Self-employed to entrepreneur
As your business grows, your role will change. But how do you make the journey from self-employed to entrepreneur?
- Start by writing a business plan mapping the direction you’ll take and the systems you’ll put in place to get there. There are some things every business needs, including:
- Accounting systems – to track cash flow and accounts receivable, pay staff and suppliers, and manage both tax and superannuation obligations
- Customer service systems – to develop checklists and protocols for everything from answering the phone, to greeting a new customer, to making a sales call. A complaint-handling process is also essential
- Customer management systems – the more you know about customers, the better you can service them. This can also help target your most profitable clients and track prospects to assess marketing effectiveness
- Delivery systems – your staff have to understand your quality standards and how to deliver on them, every time
- Human resources systems – this is to cover everything from recruiting excellent people, to training, monitoring performance and providing feedback
As a manager, you oversee the systems you’ve created but you also need to step back and develop the business. Rewrite your business plan with new goals. Refine your service proposition, identify your most profitable customers and find better methods to market to them. Look at the key numbers in your business and how you can:
- Generate more leads and convert them into sales
- Increase the number of sales from each customer
- Increase the dollar value of each sale
- Increase margins without losing customers
Continue developing your team and building a business that works without you.
You’ve made the step to owner when you can focus on developing your business and increasing profitability.
- What return is it achieving? What’s its potential?
- Can you leverage your success by expanding further?
- If so, should you seek an equity partner or borrow money?
If you feel you’ve developed the business as far as it can go, you can choose to take the next step, to entrepreneur. It might be time to leverage your capital to invest in something new.
As this advice has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. View our Financial Services Guide (PDF 59kb).