If you own a business without keeping records, you need to start.
A lot of entrepreneurs think once they have good cash flow there is no need to keep proper records. Even if you run an NGO or a not for profit venture , you need to keep adequate records , measure your performance , ascertain if you are growing , know whether sales is dropping or increasing and structure the business.
Putting structure to a business and keeping proper records gives you an oversight on whether you are doing fine, making profit or whether you will soon have financial problems. Most companies go down not because they didn’t make enough sales but mostly because there are no records to show when things are going wrong such that remedial actions can be taken. You should also conduct regular stock taking to ascertain if there are pilferage and theft. You should have some weekly and monthly records showing your profit and loss , cash flow prior to the annual accounts.
At the least keep the following records;
- Cash book
- General Ledger
- Income Statement
- Statement of Assets and Liabilities
- Statement of Inflows and Outflows of cash
This applies to all businesses even if you are making billions. Figures don’t lie.
Nuggets for building a successful brand
Every business owner launches into a business with the hope of succeeding.
However, attaining success is no easy feat especially in an unpredictable business environment, a lot of distractions can cloud your sense of reasoning.
To attain success, here are some nuggets to succeed as a start up.
1. Invest in the long term:
Time is the greatest ally in ensuring capital growth. Building a successful business can take a long time, but it surely comes with great benefits. Investing in the long term offers a number of advantages. While short term profits can appear enticing, especially to start-ups, there is no dignity or honour in a name that serves only for a season. The more resources are invested in a business, the more potential it has to grow. In the words of Colton Dillion, CIO of Acorns investment app, “Investors who practice patience and stick to a long-term investing strategy often sees the best returns and financial success”.
2. Do not despise the days of small beginnings:
Starting small is not about having sufficient funds, it is about being wise. It is about testing your local ability. One of the problem small business owners have is they a million great ideas, and are often overwhelmed about the opportunities these ideas presents. As a result, they are tempted to seek funds much bigger than they can afford, which if they are not careful can result in extreme financial issues. Now, it is important to note that there is nothing wrong in having big business dreams, the note of caution is in the execution process.
According to Ibukun Awoshika, Chairperson of First bank Nigeria Limited, the best business plan in the world is a bundle of assumptions. The only way you prove your assumptions is when you get your hands dirty trying to prove your assumptions. Starting small can be a good opportunity to experiment your plans or rather test your ability. An entrepreneur can start small, so long as he/she works hard, stay committed his/her ideas and invest wisely to making his or her dreams a reality.
3. Invest in yourself:
Self-investment is very essential to building and sustaining a successful business. Every business owner needs to invest in himself or herself before investing in anything else. These investments can be via skill acquisition, education, and experience. Business leaders today, try to ensure that they stay on top of their game by seeking knowledge. For instance, one of the success traits of the Tony Elumelu, CEO of United bank of Africa (UBA), is his voracious reading style. Elumelu is known to be a reader of autobiographies of successful business leaders and how their ideas impact the global business environment. Today, not only has this reading culture exposed him to the understanding of how gigantic multinational organisations are built, but it has also helped him build a globally viable conglomerate.
Another means of self-investment is by attending seminars, workshops, trainings and programmes relevant to one’s business. These kinds of programmes also provide opportunities to network and seal amazing business deals.
4. People are your biggest assets: Your worst customers can become your best advocate. You must learn to accommodate every kind of person that you will come in contact with because you do not know who owns the key to your next door.
5. Be disciplined: As the owner of a business, you must have a positive attitude and accept responsibility for the operations as well as the results of your business. You must be open-minded to changes and ideas as well. Successful business owners understand the essence of effectively managing your resources.
Also, know that if your success cannot make another successful, you are a failure.