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VZi Small Business Forum Volkszone has many entrepreneurs, self-employed and those who run their own companies. Please use this forum to ask (and answer) any small business related questions - employment law, tax laws, insurance, marketing, council rates, etc. Please DO NOT use it to tout for business or to plug your own company (please use the Yellow Pages forum for this) - any blatant 'plug' posts will be deleted and the posters may be reprimanded further. This is the ONLY warning you will receive - the idea is to help each others' businesses, not to take advantage - so please play nice.

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Old 04-01-2017, 10:42 AM   #1
kiwigirl
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Default Starting up!

Hi all,

My partner and I are starting up a small business mainly upholstery and car interiors with other bits thrown in and we need to know the ins and outs of starting up a small business.

Any advice, lists of to do stuff, help all greatly appreciated

Thanks from Kiwigirl and Ady Sharpe
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:39 AM   #2
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Writing a business plan should help guide you. It’s also needed for presenting to the bank etc. Your business plan should include a mission statement, a company summary, any service or product offerings, a description of a target market, financial projections and the potential costs of the operation.

Identify your market - do your homework. Assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to buy from you. Work out a realistic assessment of costs/charges etc.

A good accountant helps enormously - go visit a few - interview THEM - ask them how they can help you etc.

Communication - so many small businesses fail because the proprietors, while good at their job(s) are often crap at getting back to people. Folk hate being ignored. Answer that phone/email right away.

Patience - keep in mind that success won’t necessarily happen overnight. It could take some time before you make a profit.

Promotion - plug, plug, plug away, Facebook, Twitter etc. Use any/all 'free' resources you can to promote the business. Nothing beats some good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. Get friends, family members etc. to spread the word about your product(s) or service(s.)

Don’t 'bad-mouth' the competition when talking to customers. If competition exists, it means there’s a market for your business. Use this to outperform a rival - offer a 'better' service - but don't get into 'slagging off'.

Make sure folk pay on time. Many businesses fail because of cashflow (or lack of) - it's no good being owed loads but the phone is about to be cut off. Set out terms sight away and make sure you deliver on time and the customer pays on time.

Say goodbye to your social life for a while. You think you'll be working for YOURSELF - you won't, you'll be working for your customers.

Good luck.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Burrows View Post
Writing a business plan should help guide you. Itís also needed for presenting to the bank etc. Your business plan should include a mission statement, a company summary, any service or product offerings, a description of a target market, financial projections and the potential costs of the operation.

Identify your market - do your homework. Assess the market, targeting the customers most likely to buy from you. Work out a realistic assessment of costs/charges etc.

A good accountant helps enormously - go visit a few - interview THEM - ask them how they can help you etc.

Communication - so many small businesses fail because the proprietors, while good at their job(s) are often crap at getting back to people. Folk hate being ignored. Answer that phone/email right away.

Patience - keep in mind that success wonít necessarily happen overnight. It could take some time before you make a profit.

Promotion - plug, plug, plug away, Facebook, Twitter etc. Use any/all 'free' resources you can to promote the business. Nothing beats some good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing. Get friends, family members etc. to spread the word about your product(s) or service(s.)

Donít 'bad-mouth' the competition when talking to customers. If competition exists, it means thereís a market for your business. Use this to outperform a rival - offer a 'better' service - but don't get into 'slagging off'.

Make sure folk pay on time. Many businesses fail because of cashflow (or lack of) - it's no good being owed loads but the phone is about to be cut off. Set out terms sight away and make sure you deliver on time and the customer pays on time.

Say goodbye to your social life for a while. You think you'll be working for YOURSELF - you won't, you'll be working for your customers.

Good luck.
Brilliant stuff!

Thanks Brian
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Old 12-01-2017, 10:08 AM   #4
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Just add my advice too...

When you get established and busy, don't be afraid to turn customers away.

If you take on more work than you can do, you'll start letting people down and that will ruin your reputation. Many business fail because they grow too quickly.

Also, some customers are more trouble than they're worth. You'll soon get used to spotting the signs
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Old 26-01-2017, 12:47 PM   #5
raysor
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Hmm, so many things to look at, premises, bank account, accountant, stationary, book-keeping but I think first look at your business model. What is the (local) demand for your services? How much are customers prepared to pay, what are your costs (materials, labour, lighting/heating,rent,advertising, tools etc?
What is the margin? How many jobs can you do on your own. Is the business scalable?
It is surprising how different a business can be as compared to the business plan!
You will probably have to worry about cash-flow, bad debts, working capital.

Last edited by raysor; 26-01-2017 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 31-01-2017, 03:39 PM   #6
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took me years to understand about the need for better books and now I couldn't be with out invoice2go.com I was so so focused on running the company...

I know it's promoting a company. I don't get anything out of it.. but when your on your own it makes it very easy to track payments.. you get what you want out of it.. i am sure it can do more than I get from it but I love it, when it messages me that MR X and MRs Smith have opened your email/invoice but not paid. Works from your PC or your mobile phone! they link..

so you don't forget and your straight on the phone to them and suddenly your paid up!! it's brilliant!
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