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Before adding employees, carry out an inventory of necessary tasks required to operate your business. Once you’ve identified all necessary tasks, assign primary responsibility for each task to one person. Although one person will be assigned more than one task, make sure no two people are assigned same tasks.
Also, make sure at least one other person knows how to do each task to cover yourself during times of staff shortages, whether due to temporary absence due to illness, or when an employee resigns and it takes you a while to find a replacement.
Finally, and most importantly, when assigning tasks, assign yourself tasks you do best (NOT just what you like to do).
To grow beyond start-up and initial growth phases, you will need capital to inject into your business. Now this, unfortunately, is easier said than done. Banks can be leery of entrepreneurial ventures and venture capital is not easy to obtain. But, although obtaining borrowed capital is difficult, it is by no means impossible. Here are main sources of funds:
Cultivate a good relationship with your banker. The more he or she understands your business and knows you, more likely it is that your application will be approved. And this means more than just fronting up when you need money. Keep your banker informed of all significant developments in your business and routinely provide copies of your annual business plans.
Be prepared to demonstrate that your business is capable of generating cashflow and think about what collateral you have available to put up if necessary.
* Venture Capital
In addition to a solid business plan and track record, venture capital providers want to see that you understand your customers and how your business is a good fit with their needs. So arm yourself with competitive intelligence and satisified customers as references. Also, be prepared to show you have access to experienced management staff. These individuals need not be on your payroll but you should expect to show that you have a depth of experience and talent available to you at least in an advisory capacity.
* Revenue Stream
Instead of selling equity to raise capital, consider selling part of revenue of business. In other words, investors advance loan capital and get repaid by way of a percentage of sales of business. This preserves your equity in business and is attractive to investors because they receive an immediate cash return.
This method has considerable advantage of avoiding securities laws (it's a loan rather than a sale of securities) but it's only viable for businesses with high margins and strong sales.
* Angel Capital Electronic Network
ACE-Net brings companies looking for capital together with angel investors. You can find links to ACE-Net at http://www.sba.gov/ADVO .
* Direct Public Offering
If your business has a strong relationship with its constituents (employees, customers, vendors and community), consider selling stock via a direct public offering. The securities laws involved in such an offering are complex though so be prepared for some pretty hefty legal fees if going down this road.
Other miscellaneous sources of funding include 401(k) plans and provision of loan guarantees by Small Business Administration (http://www.sba.gov), family members or friends.
=> Work On Business, Not In Business
The third and final point to note about breaking through glass ceiling is that you must make mental transition from working IN business, to working ON business.
Until your business hit glass ceiling, you were effectively working in business, much as an employee would. In this sense, business was your job, a place to go to work. But beyond glass ceiling, your business becomes an entity unto itself. It is no longer your “job” to work at tasks that make up business’s operation. Instead, your role is to work “on” business as a separate entity, leaving tasks to your paid employees.
Hopefully you can see that shifting your perspective in this way is key to long-term growth of your business and difference between true autonomy and indentured servitude.
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Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com
Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur. http://www.ahbbo.com