The 6 Things Every Entrepreneur Needs to Have
Posted on January 10, 2014
As an entrepreneur, you already know that it takes a lot to get a business up and running. There are so many different pieces that need to be in place and things that you need to have to officially start your business and keep it running smoothly.
Unfortunately, there’s not really an entrepreneur’s toolkit you can buy that includes everything you need bundled into a nice and neat package. That’s why we’ve come up with this list of the six things every entrepreneur absolutely needs to have.
- Business plan—You absolutely need a business plan in place before launching your business, especially if you’re looking to raise capital. Writing down your business idea and creating a detailed outline of how your business will run ensures that your idea is actually feasible and helps put everyone involved on the same page.
Of course, most of us haven’t been formally trained in writing a business plan. Thankfully, there’s plenty of good advice out there to help you develop a sound business plan. This Forbes article offers the following tips:
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- Get rid of the fluff and get right to the point
- Be realistic and make sure you fully consider all potential challenges
- Make sure you’re being conservative in your approach and projections
- Use visuals to help bring your concept to life
- Be creative in your business plan to make it truly unique
- Business card—Every entrepreneur needs a business card. It’s not something you get just because you’re supposed to. A business card is absolutely one of the most important marketing and networking tools an entrepreneur can ever get. As an entrepreneur, the success of your business will depend largely on the strength of your network. A well-designed, high-quality business card from an online print company is something you’ll be able to give out to prospects, customers, vendors, potential investors and others who will be able to help you build your business.
The experts at Entrepreneur magazine recommend enlisting the services of a professional designer and to keep your business card simple so it’s not crammed with too much info and graphics.
- Website—Having an online presence is no longer optional. Business is done online. Even if your company doesn’t sell products online, you still need a website because when customers are looking for the services you offer or want to research your company, you need a website to point them to. Companies that don’t have websites miss out on business opportunities daily, and let’s face it, a company without a website just doesn’t seem legitimate in this day and age.
A few tips to keep in mind when planning your company’s website:
- Make sure your website is search engine friendly so customers can find it
- Make sure your website design is responsive and displays well on mobile devices
- Organize your website in a clear, easy-to-understand manner so customers can find what they’re looking for easily
- Accounting system—Even if you’re running a one-man (or one-woman) show, you still need an accounting system in place to keep track of invoices and all of your finances. The more organized your business’ finances are, the less likely it is that you’ll make a costly financial mistake.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on a fancy accounting suite. Depending on the size of your business, you may be able to get away with using a cheap or inexpensive accounting program, like Freshbooks.com for example.
- CRM system—Keeping track of your customers and prospects is the key to growing your business. If your business doesn’t have a system in place for nurturing leads, retaining customers, and tracking interactions with all prospects and customers, you’re going to lose out on business. It’s that simple.
Customer relationship management should be a top priority for every entrepreneur. Fortunately, there are CRM programs out there that make it easy to manage your relationships with current and future customers, leading to improve customer retention rates and conversion rates.
- Data—Information is power. It’s your business’ greatest asset. The more information you have, the better informed your decision making will be. You can never have too much business data. You should be tracking everything, such as website visits, conversion rates, sales trends, etc. All of this information will help you refine your business.
Are there other things you’ll need as you start building and growing your business? Of course. However, if you get at least all of these 6 things, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your business goals.
Tom Chu is the SEO Manager at PsPrint, which is an online printing company specializing in brochure and poster printing As well as other similar services. Follow PsPrint on Twitter and Facebook to learn more.