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Advice from Outside the Square

Category Archives: Startup

Are You Starting Your First Business? Get These 6 Things Right!

Are you starting your first business? If you are like most people who want to start their own business people, you probably decided to do so because you are an expert in what you do, you believe you can do it better as your own boss, and you want your independence and ability to do it your own way. Today, this seems even more possible due to the technology that you can use from home or a shared space that allows you to keep costs down when you start up. While there are even government websites encouraging you (there’s one that has a header “Open for Business: Simple, Fast, Easy) headlines still exist that shout out nearly 80% of businesses close within 18 months of starting – and you can bet most of these are micro, small, and "kitchen table" businesses. Nevertheless, our enthusiasm as human beings for the life of freedom is boundless, and once you conquer the fear of failure, most of us grasp the chance and plunge in. The question is not “will you start your own business” but “how will you start your business with least risk of failure”. So here are the 6 things I believe you need, gleaned from...
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10 Things Every Small Business Needs To Do To Succeed

As a business advisor and accountant, I am often asked what a small business needs to do in order to succeed. It's a simple enough question but there are so many things small business owners need to know, need to be, and need to do in their businesses. So I asked a number of my most successful clients what they thought about the question, and, using my own experience gained over the last 30-plus years, I have collated the top 10 things that a small business needs to do to succeed. 1. Make sure that you are marketing effectively. From experience, I cannot stress enough how important marketing is to the success of any small business. The problem is that most small business owners are subject matter experts - they are good mechanics, good lawyers, good accountants, good toy retailers, good garment manufacturers - and this means that they try to make their business succeed by being good at what they do. Unfortunately, that is not enough. A business succeeds only if it finds and continues to find customers. Some of these will come from word-of-mouth or reputation but the volume of these new customers will not be enough to grow your business. So, you...
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