We believe that there are 3 factors that drive the success of small businesses.
1) Acquiring start-up capital
2) Finding customers
3) Accounting for, budgeting and controlling sales and expenses
An adequate supply of capital is essential as many profitable businesses fail because they don’t have enough cash to pay their employees and suppliers. But what is an adequate supply of capital? The only way to tell is by doing a significant amount of research on your potential market and formally documenting this in a business plan. I’m sure you know that a business plan is a very important document that is crucial to convincing your banker to lend you money.
There are two ways to obtain a business plan.
1) Do it yourself by amending a business plan template, or
2) Hire a professional to do it for you.
Obviously obtain 1) will be a great deal cheaper.
Our research led to a website that has over 60 high quality and free business plan templates. We also found a directory that you can use to easily find a business plan writer in your city – where ever you live in the world.
Finding customers is a difficult and expensive task for service business owners such as accountants, lawyers and plumbers. We believe that a cost effective marketing strategy for service business owners is to simply give all their personal contacts a few business cards.
Our research led to a few websites that have per-designed business card templates. We felt that the diversity and quality of these designs was outstanding. In addition, we found that you can obtain a significant saving by finding a printing service on the Internet. We found that you could get 2,000 full color business cards for as little as GH¢300 or US $200.
Accounting For, Budgeting and Controlling Revenue and Expenses
Accurate accounting is very important for small business owners. It’s essential that you have timely access to information that could make or break your business. If stocks are running low – you need to know about it. If a large proportion of your debtors haven’t paid – you need to know about it. If you do not react to these situations quickly you may have a situation where you don’t have enough money to pay your employees – or worse still someone is stealing cash out the till.
Our research led to a website that compares and reviews top accounting software for small businesses. The cheapest software cost GH¢180 or US $90 and the most expensive software cost GH¢2,000 or US $1,499. It was interesting to note that the top 3 ranked websites were not the most expensive and cost between GH¢500 – GH¢600 or US $250 – US $300.
Hopefully you now have an idea of some of the tools that you can use to grow and maintain your small business.