Eight Don’ts when it comes to being a successful entrepreneur

 

 

 

It isn’t easy becoming a successful entrepreneur. 60% of new businesses fail in the first three years. To have any chance of establishing your business and becoming profitable, there are more than a few mistakes you really must avoid. Here are just eight… 

 

 

Don’t expect to be an overnight success 

 

Every venture, no matter how much you’ve planned, or how much confidence you have in your business model, comes with risks – especially when you’re just starting up. Don’t expect things to go smoothly or to make a profit straightaway. Expect problems and setbacksBeing successful is a long term game. That means commitmenta lot of hard work, patience and, above all, perseverance 

 

 

Don’t forget to make a business plan 

 

Start without a business plan and you’re planning to fail. Even if it’s just a single page, map out what you expect your start-up and operating costs to be, who your customers are, how you will sell to them and how much you expect to turnover monthly and annually. This will give you some idea of whether or not your business is going to be a viable concernContinually revisit your plan to review and refine, add new goals to work towards for the short, medium and long term. 

 

 

Don’t forget your tax obligations 

 

Make sure you follow the rules when it comes to registering your company and paying tax. If at all possible, get an accountant to help you with this and ensure you know exactly what your obligations are. It’s wise to put away enough cash in a tax account each month, so when the time comes to complete your tax return, the funds are in place. KoalaPays can help with separate ‘spaces’ to designate funds so you can manage your finances and your taxes better.  

 

 

Don’t forget contracts 

 

When you’re just starting out, you’ll do just about anything to get a new client on board – to the\ point where it can be tempting not to use a contract. This can be a big mistake for a new venture with limited resources. No matter how good your relationship with a business partner, when things go wrong, if you don’t have a contract, the outcome can be disastrous for your business.  

 

 

Don’t waste money 

 

When you’re starting out, being cost-efficient is critical. So when it comes to partnering with service providers, make sure you get value for money. Do your research and find the suppliers, partners and technology that are most compatible with your business model. For instance, at KoalaPays, we’ve designed our services around businesses just like yours with a range of features that can make it easier for you to do business in more places across the world.  

 

 

Don’t overpromise or under-deliver 

 

If you tell a customer or business partner that you can deliver more than you actually can, you could lose business. Be conservative in your estimates, that way you can always over-deliver and really impress your customers. 

 

 

Don’t be unprofessional

 

Following on from that, be professional in all your dealings with customers, suppliers and other business partners. Professionalism is what makes others take your business seriously. Respect your employees and others you work with, as well as customers. Always be courteous and polite. If you’re lax in any respect of professionalism, the result can seriously cripple your reputation. In the business community, word can spread quickly – anything that’s bad for your reputation is bad for business.  

 

 

Don’t rush when it comes to hiring 

 

The people that work for you are the lifeblood of your business, so it’s important to get recruitment right – even if you need new staff desperately. Invest in advertising and screening candidates. If necessary, outsource. Remember, you’re not only looking for someone who can do the job, but someone who is a good fit for company culture and can even bring more value to the business in other areas.  

Five metrics you should track for business success

 

 

In business, information is power. It provides the insights you need to craft your strategy for improved efficiency, better results and helps you win more business. That is why metrics are so important. These KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) tell you how well your business is performing, as well as where you should focus your efforts in order to do better.  

Here are five key metrics that will help you make better decisions and take your business to the next stage of its growth. 

 

 

Marketing metrics 

 

Every good business needs a sound marketing strategy. How well your marketing performs will determine how many potential customers find you and do business with you. So it’s important to know what’s working and what isn’t. That way, you can focus your efforts and investment on areas where you’ll see most reward. 

When it comes to marketing metrics, there are several key areas to look at, but one of the most important is digital marketing metrics because it has the potential to deliver the highest ROI.  

Email, for instance, is one of the cheapest ways to market your business. However, simply sending out random emails isn’t going to elicit much success. You need to know how which email campaigns perform best by looking at open and click-through rates, conversions, unsubscribes and revenue per email. By carrying out A/B testing and segmentation, you’ll be able to see which campaigns work best. 

You can do the same with social media. Fortunately, these platforms come equipped with tools that can help you see how well certain strategies are paying off.  

Finally, your website is the core of all your marketing efforts, especially if this is where sales happen. By monitoring traffic and conversion rates, while making changes to landing pages and blogs, you can see what works best. And, of course, there is a range of useful measurement tools out there to help you do it, such as Google Analytics. 

 

 

Customer acquisition and churn  

 

It’s important to know how much it costs to acquire customers, especially if you’re targeting a number of different demographics or segments. This tells you what your ROI is and where you can win more business, more cheaply.  

Knowing what your customer retention or churn numbers are, is equally important, as this is a key indicator of loyalty. Here, you should be measuring key customer retention metrics such as customer lifetime value. This lets you see how well you are meeting customer needs. Making adjustments to products or services can massively improve loyalty as long as you know how your figures change in response to adjustments. The ultimate goal is to identify and focus on your most rewarding audience. 

 

 

Cashflow  

 

The more you know about your finances and cashflow the better. Which is why KoalaPays has integrated a number of features into our payment solution to help you manage your income. Your company’s cashflow statement should tell you a lot about how the business is doing. This is where you’ll see all the details of your income and outgoings. As a result, you’ll know how much you have left to reinvest into the business.  

On the flipside, it will also let you know if the company is losing money. In which case, you can put a remedial action plan in place as soon as possible.  

 

 

Productivity 

 

How productive your employees are will have a massive influence on how successful your business is. And this simply isn’t about how much work they can get done in a paid hour. This is more about how talented they are, and how much they contribute to overall business success. For example, one employee might be able to turn out more product than the employee sat next to him, but whose products are the better quality? 

Measuring productivity isn’t easy but it’s essential if you want to know that something is going wrong. It might be a lack of motivation or morale, or it might be that you don’t have the right employee incentives in place. Until you know where the issue lies, you can’t fix it.  

Set clear objectives and goals for workers, carry out regular customer surveys to make sure customers are happy with the quality of your products, as well as the service they receive. At the same time, engage with your employees and make sure they have everything they need to do a good job and be happy at work. 

 

 

Cost of revenue and profitability 

 

Cashflow might give you a good idea of how your business is doing but costs of revenue can offer real insights on where you can take action to improve profitability. This is defined as the total expenses to make a sale. It’s the cost of producing your product, along with the business expenses and marketing expenses required to sell it 

Business owners are often so focussed on numbers of sales that they neglect this important metric. Aggressively reducing the costs required to make a sale can turn out to be more effective than making several extra sales. Alternatively, look at it as an easy way to boost profits without making extra sales.  

All of these metrics allow you to evaluate the overall health of your business. Doing this regularly allows you to see what’s going right and where you can do better. The insights you gain along the way give you the information you need to make well-informed business decisions and adjustments that help your business succeed for the long term. 

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