In 2019, the US was home to a whopping 30.7 million small businesses. That’s 99.9% of all businesses in the country.
These figures are only going to rise in the years to come, as more Americans will opt for self-employment. In 2020, an estimated 27 million US adults will transition to full-time self-employment.
If you’re one of these folks, it’s not enough to just make your business survive. You want to aim for the top and be a successful business owner. It’ll take time, but so long as you manage your time and resources, you’re more likely to “make it.”
Ready to learn all about how to get into business and start off on the right foot? Then keep reading, as that’s exactly what this post is all about!
1- Make Accounting a Breeze With an Accurate Accounting Software
There are more than 1,000 accounting terms that can get even the most seasoned CPA confused. Thanks to accounting programs like QuickBooks though, there’s no need to memorize everything.
Of course, you should still nail the basics, like “credit,” “debit,” and “balance.” Familiarize yourself with “expenses,” “income statement,” “cash flow,” “capital,” and “balance sheets.” These are the most common terms you’ll encounter when using accounting programs.
Either way, accounting software makes it easier to automate accounting formulas. These apps will let you send pre-scheduled invoices and pay your people’s salaries. Many of them also let you prepare for the tax season to avoid IRS penalties.
2- Keep Expense Reports Accurate With an Expense Management Program
One of the most important tips for business owners is to master the art and science of expense tracking. Otherwise, you’re likely to end up mismanaging your business’s financial resources. If this happens, your business is likely to run out of cash.
Keep in mind that “running out of cash” is the second-leading reason behind failed startups.
That said, small business success relies greatly on knowing where the cash goes. To do this, you need to keep track of all your business expenses as you do the spending. That means recording cash outflows as they happen, or at least by the end of the business day.
Doing this manually, however, not only consumes time, but also has a huge potential for errors. Manual data entry is prone to mistakes, such as typing in the wrong numbers.
This is why you should invest in an expense management program, such as Expensify or Xero. These programs allow you to simply take a photo of a receipt. After that, they’ll do the automated transcription of the receipt details for you.
3- Be in Sync With Your Team Through a Project Management App
One of the main functions of project management software is to simplify collaboration. For instance, the Trello app allows users to create customizable individual cards. Users can then create a list of each step needed for a project.
Users can also assign each of the steps to other members as well as enforce a due date. They can also upload documents, images, and videos on the platform. Checklists are also customizable and even come with various priority statuses.
Aside from Trello, Asana and Basecamp also offer similar features. There are also SharePoint packages that are great for collaborating on SharePoint websites. Moreover, these platforms allow for easier management and tracking of documents and records.
With these apps, every member of the team will know who’s supposed to work on which aspect of a project. It helps reduce and even eliminate duplicate work. All these can help lower the risks of delayed project completion.
Completing projects on time translates to happy customers. Happy customers are more likely to repeat business transactions with you. Repeat customers, in turn, are essential to a successful business.
4- Get Everyone in the Loop With a Team Communication Platform
Some project management apps do have a built-in instant messaging feature. However, it’s best to have an immediate method to get in touch with your people.
Team communication platforms, like Slack and Skype, fill in this gap.
5- Track Everyone’s Time With Time Monitoring Software
Here’s a piece of small business advice for those who have remote employees: Get a time tracker! This can help you monitor how your team members use their time and if they use it efficiently.
Keep in mind that distractions are a leading cause of non-productivity. What’s more, it can take up to 23 minutes for a person to recover from a distraction.
A time tracker will serve as a reminder for your people that their on-the-job clock is running. It will help them remain aware of the task in hand. By seeing those numbers constantly change, they’re less likely to get distracted.
6- Safeguard Your Network and Assets With Cybersecurity Tools
In 2019, more than 4 in 10 data breach victims were small to medium enterprises. Unfortunately, as many as 60% of victimized SMBs will close after such an attack.
The best way to prevent cyberattacks is through managed IT services. If the cost is a little too high, you should at least invest in top-of-the-line firewall protection. All company devices should also have phishing, spam, and malware protection.
Master These Strategies Now to Become the Next Successful Business Owner
Today, becoming a successful business owner isn’t just about being an accounting wizard. You do need math skills as much as you need leadership and team-building skills. However, you’ll also need to factor in external obstructions, such as cybercriminals.
So, as early as now, follow the strategies we’ve listed above. They can all help make it easier for you to manage your people and your business. Plus, they can help you avoid the costly after-effects of cybercrime.
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