One of the most important business tools you can use in your business is understanding your breakeven poin

People start their own businesses for a variety of reasons, but what many of them find once they have taken this route, is that their work life balance suffers.

Having gone into business for themselves, they were confident that it would realign how they spend their time, only to find that instead it eats up all the time they have available.

They should look beyond a philosophy of work-is-life, and approach business strategically and methodically, to make better use of their time, and to restore their work life balance.

There are four key areas to focus on:

  1. Your USP
  2. Your financial analysis
  3. Your target market
  4. What your competitors are doing

What is Your USP?

A unique selling proposition (USP) is what you hang your marketing strategy on, so that you can target your sales effectively.

It might be something that differentiates your product or service. It could be around price structure or customer service, or it may involve specific distribution channels.

 “Finding your USP requires analysis and creativity, an understanding of the market, your competitors, your niche, and where you will fit in”

From the perspective of time, a USP allows you to focus your marketing rather than be scattershot in your approach. It encourages efficiency and a streamlining of your activities.

Financial Analysis

Planning your finances is not the most exciting aspect of starting a business. But it is an essential one. It can also save you a great deal of trouble, and time, later.

“Most businesses fail because of cash-flow problems so a crucial part of your planning should focus on this”

It is also vital to look at what funding you will require before you launch, in time to find the right source.

A sound financial analysis should also look at what future investment you will require for projects, because this will affect the more immediate choices you make.

Getting a clear financial picture early onwill save you time, and energy later.

Who Are Your Customers?

Closely related to your USP, understanding your target market is the key to launching and running your business as efficiently and effectively as possible.

To make your marketing count you must know who your potential customers are. Anything less, and you risk becoming a busy fool, spending time, money and resources chasing an elusive market.

What About the Competition?

Any startup must understand where it fits in a wider context. This means analysing the competition.

Always looking over your shoulder is distracting and draining.

“Gaining knowledge about who your competitors are and what they’re doing will help you deal with potential threats and make the most of opportunities”

This knowledge will then inform your overall business strategy, helping you understand the probable consequences of the decisions you make.

Yes, people who start up their own businesses are dedicated to them, but this doesn’t mean they should feel completely drained by them. A sound business strategy will go some way to restoring their work-life balance,

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