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 innovative ways to grow your small business



Starting a business is daunting. There’re no guarantees and, if you haven’t run your own business before, you’re in for a steep learning curve. However, once you’re up-and-running and you’re confident that your business model is working, the next thing is to consolidate your work to date and plan for further growth. Here are five strategies proven to work when it comes to taking your business to the next stage of its evolution: 



Understand your customers 


Winning customers is only the beginning. Once you have them on-board, it’s all about keeping them there. Doing that, means finding out more about who they are and what they want, so you can learn to service them better and sell more. There are many ways to do this throughout the customer journey. It can be as simple as offering a feedback form or a survey. Look at the best ways to gain insights that can help you do better, both when it comes to existing sales and acquiring new customers.  

Your customers can also help with your marketing efforts, by recommending you to others, providing a testimonial, or just by leaving comments on a review site so make sure that you have a mechanism for asking them to do that. 

At the same time, make sure you focus on customer service. Exceptional customer service is one way of guaranteeing business growth. 



Leverage the power of social media 


Creating an online community is one way of getting your message and your brand out there. Social media doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Simply start with a business profile on a platform such as Facebook and direct your customers there for news, special offers, or even a discount. You don’t have to post every day but try to create a schedule to keep customers and potential new business checking in from time to time.  

Social media isn’t just a great way to engage customers and showcase your expertise, it’s also where you can find out more about your customers and get insights that can help with your sales strategy. 



Bring in new talent 


Now that you’re up-and-running and making a profit, think about what expertise you need to bring on board to increase your revenues. This isn’t just about people, it could be technology or software you bring in to increase efficiency and drive sales. For instance, opening an account with a payment service provider such as KoalaPays, would allow you to choose from a variety of services to suit your specific needs. 

Don’t forget the staff you already have with you. Look at how you can develop them and generate more productivity and value for your business while keeping them happy and engaged. Make sure they know that you value their contribution. Remember, the way you treat your employees will be reflected in the way you treat your customers – which, in turn, will impact your bottom line and your plans for growth. 

An alternative way of bringing in expertise is to form partnerships with other businesses that can bring something extra to the table.  



Develop new revenue streams 


This one might seem obvious but until your business is established and you’re able to understand your market better (see ‘understand your customers’), you don’t know for sure what products or services you should be offering, or what add-on extras might create new revenue streams for youThis might be a completely new service or a new version of product, an innovative pricing model, or even passive income from ads. Ask your customers what they’d like to see and don’t be afraid to experiment 



Measure and react 


Which brings us nicely to our final tip – metrics. If you don’t measure and track successes (as well as failures), you won’t be able to hone your business strategy for growth. Look at what is working well and what isn’t. Examine the reasons why and put together an action plan for better results. Likewise, if something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to let it go. Focussing on the areas which are delivering results is a no-brainer when it comes to growing your business. 

Finally, continue to research and identify possible opportunities for growth. If you see something that interests you, update your business plan and your forecasts before taking action. Make sure the initiative is viable and your business can handle any potential outcome, whether that’s good or bad. 

Growing your business isn’t easy. It takes time and effort, but if your business model is good, and you plan for every situation, you can use these strategies to your advantage and take your business to the next stage of its development. 

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