DIY options for the new entrepreneur

As a new entrepreneur, your resources are likely low. With few employees on board, minimal spending budget and a small home office, your business may need to get started with some do it yourself (DIY) techniques. Luckily, you likely have a much more useful knowledge than you think which will make your job easier.  Personal experience, social media use and a being a good judge of character can take you a long way.


Finances

Finances are scary enough in your personal life not to mention in the case of your new and fragile business. However, years of balancing cheque books, over-spending and paying bills has armed you with enough basic accounting knowledge to get your business rolling. There are 3 main aspects of business accounting to remember.

  • Records: For tax and legal purposes you want to be sure to keep records of all your financial documents and transactions. You can do this manually or electronically, just be sure it’s available and up to date.
  • Reconciliation: This is when you check your financial records against bank account and investment statements. You want to be sure everything is in order by performing this task often. 
  • Accounts payable and receivable: If you’re tracking and recording each financial detail, then this should be easy to check. Accounts payable is the money that you owe and accounts receivable is money owed to you.  

Marketing

You may not think you have the marketing power that big companies like Pepsi or Amazon do – and while you certainly don’t have the employee-power, you have the ability to influence and be recognised. The power of social media should never be underestimated, especially for small businesses like yours. By utilising social media best practices you can create and maintain a large and happy customer base. 

  • Choosing wisely: As a small operation, you have to make the most of each marketing tactic. Thus, you want to pick and choose the social networks you’ll be present on, and have a clear plan. Don’t waste your time on Pinterest if 85% of your customers are men. 
  • Timing: Once you’ve chosen the right networks, you want to time your posts wisely. For example, Twitter seems to get the most traffic Wednesday afternoons and the weekends. 
  • SEO: Using keywords in all the right places will help you rank in the search engines.  
  • Content: Creating and maintaining a blog may seem like a daunting task, but it can be valuable for your business. This will help you rank for branded and relevant keywords, making you easier to find. 

Hiring

Though many companies have an extensive HR department for hiring, or use staffing agencies, you may not have such luxuries. Still, you can staff your growing business with the right interviewing tactics and a clear and set plan. 

  • Ask the right questions: Cater your questioning toward emotional intelligence, because, as WetFeet.com suggests, “… an employee who demonstrates emotional intelligence can lead, work effectively with others, deal with change, take criticism and stay positive in the face of adversity.”
  • Know what you want: If you go into the interview with a list of set expectations, you are more likely to find the right candidate. 

While your business may be starting with a less than ideal budget and few people to maintain day to day operations, you can do more than you may think. Use your basic skills to fill in the gaps until your business catches up with itself. 

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