The Entrepreneur’s Tool Box
Taking that first plunge into business can be one of the most terrifying, exciting and ultimately rewarding things you’ll ever do. Almost everyone has that spark of entrepreneurial spirit in them, but if you want to make a success of your idea then you’re going to need your very own entrepreneur’s tool box. Some of the items in that tool box will be a little more visceral than others, but there are practical tools you can gather that will help make running a successful business that bit easier.
Modern times call for modern tools
The digital marketplace means that your business immediately has a potentially huge audience online. So for any business starting up these days it’s essential to have an online presence via a website that informs, drives traffic towards your primary goal (whether that’s further contact or a sale) and expands your market penetration quickly. Whilst a global online marketplace may create opportunities, it also creates obstacles too. So if you’re a newbie to the world of online marketing two of the best tools you can have in your entrepreneur’s tool box is a good webmaster and a good content writer.
Unless you’re a capable web designer or content copywriter yourself, you should hand these two vitally important jobs over to the professionals. Get your website right first time and your fledgling business has a much greater chance of surviving its first year and even flourishing.
Whilst there’s plenty of free business software available online, good quality licensed software packages are a long-term investment and can help to future-proof your business. High on your list of must-have software should be business accounting software that enables you to keep your accounts up to date and manageable. One of the easiest ways to scupper your chances of success is to get into a muddle with your finances. Accounting software will help you stay on track and on top of your bottom line numbers.
Good quality account software can also be tied into other aspects of your business, such as your invoicing process, PAYE processing (once you start employing others) and even your email account (to alert you of important dates such as tax return deadlines). Using a good account software package will mean that keeping track of your new business’s fortunes is much easier, much more controllable and ultimately much more successful.
You have that spark of inspiration, a brilliant idea – but no money. Working capital is essential for your business, but in the early days it can be difficult to finance your operation. However, using online resources such as cloud computing for data storage, VoIP rather than ordinary landline telephone services, electronic invoicing rather than paper-based and other cost-cutting ideas you can really trim back on the amount of working capital you’ll need to stay afloat. While a loan may be a tempting option, make sure that if you do hit a rocky patch or invoice payments get delayed, you are still able to make the monthly repayments on time.
There are plenty of other tools you can add as you go along, such as payroll software that integrates with your accounting system, mobile marketing and even social media campaigns to promote your business. The basic rule is to start simple with just those things your new business really needs – mixed with a healthy dash of optimism, determination and hard work!