another Small Business Lesson is that he was a great story teller

Steve never had a challenge telling the Apple story when called upon. Each time he tells a story about his plans and beliefs to the amazement of the whole world. Anytime Steve stands to give a presentation, he always in most cases holds the entire audience spell bound. What this means for you as a small business owner is that you have to master the art of communicating effectively especially when it comes to selling your product or service.

Do you have an elevator pitch for your product and/or services?

4. The last Small Business Lesson is that he is first and foremost an Apple customer.

Every time a member of Steve’s team presented anything, he listened like a customer would, he loved every product Apple created, he was passionate about it. That’s why every Apple product launch usually has customers queuing up with joy, happiness and adoration (for Steve) to buy – this is a feat. (Post Steve – iPad 4 experienced the same rush)

For Steve Jobs – the Apple customer is King, so treat her like one. Apple products are expensive but their customers pay with little or no complain.

Do you see yourself as an internal customer of your small business?

The questions under each Small Business Lessons will help you take stock of where you are today!

The purpose of this blog post is to point out some of the small business lessons from his one-of-a-kind career. Maybe his legacy would be the fact that he came, he saw, he conquered building what is arguably the most capitalized company in the world as the time of his retirement. Let’s hope the new CEO Tim Cook takes Apple Inc. to greater heights.

Click here to read Steve Jobs commencement speech to Stanford’s graduating class on June 12, 2005. A speech that helps me seat up and push on………

The concluding question of this small business lesson article is what legacy do you intend to leave and how do you hope to be remembered?

Please leave a comment or share this article. 🙂

Small Business Success

5 Small Business Success Strategies you can develop

The following 5 Small Business Success Strategies can help you small business grow in no time.

It is exciting to be a business owner, for me I am not just a business owner, I am a business owner helping others become business owners and over the years I have taught many of them these Small Business Success strategies you are about to learn. For a lot of people, owning their own business is one great dream they have in mind but unfortunately not all will see that dream come to pass except they commit to paying the price and doing what it takes.

Small Business Success
Small Business Success Strategies

Photo Credit

[quote]Remember the saying, nothing good comes easy[/quote]

Below are 5 Small Business Success Strategies

1. Develop your USP (unique selling proposition)

It does not matter what your business is or in what industry you operate, you’ve got to stand out from the crowd by creating a compelling USP that sells you and the business almost instantly. The starting point of developing a USP is to ask yourself questions such as;

  • what is my passion?
  • who do I want to serve?
  • who are my potential customers?
  • what do they need?
  • what can I offer?
  • will they be willing to pay?
  • how much? etc,

The list of questions can go on and on from this point. This is a key small business success strategy I advice you to learn and practice.

2. Develop your Elevator pitch

Can you explain your business in 60 seconds? Imagine, lodging in one of the Hilton hotels and there you are in an elevator and suddenly it slides open and a top executive of a company you have been trying to do business with steps in, what will be your reaction? Are you going to wait for the perfect day? or would you swing into action and use your neatly crafted elevator pitch to introduce yourself or your business? If you are like me, I bet you’ll maximise every bit of that opportunity.

[quote]Remember, opportunity is a haughty goddess – the Richest man in Babylon[/quote]

3. Develop a Testimonial system

Do you want to experience small business success? Then you’ve got to develop a testimonial strategy. It does not matter when or where, get into the habit of asking (begging on your knees) for testimonials as long as your product or service delivers on its promises. Get them to write about it but it is preferable if they agree to do a 60 seconds video for you, because pictures speak a thousand words and videos a whole lot more. Having testimonials from satisfied customers is one small bsuiness success strategy that will take your business to the next level.

Testimonials do play an extremely important role for small businesses especially in areas such as PR, advertising etc.

4. Develop an Upselling strategy

Upselling is one of the most successful small business success strategies. A classical example of how I upsell is when I talk about my Natureline business to a prospect, I focus only on the Tyre Safety Solution product and when the client is satisfied, I then introduce him or her to the Fix Energy Teas or any other products. Well this is me, you find ways to upsell. I am not saying that you should lose focus and crete another line of business when the 1st line is still struggling, all you need to do is become an affiliate of a business that has a non-competing line – I recommend Natureline Solutions. Everywhere you go, someone is trying to get you to buy more. From McDonalds with its supersize options to clothing stores that try to sell you shoes to match your outfit, everyone’s jumping on the band wagon. Why? Because it works!

If your customers already know that you have quality products that meets their needs, they will trust you again and again. Think about it… it is a lot easier to prospect someone you already have some sort of relationship with. Use every opportunity you have to increase your sales and learn to maximize your economic power of influence.

5. Develop the Benefits story

Have you heard the words that we mostly buy with our emotions? Ask the Mercedes Benz dealer what he sells? I bet he won’t say a car, rather he will begin with the benefits or status of having a mercedes benz.

People pay you because they want to enjoy the “perceived” benefit of your products or services. A wrist watch is a wrist watch, why do I have to buy a cartier? Simply, the makers create the feeling of the many benefits one can derived from owning a cartier wrist watch.

When developing your product or service benefit story, learn to use pictures, because picture they say speaks a thousand words. Always put the benefits of your small business in the mind of your potential and existing customers.

Please share your opinion about the small business success strategies stated above.

4 Small Business Finance Mistakes to avoid

The purpose of this post is inform you about some small business finance mistakes to avoid at all cost.

It is advisable to note these small business finance mistakes so you are aware whenever they start becoming evident in your small business. The wisdom here is to gain the understanding and eliminate them immediately they start.

1. The Top of the list of small business finance mistakes is having No Monthly Bookkeeping.

Irrespective of the size of your business, inaccurate book keeping creates so many issues that will certainly affect cashflow, business planning and decision making. It is understandble that most small business avoid costs by all means, but keeping proper books should be regarded as an

small business finance mistakes
small business finance mistakes

investment rather than a cost. I say this because I have a 1st hand knowledge of the damage that can be done, if a small business owner avoids proper and regular book keeping. If you are still struggling, I suggest you outsource the book keeping job to a relatively young accounting firm rather than employing an accountant.

This is one of the small business finance mistakes that can actually crash any business whether big or small.

Photo Credit

2. Among the Small Business finance Mistakes is having No Projected Cash Flow.

If you don’t keep your books, you won’t know where you have been and if you have no projected cash flow then you have no idea of where you are headed. Small businesses often disregard these sort of advice and operate without keeping their books on a monthly basis, talk less of having a projected cash flow and what happens next, the small business starts dying gradually until it reaches a crisis state before the small business owner seeks a small business coach who will come perform some sort of miracle.

Let me point out that it is important that your projected cash flow remains both realistic and motivating, so as to avoid any form of discouragement.

3. Inadequate Working Capital is one of the Small Business Finance Mistakes

Think about it? Will this blog be functional if money was not paid to the hosting company? or would you be reading this if you didn’t get on the internet by paying your ISP? That is the way the world works, just because you have a great idea does not mean it will fly without some funds to do a few things before the big break.

This also means that no amount of book keeping or cash flow projection will grow the business, if you don’t have adequate working capital to run the business. That is why it is advisable that you create a cash flow forecast for the business from inception. Entrepreneurs are known to be overly confident so they start off believing all will be well, but for a vast majority of people it does not just work out – I am guilty of this also, I have started a couple of businesses that failed and one of the small business finance mistakes I made was that I assumed that investors will come around in no time, boy was I wrong?

Do your research and you will find out how inadequate cash flow will ground any small business. Fate Foundation advises that you should have between six to 12 months of the cash needed to run the proposed business.

4. The Last of the small business finance mistakes, is having No Financing Strategy

Well, I know this point is a bit controversial because some people have this mindset that it is “evil” to use other people’s funds for business so they won’t start a business with a financing strategy in place. Personally, I have no issues with running a business on borrowed funds as long as the vision and mission of the business is intact.

Here are 2 key reasons of having a financing strategy in place

  1. It can serve as contigency funding incase of the unexpected
  2. It can support present and future cash flow requirements.

It is very easy to assume that finance will show up when needed, well you might be wrong. It is far better for a small business owner to have a financing strategy than not to have one. Irrespective of the reason not having a flexible financing strategy in place is indeed one of the major small business finance mistakes.

That said, a credible and workable financing strategy may not be possible if any of the other 3 points above is absent and the reason is simple, they are all building blocks for a financially sound and stable small business.

Avoiding these small business finance mistakes will help take your business to the next level.