In honor of Small Business week, Reliant Funding is delivering actionable insights for small business owners. We are focusing on the top challenges facing small business owners and integrating some of the learning from the growth of our own business along the way.
Starting and running a Small Business are both lofty aspirations. Even though there are approximately 543,000 new businesses started each month, there are more employer businesses that shut down than that open each month. Lack of capital was sited as the second highest reason startups fail. Before using any money on a business, we recommend that having proof of concept is the first step before investment dollars are spent. There are many forums in which there are 3 questions asked most often regarding leadership of a business;
- When is a good time to start a business?
- What is the best way to ensure success of my business?
- Where can I get money for my business?
When is a good time to start a business?
When starting a business, timing is important, but timing alone will not be the determining factor of success. There are many businesses who have been successful that decided to open during the financial crisis of 2008. Reliant Funding is another example of a business who started despite a financial crisis but has continued to grow despite challenges.
Adam Stettner, CEO of Reliant Funding states, “There will always be problems, it is how you face adversity and overcome those challenges that will determine your success”. These examples of success tell us that starting a business is going to be a struggle no matter what time in history it is. The best time to start a business is when you have a good idea, a plan and can execute that plan.
The first few years of starting your business and whether you achieve the goals you set for yourself will tell you if the business plan or idea will be sustainable or not. Our advice- don’t give up to soon but be aware that it is not an easy road traveled.
What is the best way to ensure the success of my business?
Ensuring success of any business is dependent on you as the leader, the vision of the business, the team you surround yourself with and whether there is an environment of open-mindedness or not. When you close your mind to potential opportunities or directions you weren’t expecting, you really limit how far you can go.
Firstly, as the leader of the business you will feel a lot of pressure to the people who helped you with funding, to your own bank account, to your family and possibly to any employees you have at the beginning. Using stress as a motivator has been proven to build resilience, promote focus, and reframe your perspective. Having an overarching vision of what you are trying to accomplish and asking yourself each day/week/month/quarter if you are taking the necessary actions to reach that vision will keep you focused as well as efficient.
Writing things down is another must-do practice from Reliant Funding’s CEO Adam Stettner. Furthermore, revisiting the things you write will further help you see progress, growth and if you are succeeding at the goals you have set forth for your business.
Success is going to be different depending on the type of business you have. Considering what success looks like for you will be something that may change as time moves on but also as you hire a team to help you. Some businesses don’t necessarily need a team, but most businesses have more than one employee after proof of concept has been achieved.
What investments can I make that have shown success?
Once there are other people that are representing your business in any way, it is important to keep an open mind. This is something that Adam wished he would have done. “It was around 2011 when I realized that maybe I don’t know best and I started to listen to the business. If you listen to the business, it will tell you what it needs. Chances are you don’t know best, I certainly don’t.” It was around that time that Reliant Funding went from funding an annual amount of 6 million to funding 18.5 million in 2012. It was during that time that the decision to invest in a customer relationship management solution for the business.
Today there are plenty of CRM systems that you can use to help you manage your growing customer base that can scale as you grow. If you would like to learn more about CRM systems and if one can help your business there are resources you can turn to for comprehensive information.
Where can I get money for my business?
There are a lot of places to draw money from for your small business. However, the resource you find will depend on what stage your business is. Before you gather funding for your business, it is important to know a little bit about how to organize your small business finances, how to invoice for payment to your small business and what are the accounting stages of a small business. Once you have a grasp on how to begin managing your business financials, you can try to raise funds from many sources.
One of the most common ways that small businesses are raising capital for starting a business is from investors. These investors can be friends, family or start-up funding companies. If you have been running your business and have proof of concept and you are at the pivotal point where you want to expand, you can explore a few different options.
Traditional banking is an option that is typically where people begin but if you are on a time crunch for your opportunity or cannot get approved by a bank, an alternative lender may be a great option. If you have any questions regarding short-term financing, we would recommend checking out our website.