Well, I’ve been in it for about 15 years now (just one business, lol). From an administrative standpoint, here’s some thoughts for ya:
- Be prepared to spend a lot of time for the first while, with very little profit. Keep the money in the business and make it work for you to keep building up the business. The worst things I see are people who work hard, start to see some profit, then go out and spend, spend, spend (new boat, new car, new something). Next thing you know, they had nothing left for the next payroll, the next purchase, the next whatever. Keep it viable and don’t drain it dry at year end.
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure your service or products are diverse enough so if one area dries up, you have other services or products that will keep the customers and money flowing during the slower times. Small clients are as important as the big ones.
- Market research is important. Is there enough people out there willing to buy what you want to sell? What's the pricepoints, how much will the market bear? Who is your competition and where are they located? What key things have made your competition successful? Can you do it better, wiser, more cost effectively?
- Surround yourself with “good” people. Good bookkeepers that will remain honest and upfront with you, “good” staff, who will treat your customers and clients as you would, and “good” friends and family with positive reinforcement for the days you wished you’d never started a business, lol.
- Keep on top of your paperwork, your books and your end-goals. Make sure you get those invoices out and payments made in a timely fashion. There’s nothing worse than getting so caught up in the day-to-day fires to put out … then being surprised down the road when you finally get to take a good hard look at where you’re at.
- Learn from every mistake you make - big or small (because we all make them daily). Take them in stride, and don’t beat yourself up over them. Digest them, figure out how or what went wrong, and learn from them so you don’t repeat them.
OK, that’s my main thoughts off the top of my head – just more of an overall from admin vantage. Hope it helps ... and good luck Karen! It can be exciting, rewarding, tiring, frustrating and wonderful ... all at the same time.