By: Sonia Gibson, Director at Accounting Heart Chartered Accountants
Micro-businesses are replacing full time jobs for many hardworking and skilled professionals who may have lost their positions due to COVID. In the midst of the business world’s unplanned shuffle, many people are wondering how to go about creating a healthy startup that is likely to last. The foundations, after all, support all future endeavours. Here are 5 simple steps from award winning accountant, Sonia Gibson.
- Think “profit first”
An important aspect of being in business with good morals and ethics lies in paying all your dues and ensuring your services providers and expenses are paid. We naturally prioritise this above all else. However, a profit first approach ensures the well-being of your business. That doesn’t mean skimping on paying your bills, it means reducing your expenses if you have set aside your profit and find yourself unable to meet further financial obligations. Your first obligation is your profit. As your incoming revenue grows, so can your financial obligations to non-essential expenses. To learn how to do this, read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz.
- Make provision for the unexpected
If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that the world can turn topsy-turvy in the blink of an eye, and that includes the business world. Not only should you have a nest egg to carry you through unforeseen challenges, you should also have a business structure that can be pivoted if it needs to. How easily can you migrate your business to an online environment? How broad is your target audience, and can you appeal to a different market if you need to?
- Define your USP and punt it
Your unique selling point doesn’t have to be a service that you offer, it can simply be in your approach to business and your mannerisms when you are interacting with people. It doesn’t have to be some special skill that came naturally either. You can decide what your USP is going to be and work that into your daily business dealings. For example, adding a signature freebie to certain orders that acts as a special offer that never ends – something as simple as a free hair accessory with certain treatments (if you own a hair or beauty salon). Make your freebie part of your business signature.
- Construct a flexible workplace
Another important lesson from COVID: flexible work structures simplify things. Instead of paying people to turn up, consider a work structure that is based around realistic goals for each employee. When the goal post is an actual goal rather than a time limit, productivity naturally rises. When employees are able to work around family commitments, you have a happier team that is more willing to put in extra effort. Every employer wants a team of workers that act as though they are self-employed within their designations. Create the environment for this by not micro-managing and incorporating flexibility.
- Review your goals and outcomes each quarter with your accountant
Business growth means accepting accountability for the goals you have reached and the goals you have not. An accountant can project a realistic outcome and provide you with a simple step-by-step process to achieve those goals. When you have setbacks or unforeseen challenges, your accountant can help you to evaluate the situation and incorporate measures to mitigate the stumbling blocks, coming up with a new way forward so that you can continue to progress and achieve your goals.
About the author
Sonia Gibson, Director at Accounting Heart Chartered Accountants
Sonia has always loved solving puzzles and empowering people to help themselves. Accounting Heart brings these two passions of hers – her head and heart – together.
While figures might send you batty, to Sonia they tell the unique story of your business. It’s her role to translate that story into one you’ll understand so you can then write it your own way.