5 Tips for Start-Up Businesses (and even those that have been around a while...)

Updated: January 04, 2011

You know this economy; it's downright ugly. As of this writing in February 2010, the stock market has gone up, down and up again. Health care is up, down, and dead! Government spending is at all time high, gold is through the roof, and gas is somewhere in between. Today, the careful business owner's that survived are not really hiring (according to recent small business studies). However if you are just starting out, we recommend you take these next 5 tips to heart in order to ensure you can be successful and sustain yourself in an environment similar to 2008 in the future.

  1. Borrow money now! The first thing that happened to small business owners in 2008 was that their credit line immediately disappeared, despite the fact that they had good credit. Take it out, pay the interest, and keep it under your pillow. It is always better to have the cash then have it missing when you need it.
  2. Short-term plan, long-term vision. Are you getting into the right business model for today and the future? Is your small business going to sustain itself in the downturn, such as it is today, and yet also thrive in a surging economy? With new money arrive new competitors, so put the plans in place now to defend your turf in the future.
  3. Offload & outsource. PEO companies offer some of the best outsourcing available; not only will they get it done, but they will get it done better. We know you didn't create your business just to do your own payroll and figure out benefit plans. One of the largest PEO's we know even works directly with venture capital firms because these firms want entrepreneurs focusing on growth, not the admin stuff.
  4. Love your customer. This is a no brainer, but we put this out there for the ones that ignore this simple truth. Get on a plane, make a phone call; connect with your customer. Since as long as we can remember we have seen more business from our existing clients then from the 1st sale from new ones. You will need them if the downturn hits, and of course risk losing them simply due to unpersonability.
  5. Love your key employees. Make them feel confident they are part of your long term success, develop plans, and programs that will keep them with you for the long haul. Good employees leave even when the economy is not good. One way to do this is working with an employee leasing vendor (PEO's) who you not only offload administrative tasks but provide you with consulting, access to reward & perk programs, compensation ideas, and general sage advice.
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