Preventing Avoidable Problems For Your New Business

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OK, there aren’t too many easy things about starting a new business. But it has to be said that sometimes new business owners don’t make things easy on themselves. While there are always things beyond your control, there are important matters that most definitely can be handled before they become issues. It’s just that the burden is on you, no-one else! Below, we take a look at four pieces of advice that’ll ensure your company isn’t sinking before it’s learned to swim.

Start Slow

Enthusiasm is a powerful tool, one that can be used as a force of good to grow your company. But it can also be your undoing if you’re not careful. If you’re rushing through all the steps to get your business up, running, and making money, then you’re more likely to make a mistake. A business isn’t something that should happen overnight; it’s a long-term goal. So take your time. If you’ve got all the details planned, all the pieces in place, and the energy to handle the rush of work that’ll soon be coming your way, then you’ll have a smooth entry into the world of business.

Make Sure It’s Legal

There’s nothing worse than putting much time, effort, and money into getting your business up and running, only to then find out that it’s not legal. It’s highly unlikely that someone’s going to inform you of this before you market it to the public, so take steps when you’re still in the planning stages. If you consult with a business lawyer, they’ll be able to inform you of all the steps you need to take to be on the right side of the law. Depending on what industry you’ll be in, there might be many more rules you need to follow than previously thought.

Cash-Flow Issues

You’ll have a pretty solid financial plan for your business. But it’s not enough just to have earmarked cash for the various aspects of business development; you also need to ensure you have the funding for day to day expenditures, too. When you’re starting out you might not have all that much money coming in – especially if you’re sending invoices – but will need to outlay cash. If you don’t have that cash to hand, then your business is going to take a backward step before it’s even had the chance to move forward.

Charging the Right Amount

Nobody wants their business to be a failure. However, there’s a right and a wrong way to tackle this fear. The right way is to make your business the best it can be, and give your customers a reason to choose you. The wrong way is to undercut everyone and have rock-bottom prices. You’ll get plenty of business – no problem there – but your profit margins will be too small, and you’ll be in financial troubles. So find the right amount to charge for your services. If you’re good at what you do, charge what you’re worth and what will generate a profit.

It’s Time For A More Functional Business

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The idea of starting your own business can be incredibly tempting for a lot of people, and for a good reason. After all, who wouldn’t want to work for themselves, being in total control over what they do to earn their living? Then again, it’s important to remember that running a business is certainly no walk in the park. The truth is that it can be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. One of the biggest reasons for that is because far too many people end up working for their business instead of the other way around. You need to make sure that your business is set up from the very start in such a way that it’s not constantly pushing against you as you’re trying to move it forward. With that in mind, here are some things that you can do to make your business work for you and not the other way around.

Invest in the right equipment

Every business requires certain equipment to function, and the kind of equipment that you need is going to depend heavily on the kind of business that you’re running. If your business depends on manufacturing, warehouse equipment, safety gates, and automated machinery should all be on the top of your list. However, if your business is more office based, then your equipment needs might be a lot simpler. Figure out the right equipment for your business and stick with that. Trying to become overly ambitious with your equipment needs is just going to lead to problems.

Create clear workflows

If you’re constantly trying to figure things out as you go, then you’re constantly going to working against your business to get anything done. You need a clear plan with an obvious workflow that can keep you focused at all times. This is especially important once you have employees to work with since everyone needs to be moving in the same direction if you ever want to get anything done in your business at all.

Work with the right people

Speaking of employees, finding the right people for your business can be a challenge, but it’s well worth putting in the extra effort. Make sure that you put the right amount of time and focus into your recruitment process and that you don’t try to rush into hiring the first available candidate. The same goes for any outsourcing that you might do. You should also look into outsourcing certain aspects of your business, from social media companies to increase customer engagement to private jet membership to deal with travel arrangements and costs. Make sure that you work with people who’s working methods and values align with your businesses. Otherwise, you’re going to end up fighting against each other, and that level of tension is absolutely poisonous to productivity.

By making sure that your business is moving in the direction that you want it to, even the slightest tasks are going to become smoother and easier to deal with. If you don’t do that, then everything’s going to come with resistance that’s just going to make your life much more difficult than it really needs to be.

Nikki Shapes L.A.

I met Nikki about a year ago via Twitter. My wife and I were starting to put together a business called Community Perks and looking for small businesses to partner with us to serve the non-profits and schools in Santa Monica. We agreed to sit down and meet over coffee and I’m sure glad we did. At one point, we traded services so I know what it’s like to train with Nikki. She’s very attentive, listens well, yet can tell how hard to push you by reading your body language. When you meet her, it’s hard to imagine she can push you hard because she’s so nice, but don’t let her charm fool you. Personal trainers are about image (to me at least). If they don’t look the part, why would you hire them? Nikki walks the talk and she’s also committed to eating healthy too. If you’re struggling with weight or performance, I highly recommend contacting her!

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1) Health/Nutrition is obviously a HUGE issue in the United States, so why did you become a personal trainer?

Physical fitness has always been a part of me. Growing up with one sister, I was the one playing sports with my dad and loved it! I became a personal trainer because I wanted to teach people how working out can be fun and beneficial at the same time.  The benefits are endless 🙂  I also wanted to teach people how to correctly perform exercises so they do not injure themselves!

2) Why did you decide to leave a gym and train on your own? What are the pros/cons of being your own boss?

The reason I stayed at my previous gym for so long was for my clients. I couldn’t leave them! But life is about timing and I couldn’t stay at a gym (they changed owners) where I didn’t believe in their philosophy so that was my reason to leave! I took the leap and never looked back.  Sometimes you just need a little push.  If you love what you do and are passionate about what you do, you will succeed.  Their are only pros to being my own boss. I get to make my schedule and get paid for all the time/energy that I put into my clients (instead of the gym taking 75%).  You get out as much as you put into your business.

3) How would your clients describe your style of training?

I think they would say challenging, but fun. Each workout is different so they never get bored!

4) How do you gain new and retain current clients?

I believe I retain my clients because I actually really care about my clients and their goals.  I also try and teach them how to make this a lifestyle change. You always have a couple people that don’t get it, but at least I can say I gave 110%.  I gain new clients through my website, yelp, or referrals.

5) What’s one piece of advice you want to give fellow entrepreneurs?

If you believe in your product and work hard, you will succeed.

Nikki Kitamura has been a Personal Fitness Coach for over 13 years. She graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a B.S. in Kinesiology and is AFAA, CPR, Nutrition and First Aid certified. Nikki uses a “whole health” approach to solutions that ensures my clients experience lasting, sustainable results that improve their quality of life, confidence and overall well being.