Three Business Basics

When operating a business as a solopreneur or small entreprise, it's important to make sure you have the basics covered to enable your business to function efficiently and effectively and to ensure you can focus on what's important - the actual work.

Here are three areas that are most important in the back end business side of things to have handled:

1. Hire Well

When you are first building a business, you'll find it incredibly hard to delegate tasks to anyone because no one has the passion and the need for success that you have and therefore they're unable to do as good a job. When it does come time to finally hire though, it's usually in a frazzled state from rapid expansion or simply exhaustion from trying to do it all yourself and here is where the bad hiring decisions are usually made. You're so desperate for help by this point that the first person to show an interest, speak the same language and dress nicely seems like a winner and you take them on with the idea that you'll be able to delegate so much to them and thay'll tackle it with the same fervor that you would. This is more often than not, not the case and you find yourself stuck with an employee who neither particularly cares about the success of your business nor takes you seriously as a manager as you're still working out of your home office or you're similarly aged and thus the partitioning of manager vs friend isn't there. Take your time to hire. Don't get too excited that someone wants to work with you - of course they do. It's better to wait now than regret it later. If you're really not sure, consider also using Fiverr to get those animations and presentations done or contract a virtual assistant for the odd job or on a monthly basis to provide as little or as much work as you need completed at a far higher level of quality and without needing to hire an FTE.

2. Go High Tech

The world is no longer planted in pens and paper - as much as the scrawling on the notebook beside my laptop would conversely suggest. There are apps for everything these days, to sign documents online, organise remote teams, or handle the business' expenses, there's cloud computing and storage to replace USB hard drives. There are so many software pacakges no that are far more readily available to you and on shorter subscriptions. You can trial software before you buy it to ensure it's going to work for your business - there are so many options at your disposal to make life dramatically easier and more time efficient.

3. Watch Your Finances

If you're monitoring your finances solely through the pile of receipts in the jar on your desk or the money coming into your account, it's not enough. Xero and MYOB offer online accounting packages for monthly subscription rates and you can do a 30 day free trial at the start to see if it's going to work for you. Both include the functionality to photograph receipts and store them immediately so that you can skip the rummage at the end of the month to collect them all for your reconciliations. Xero also integrates automatically with a lot of e-commerce providers meaning that if you run an onlin store, you can effectively take all the labour out of monitoring your finances and focus on the actual work.