Six weeks into the new financial year and I’m only just now reflecting on the last one! And what a year that was… my first as a business owner. I took a big risk leaving my high paying corporate job to start out on my own – wide-eyed and expectant, hoping at every turn that I hadn’t made the wrong decision.
But actually it has been great. The last two months of 2014/15 saw me hitting my (ambitious) revenue targets for the first time and I’ve moved into 2015/16 with a fresh enthusiasm and plans to incorporate, hire staff and possibly change premises.
And all along the way, I’ve kept this blog. You could say this blog was like a diary of my journey. So in commemoration of my first year in business and to help those looking to start and build their own business, I’ve put together an indexed list of my most popular 2014/15 blog articles by topic. Let’s call it the blog highlights reel. I hope it helps. Read them, bookmark them, share them. And as always, I love getting feedback, so comment away!
1. Starting out
Starting out can be scary but we mustn’t let the fear of the unknown keep us from realising our entrepreneurial dreams. Here are some articles to help you get your business started.
- Ready to start a business? 10 questions you should ask yourself first
- The 5 most important small business lessons I’ve learned
- When to quit your job and go freelance
- Infographic: NSW Small Business Success and Failure
- The “Catch-22s” of running a small business
2. Strategy & planning
Any successful business owner will tell you a strategy is essential. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know you got there? Read these articles for tips on effective business planning and keeping a strategic focus.
- Why 1-page Business Plans are Evil
- Breaking Down the Business Plan @ The Lounge
- Business strategy for small business: do you need one?
- 4 top tips to balancing strategic focus and client workload
3. Sales & marketing
It’s great to have a plan but you’d be nowhere if no-one knows about you or if your ideal client doesn’t see the value in your product or service offering. These articles are about my particular experiences finding leads and converting them into clients.
4. Client service
Whatever anyone tells you, there is nothing more important than happy and loyal customers. All the planning and marketing in the world won’t help you if you are not meeting (and even exceeding) your clients’ expectations. Read on for hints on how to keep your clients happy and coming back for more.
- 3 secrets to exceptional customer service
- How to make (and keep) client promises
- Did you catch my Expert360 article on customer loyalty?
- The customer is always right… right?
5. Revenue & cashflow management
One of the top three reasons that most small businesses fail is due to poor cashflow management. Of course this includes ensuring you are earning enough income to begin. These articles show you how to smooth out inflows and outflows for your business and improve profitability by assessing “wastage”.
- When it comes to income… diversify diversify diversify
- Let’s talk about cash, baby! 28 ways to manage your everyday money
- How to reduce ‘wastage’ in your small business
6. Productivity & operations
Wastage can also include working inefficiently or not having regard to risks faced within your business. Last year I wrote some articles tackling common productivity topics and I hope to write a lot more in this space in 2015/16.
- 12 common risks SMEs ignore until it’s too late
- 21 Tools and Resources for your Small Business
- Did you catch my Modewest article on the Zero Inbox?
Health and wellness is so important whether you’re a business owner or not. These articles dealt with the difficult topics of fear and anxiety and also the need to look at contingency planning when you’re out of action.
- Conquering fear and anxiety: for small businesses
- 6 steps to keep your solo business ticking along while you’re sick
So that was the year that was – 2014/15. I hope you’ve found this blog highlights index useful and I look forward to bringing you lots more content during the rest of this year. And do let me know if there are any particular problem areas or topics you’d like to see more of in our Blog. Happy to oblige!
* Images sourced from Gratisography, Unsplash and Death to the Stock Photo.
What did you think of this article? Post your comments and questions below. And if you found this useful, please share with your networks.
About the Author: Angeline Zaghloul is an expert in business strategy, client management and business processes, and is the Principal of Peer Business Consulting, a Sydney-based consultancy providing strategy and operations support to startups and SMEs. Angeline also publishes a weekly blog which provides research, advice and tips on key issues facing businesses.