I love working with successful entrepreneurs. They are not afraid to work hard, they follow their dreams, and they strive to make our world a better place. Entrepreneurship is an art and everyone has their own style. Under all of that creativity lies several underlying strategies that remain the same across the board. Here are 5 strategies the most successful entrepreneurs I have ever known have in common.
1. Mastering Cash Flow
Successful business owners understand the cash flow cycles of their business. They study them, they plan for them, and they are not caught off guard. It take time to learn this skill, but understanding your company’s cash flow cycles will allow you to take your business to the next level.
2. Stop Planning and Start Selling
It’s an easy trap to get stuck in the planning phase. However, the planning phase does not pay the bills. Break out of your comfort zone and start selling your product. I have discovered that I actually learn more from interacting with my customers. Not to mention, sales helps your cash flow.
3. Plan for Taxes
Successful entrepreneurs and profitable businesses pay taxes. Instead of being caught off guard, plan and prepare to pay an obscene amount every quarter to good old Uncle Sam & your lovely state treasurer. Everyone’s tax situation is different, so please consult with your personal tax accountant. A general rule of thumb, plan to pay 40% of your company’s net income in taxes. Yes, you read that correctly, 40%. Let that number sink in for a minute. I agree, that’s a whole heck of a lot of money. Open a separate bank account and get in the habit of moving 40% of your monthly net income to your tax savings account. This will help you kiss those nasty tax surprises goodbye.
4. Manage Expenses
As your business grows and makes money, it’s easy to loose track of your expenses. A common theme among my most successful clients is that they all watch their expenses like a hawk. Yes, especially when are grossing millions in annual sales. The successful entrepreneurs know how every penny is spent, know their profit margins, are continually shopping around for better rates, and complete annual negotiations with their preferred vendors. Managing your expenses not only helps you master your cash flow, but the best part is that it puts more money in your pocket!
5. Measure Your Results
Every single successful entrepreneur I’ve ever met measures their results. They have access to real-time financial data to make informed business decisions. They also track their financials results – they know their profit margins, they understand where their leads come from, how much it costs to generate new customers, they know the profitability of each department, know how many sales are needed each day/week/month to reach their income goals, etc.
I agree, being an entrepreneur is tough. It’s a risky endeavor, but comes with the dream of big rewards. Which of these tips are you going to start mastering this week? I can’t guarantee your success, but I can help steer you in the right direction. The rest is up to you!