With so much work to do in the early stages of a business, it can often feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. If you want to make the most of your time, you’ll need to compartmentalize and plan efficiently. That’s why Hooed has put together an example 8-hour framework to get you started.
9:00 – 10:00 – Financial Review
When starting a business, it’s essential to always keep an eye on finances, especially when your business it’s personally funded. The first hour of the day is a good opportunity to review your expenses (current and projected) and to forecast your quarterly balance using spreadsheets or accountancy software. All decisions throughout the day should be made with your company’s bottom line in mind.
10:00 – 11:00 – General Administration
Although admin doesn’t feature amongst the most glamorous tasks for a business owner, it is crucial to the ongoing stability of your business. Use the second hour of the day to focus on your company structure, reviewing contracts, utilities and looking at ways you can increase efficiency or cut costs. For example, you may find it’s beneficial to transition into a Limited Liability Company (LLC), this will grant you tax advantages, reduce your paperwork and grant you more flexibility. Regulations differ depending on the state so it can be worth enlisting a formation service to help navigate LLC regulations and save on lawyer fees.
11:00 – 13:00 – Branding
In the early stages of a business, you’ll find there’s a ton of legwork to do with branding. This includes finding a domain, building a website and choosing a company logo. It’s important to allocate some budget for designers and developers, as you’ll find many of these tasks are impossible without them. Fortunately, there are plenty of freelancing platforms that can cater to a range of costs – just be certain not to skimp on a cheap service if you can help it.
Branding doesn’t just refer to a company’s appearances – it’s also important to begin the process of forming a brand voice and values. Your company’s history, its beliefs, and its methods of communication are all USPs and can interconnect with the products themselves. Take the time to think carefully about what distinguishes you and how your brand can interact with the market.
13:00 – 15:00 – Marketing and Sales
The meat of the day should always be focused on generating leads and clients. Whatever your service, it’s crucial at an early stage to land a few deals (even if they’re small) – this is necessary for building momentum, balancing expenses and accumulating references/examples of work. You can also begin to grow your social media presence, networking with peers in the industry or creating lines of contact with potential clients. As the business grows, you’ll soon find that more time is spent on servicing and pitching to clients, but at this early stage it shouldn’t occupy your entire workday.
15:00 – 17:00 – Business Plan
As you kick things off the ground, it’s important to have clear direction. In a professional context, your ‘direction’ takes the form of a business plan. This is your company’s map to success, charting your services/products, strategies and analysis, budgets, and revenues. It’s also a crucial document for attracting investment. And don’t forget that bookkeeping software! You’ll definitely need that down the road.
Future success is not only dependent on your ability to sell or formulate good ideas, but also your ability to communicate these clearly and effectively. If you’re not sure where to start, try familiarizing yourself with the terms OKR and KPI, then put these into practice on a daily basis and measure your results.
The nice thing about running a small business is that it can go as far as you push it. If you’re clever about your decisions and you’re willing to work hard, there’s no reason why you can’t beat out the competition and carve out success.