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Once your board is set up, you should meet about once a month and present material for review. Each meeting should be a discussion of your business problems and an input from your advisors relative to possible solutions. These members of your board of advisors should offer you advice as well as alternatives, and provide you with objectivity. No formal decisions need to be made either at your board meeting, or as a result of them, but you should be able to gain a great deal from suggestions you hear.
You will find that most of your customers have money to pay at least some of what they owe you immediately. To keep them current, and number of accounts receivable in your files to a minimum, you should call them on phone and ask for some kind of explanation why they're falling behind. If you develop such a habit as part of your operating procedure, you'll find your invoices will magically be drawn to front of their piles of bills to pay. While maintaining a courteous attitude, don't be hesitant, or too much of a "nice guy" when it comes to collecting money.
Something else that's a very good business practice, but which few business owners do is to methodically build a credit rating with their local banks. Particularly when you have a good cash flow, you should borrow $100 to $1,000 from your banks every 90 days or so. Simply borrow money, and place it in an interest bearing account, and then pay it all back at least a month or so before it's due. By doing this, you will in crease borrowing power of your signature, and strengthen your ability to obtain needed financing on short notice. This is a kind of business leverage that will be of great value to you if or whenever your cash position becomes less favorable.
By all means, join your industry's local and national trade associations. Most of these organizations have a wealth of information available on everything from details on your competitors to average industry sales figures, new products, services, and trends.
If you are given a membership certificate or wall plaque, you should display these conspicuously on you office wall. Customers like to see such "seals of approval" and feel additional confidence in your business when they see them.
Still another thing often overlooked: If at all possible, you should have your spouse work in business with you for at least three or four weeks per year. The important thing is that if for any reason you are not available to run business, your spouse will be familiar with certain people and situations about your business. These people should include your attorney, accountant, any consultants or advisors, creditors and your major suppliers. The long-term advantages of having your spouse work four weeks per year in your business with you will greatly outweigh short-term inconvenience. Many couples share responsibility and time entirely, which is in most cases even more desirable.
Whenever you can, and as often as you need it, take advantage of whatever free business counseling is available. The Small Business Administration published many excellent booklets, checklists and brochures on quite a large variety of businesses. These publications are available through U.S. Government Printing Office. Most local universities, and many private organizations hold seminars at minimal cost, and often without charge. You should also take advantage of service s offered by your bank and local library.
The important thing about running a small business is to know direction in which you're heading; to know on a day-to-day basis your progress in that very direction; to be aware of what your competitors are doing and to practice good money management at all times. All this will prepare you to recognize potential problems before they arise.
In order to survive with a small business, regardless of economic climate, it is essential to surround yourself with smart people, and practice sound business management at all times
Todd makes his living at home with his website http://home-biz-guy.com Subscribe to Todd's home business tips newsletter by sending a blank email to email@example.com