Do you have an idea for a business? Reckon your product or service could fill a gap in the market? Always dreamed of being your own boss?
If you’ve answered yes to these three questions, then congratulations – you clearly have an entrepreneurial spirit! Now comes the hard part. More than half a million businesses launch across the country every month and you need all the help you can get if you’re going to stand out from the crowd and succeed – regardless of how good your idea is.
The biggest thing to be aware of is money. If you don’t stay in control of this, then you’re never going to get anywhere. But how do you do that? Well, that’s where it pays to deploy the right tools on your behalf. Here are three to use in your start up…
Your business plan should channel all of the energy and enthusiasm you have for your business, gathering it together into a document that is a mission statement as well as a detailed breakdown of the journey you plan to go on – with financial projection for the short, medium and long term. This document is a great way of crystallizing the business idea you have (and the scale of the challenge ahead), and it might also be needed to win over potential investors if you want to attract funding.
Start ups should try enloop, which is a great tool to help you to deliver professional, detailed business plans that you’ll be proud to share and show off.
When your business is up and running with a settled plan in place, you need to keep on top of the running costs of your business. The best way to do this is to use a tool that helps you plan (yes, that word again) the tasks that you need to carry out. You need to break down every project into small chunks to ensure that you don’t end up over-delivering in terms of time and money – two things that will quickly render your business plan obsolete.
As Wamda notes, there are a number of project management tools that are great for startups. Podio is good for those taking on complex projects, Aha is designed for start ups that haven’t yet launched, while Asana is free for up to 15 users.
Finally, you need to keep your accounts up to date. You’ve got to pay all of the tax you owe as well as suppliers and staff, and you need to keep enough cash to hand to fund all of that. Using tools helps you to have a clear picture of your accounts at all times so that things don’t spiral out of control.
QuickBooks, for example, is used by almost five million people across the world and takes a lot of the strain and time out of the management of your accounts. It also links in neatly with lots of other apps and allows you to perform functions such as printing secure checks to help you manage your payroll efficiently.
By using tools such as these, your start up will have a professional plan, a method to control the cost and time involved in delivering your work and a handy way of keeping on top of your books. These three things will be vital when it comes to laying the foundations for business success.