11 Tips for Small Business Owners That You Probably Haven’t Heard Before

Starting your own portable restroom business is a big, exciting challenge. It’s a time to gather up all the good advice you can get, and then go your own way. Of course, the wise new entrepreneur does keep all of the truly good advice swirling around his or her decision-making process along the way in building the business. There are countless solid tips for new business owners. Maybe you can’t use them all. Knowing which ones to apply can be a whole decision challenge in itself.
Seasoned entrepreneurs will say that there’s no perfect business strategy. The most successful people in the portable restroom industry or in any other kind of business will, however, likely agree that the finest pearls of business wisdom are often those that bring you to think about things in some new way that you hadn’t already considered. Here’s a list of that kind of tips—the kind that you may not have heard or thought about yet.

Fresh Tips for starting a small business.
Nothing saves new business owners from the unavoidable trial-and-error learning process. But, that mode doesn’t have to characterize your method. Making as many correct decisions as possible early on gives your new company its best chance of long-term success. Here are some sound business tips that can benefit any portable restroom business owner ready to pull out all the stops on operational management quality.

1. Deal With Excuses Head-On.
As a new business owner, you naturally have doubts about the likelihood of success of big moves you want to make, and it can be easiest just to avoid making them. Excuses for inaction seem like rock-solid obstacles, and slow you down or stop you from reaching larger goals for your business.
Confront the reasons you worry that you can’t move forward on an investment or other risk you want to take to grow your portable restroom business, and work to find a solution, instead of letting yourself flounder in indecision that holds you back.

2. Pay Attention to All Forms of Feedback.
Hear everything. Take in all of the comments, advice, encouragement, criticism, warnings, etc. Listen to family, friends, your local SBA free consulting resource, industry experts, not fortune cookies, your own thoughts. Soak it all in. Anything that is relevant to your business goals is worth absorbing. As you learn, start to work out the idea in your head. Write things down. Keep notes from all the resources you come across to develop a detailed plan.
Notice how people react when you talk about your next idea for improving sales, service or bolder growth ideas. Ask yourself what the overall feedback has been, more positive or more negative. That may provide a useful sense of how customers may receive the concept too. Especially, drink in advice from experts and successful portable toilet business owners. They’ve been where you are and know the ropes. Learn from their mistakes.

3. Make Yourself Your Own Solution.
Instead of thinking in terms of what new product or service you should sell, think in terms of what problem you can solve for current and prospective customers. It’s much faster and easier to attract customers when your company is eliminating a problem for them. Your new offering should fill a need throughout your market, or in a particular niche.
Zero in on something specific that your customers have expressed that they wish was available. Conduct a little casual one-question survey to ask them what else they need that is related to the kind of service you provide. Or, ask them what changes or enhancements could make your service stand out for them. Knowing your target customers’ needs and wishes can lead you to a profitable plan to deliver solutions.

4. Keep Things Simple.
Yeah, admittedly this isn’t really a new one. But, it fits in a new way in this context of new business tips like this. When you’re ready to run with a new idea for your business, just watch out for the tendency to let your plan start swelling to become more complicated than it needs to be to execute it. You can ultimately find yourself spending more time than it’s worth to deliver such a new service routinely.
Narrow down the scope of your new idea, and create a simple way to test it with a few customers. Ask them if they’re willing to give it a try, so that minor glitches are more forgivable. But, make sure there are none of those. Then, just roll out a simple, good quality new product or service that delivers as promised. Chop off all superfluous features that generate too little return on investment.

5. Count the costs.
When you start developing a new product or service idea, add all of the major and minor costs of money and time involved in launching the new offering and in providing it to customers on a regular basis. Just make sure you’ve included in your calculation: wholesale costs, shipping, delivery to you, warehousing and utilities, transportation to and from your customer for both delivery and pick-up, maintenance supplies, marketing costs, accounting time, and so on.
Once you come up with the most fully-inclusive cost total you can, tack on another 50% for unexpected and underestimated costs, because they’re everywhere. Always over-prepare, to help ensure that it doesn’t turn out that you were actually under-prepared for the bills when they start coming in. Create a budget for your new revenue channel development project. Determine whether or not you can bootstrap it or will need to acquire capital from a small business loan or other source. Make yourself informed on all of your needs and options before you put any money into the project.

6. Don’t Explode Onto the Scene.
New business owners are full of energy and enthusiasm and are eager to make their mark on their market. But, running a successful small business requires following a process. That involves managing growth in a way that ensures you can deliver on service promises and do not end up compromising quality in order to absorb too-rapidly increasing volume. Build your portable restroom business carefully, in reasonable stages that do not cost you current customers in pursuit of prospective ones.
Expect it to take a while for your business to bring you a sufficient steady income. Keep your day job, if necessary, and work your new business during your off hours to get you through the startup phase. When your cash flow reaches a level that allows you more breathing room, then you can more securely transition into working your portable toilet business as its full-time manager.

7. Don’t Be Shy in Talking About Your Business.
A common problem for new business owners is fear of selling, and inexperience with it. You’ll have to get over any worry about what people will think of your products and services. The way that money is made in business is by convincing people to buy them from you. It’s up to you to build support in your community for your company.
So, make yourself get on out of your comfort zone. It’s scary, yes. But, conquering a fear by acting in spite of it, and discovering that you survived and picked up a new skill on the way is always satisfying. And, it’s always profitable to overpower your fear of selling for your own business. You’ll naturally become more comfortable every time you do it. Anyway, what’s some discomfort for the sake of your business? In a newer business, constant networking and marketing are fundamental. So, make yourself communicate.

8. Educate Yourself on the Legal Requirements Governing Your Business.
Laws are not fun. However, rules are necessary and understanding them is one of the unexciting parts of owning your own business. On the un-fun scale, it’s right up there with tax preparation, which is, of course, also full of laws. Failing to follow all government regulations in the portable toilet industry can lead to big financial penalties and other serious consequences for you and your business.
Promptly register your new business with your state. Get the help you need to setup for meeting your business tax liabilities. When you begin to hire contractors and employees, get the help you need to ensure that you follow laws for employers. Laws governing businesses vary from state, and by business type and income structure. Use your local SBA counseling resource, or talk to an accountant for small businesses, to get everything setup and ensure that you meet all of your legal obligations.

9. Plan For Going Broke.
You’ll probably fail to stay afloat financially at some point in your early years of entrepreneurship. There’s not a more delicate way to put it, since the reality is that more than 50% of new businesses do fail in under five years from their startup date. So, what will you do if you find yourself with no money coming in? The portable restroom business is a very good place to be as entrepreneurial risks go, generally speaking. Still, it’s smart to have a “just in case” plan.
If times get tight during the early years of your business operations, be prepared to get a job for a while, or move back in with mom and dad. Be ready to cut out familiar comforts and entertainments temporarily, as necessary. Preparing yourself for the worst case scenario will empower you to bypass feeling shocked and more quickly work through solutions to regain your footing and move forward with your business plan.

10. Add Some Practicality to Your Passion.
Your passion is already a given, since you’ve proven you have the entrepreneurial drive to actually start a business, vs. just dreaming about it forever. Your passion will keep driving you to make sales and improve service processes, as necessary to keep growing your business. So, nobody needs to worry about you in that regard. Just balance your decision-making between passion and practicality. Passion can drive you to action, but practical reasoning will steer you in the direction of sustainable success.
Do your market research for your industry, and your competitive market research (learning about your competitors product and service offerings, pricing, systems, market positions, etc.). Also, talk to target prospects, to get their sense of your ideas for product or service enhancements or diversification. Reach out to professional peers; that means other business owners in the industry, to ask for advice. Talk to lawyers, SBA counselors, banks, financial advisors, and/or anybody with knowledge applicable to your business interests. Just infuse your passionate business instincts with practical knowledge for a winning approach to your personal and business growth.

11. Enjoy Your Life.
Yes, working hard is a virtue. There’s no place for slackers in the entrepreneurial sector. That’s a given. So, nobody would suggest that you prioritize a good time over keeping your nose to the proverbial grindstone. No way. But, there’s another proverb to do with loving your work so you never have to work again. If you focus on what you enjoy about being in your business, and recognize the rest for what it is—part and parcel of the endeavor to live the life you’ve imagined—then you’ll meet with that brand of success that only the self-sufficient fully achieve.
Don’t be a loner. Seek help from family, and friends, and the various third parties mentioned in tips above, to help you find and implement solutions and nurture changes you undertake to advance your business. Indulge yourself in finding a mentor, another person in the industry, or an industry or entrepreneurs’ peer group. Look to some of your local clubs and organizations for that kind of valuable support and sources of knowledge. Beyond that, enjoy your chosen life’s work; it’s a gift.

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