Is there really a formula for a successful business?
Start-up tips from Clara Lizano, self-starter entreprenaeur
Best way I have learnt to run a business is by trial and error but I also enjoy advice. So if you are an entrepreneur or starting a business here’s a bit about what I learnt along the way.
“Success is very much achievable, but one has to want it badly first. One has to be ready to sacrifice, work hard, and overcome obstacles. One has to discover the essence behind his drive to succeed.” – Bo Sanchez
Most people start a business for the mere fact that they want to have freedom physically and financially but ask yourself this question:
Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?
One day, I started my first business and then after a while, I failed.
Growing up as an independent individual who likes control, working on a 9-5 routine bored me out so I decided to go out on my own. I invested a small amount on a trendy business at the time – affordable perfumes. Even though I was not a major fan of the product and my business knowledge was in its infancy, I took the plunge and enjoyed the ride. Surprisingly, the first batch sold out quicker than I thought (thanks to my friends, family members, and some friends of friends). And with much enthusiasm on the financial state, I decided to invest again. Looking back at it, I shot myself in the foot as another person selling the same perfume generated 10 times more revenue.
That’s pretty much one of the most important lessons I’ve come to believe is important to me: believe in a product I sell. I was frustrated because during that time, selling that kind of perfume was a trend and everybody wanted it. A friend of mine sells the same brand of perfume and she’s already making large amounts of money.
Where did I go wrong?
To give you a clearer perspective, here are my unique selling points:
- I’m the only one who sells the perfume brand in town and unlike today, online shopping wasn’t a hit.
- The perfume brand is affordable and long-lasting. It even comes with a pouch to protect its pretty bottle.
So once again, why didn’t it work?
Now looking back, 3 businesses down, here are some advice I would give to anyone starting it out:
1. Surround yourself with experts.
Find the masterminds of business -talk to business owners or specialists, read articles or blogs of successful entrepreneurs. They will have tried and tested methods, good budgeting advice, and have taken massive leaps into the unknown to keep you inspired when it gets tough.
2. Embrace failure
Success does not happen overnight. Real sustainable business is the combination of hard work and play to make a product you are passionate about, work. Time and time again you will feel like you have hit a wall but what’s happening is you are learning each time. And don’t forget to go back to point 1 as many times as you need to.
3. Understand your business’ path clearly.
Knowing your reasons for doing what you’re doing will guide towards the path to success. Do you want to expand? Sell more products? Build an empire? It’s all up to you but you have to look at the bigger picture. A lot of entrepreneurs start out by writing out their vision which is a great way of bringing you back if you find yourself lost.
4. Have the right mindset about MANAGING YOUR CASH FLOW
‘As air is to breath and blood is to life, cash flow is to business.’
I left this to the last as essentially it is the life-blood of your business, which keeps the other three flowing. It’s more than just a simple point so let me expand
Your daily cash flow analysis and management determines the sustainability and survival of your business. Yes, you do have awesome products and it seems like selling out quickly but do you have enough cash to invest again? Pay your staff? Expand? Or were you able to pay the due credit on time?
Here is what has helped me get to the stage of having better budgeting skills and positive cash flow.
- Start off from day one with a good habit of update your books daily, cash flow is only as good as your latest update. It should never be the last task at the end of the month, or hidden in a whole lot of spreadsheets. When things pile up you will be left short when you need it the most.
- Find the right software that works for you. Accounting software like Xero and Quickbooks are great, however they don’t make it easy to see the big picture easily. The right budgeting tool like MoolahMore can make quick check ups easy and make keeping track and anticipate cash gaps clearer. Having a daily financial check available in a mobile app will mean screen time is really valuable to you.
- Give yourself a buffer, none of us know when unexpected expenses will hit so whether its a piggy bank or a savings account. Ensure before you convince yourself that new piece of equipment or line is worth investing in, either save for it or ensure you have additional reserves JUST IN CASE!
So what can a good cash flow habit do for your business?
Good cash flow management and budgeting can win the loyalty of staff, clients and suppliers. It can bring you new business as you know when you can afford to grow. And most importantly it will keep you sane. With all the chaos in this world, knowing how much cash you have at any time will be good for mental health and the growth of your business and passion.
I really wish I had known this when I started doing business because believe me you have no idea how essential this is and you don’t want to wait until s**t hits the fan to prioritize it.
And always remember: “Success is only a manifestation of what you have worked on.”
So, what’s next? Baby steps to growth.
Let me take you up for a challenge:
The 30-day Cash Flow Management Challenge
Track your cash flow on a daily basis and forecast what steps you will take over the next few months or years then let me know how much difference it made.
MoolahMore offers a 30-day trial so business owners can give it a spin. What are you waiting for? Download the app now! Let’s grow together.