Cash is a vital concern for any business, especially startups.
Startup capital: Having enough capital to start a business is usually the first problem of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs tend to underestimate starting expenses and overestimate growth of sales. Businesses will typically run negative cash flows during the early months that will consume startup capital.
Sales: Nothing happens without sales. Developing a solid, stable customer base is essential when starting to build a foundation for growth. Identifying and reaching the right audience takes focus and effort. It takes time to strategize and create a campaign to attract the target market. Even when you have the best products or services, it is still possible to fail if you do not have a loyal customer base.
Marketing: Figuring out what is going on in the minds of consumers is always a bit of guesswork. Designing a marketing strategy with this much uncertainty is a challenge. Doing the research to find the best way to position products is essential to have a chance at success.
Social media: This is a new age. Consumers are more connected with a variety of social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Entrepreneurs have to learn how to use social media to promote their products and get the message out to potential customers. Failures of management strategies will get reported and quickly spread across the internet.
Accounting: Nobody likes to do bookkeeping, but it has to be done. Just mentioning doing the books makes most small business owners anxious. This is a good task to outsource to an accounting service.
Cash flow: Life for entrepreneurs would be perfect if sales just rolled in and customers paid their bills on time. Unfortunately, reality does not work that way. Expenses still have to be paid, even if sales are down and some customers are slow to pay. Managing cash flow and keeping enough cash in the bank is always stressful.
Budgeting: Every entrepreneur struggles with budgeting. Selling is much more fun, but someone has to figure out where the money is going to come from and where it should be allocated. How much to pay to attract the best employees? What amount should be spent on marketing and on which media? What are the controls on operating expenses, cost of materials, insurance, legal fees, etc.?
A functioning budget should lay out a plan on how the business will operate to make a profit. Which products will be sold and how much gross profits will they produce? How much are the fixed expenses?