Have a business plan – As the saying goes, if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. Have a succinct and clear business plan which should include points such as sales forecasts, identification of competitors and an outline of how your money will be spent. Having a plan will not only enable you to monitor your business’s success but it will also prove useful when asking outsiders for funding. Conversely, don’t be beholden to the plan, we all know that the pace of change in any business is rapid so make sure you are able to adapt – the joy of entrepreneurship is often the ability to make decisions on the fly.

Home Office AND Virtual Office Services – In the early days of your business, cash flow is king, so forget about wasting precious resources on renting an office and all of the overhead involved with that idea. Save as much money as you can by setting up your base from home. Your accountant can ensure that part of your electricity bills and even part of your mortgage expenses are offset against your tax bill. Utilize a Virtual office provider for a Virtual mail package so you can “rent” or use a professional class A or B building for your business’ official address and a place to receive mail and packages. Also these providers, such as Office Alternatives local to ABQ, offer other services to help your business appear larger and more established even when it’s brand new. Check out Office Alternatives Virtual Mail package.

Keep track of your finances – Hopefully the money will be flowing in in no time. However, don’t get too carried away, always keep good track of your financial status. Do you have savings that can be invested, and will these be enough? If you don’t, approach potential investors and lenders early-on. Don’t rule out considering government-backed funding too. Investigate the many business incubator services that are on hand to advise you, and in some cases offer financial backing. Use a bookkeeper and/or Quickbooks online to ensure accurate complete books. Make sure you’re paying all of the different tax categories each quarter also.

Don’t go it alone – Taking on the weight of a business all by yourself might be too much, especially if you have a family. Try and find a business partner who has the same goals as you, but with different skills and knowledge to you, then you’ll both complement each other. Join a networking group and make friends with other business owners.

Create a Buzz – If you don’t shout about your new business, who will? Make the most out of free tools such as social media to spread the word. Similarly, something as simple as asking your customers to tell their friends and family about you can have a big impact. Also, make sure to network – this doesn’t have to be at a specialist ‘networking event’ but in your day to day activities – just keep telling people about your service and you may find yourself talking to someone who knows someone or something of use!

Image is everything – A good business name, business cards and a professional website all contribute to how your business is perceived by the public. But don’t underestimate the power of the telephone number and reception service also. By setting up a separate local and/or national number such as an 800#, your business projects the image of being a bigger enterprise, with national reach. Office Alternatives’ Virtual Telephone Reception service can provide an affordable team that answers your business’ phone and greets each prospect and client with a professional live answer service again without actual overhead.

Grow in stages – Working from home has its downside: Barking dogs, ringing doorbells, and screaming kids are a few. Consider taking up office space at a coworking facility or executive office suites rental company. For instance, Office Alternatives has a wifi coworking lounge at the Lang location as an add-on – super affordable way to have a quiet place to work. Or consider one of their fully loaded executive office suites at either location. Fully loaded with all of the amenities you need to office there.

Don’t give up – Learn from your mistakes and adapt accordingly. Be prepared to continue refining your business methods as you encounter new hurdles. No one successful ever launched with the finished product, so keep tweaking and adding. You’ll learn so much from your first few sales and customers to help you refine the way you do business and make things easier for you going forward. Overall keep motivated and don’t lose sight of why you started the business in the first place.

Get a mentor – SCORE is a non-profit organization with a local ABQ chapter. SCORE Albuquerque mentors are highly successful and seasoned business professionals and entrepreneurs with the experience and knowledge to help you achieve your small business goals. Browse resources, take a workshop, or find your business mentor today by going to SCORE