The meaning of work in today’s age has been greatly modified by Millennials who see corporate as life and been flexible; a major shift from the rigid past. This flexibility has seen the Millennials springing up business and adopting a flexible or as recently called a “work-life balance” approach. In fact, a report by Deloitte in 2015 found out that 54% of Millennials had started or planned to start their own businesses; the feel out there is that everyone wants to be an entrepreneur.
In my experience working in different organisations and been exposed to Millennials, I have seen first-hand the challenges faced by these Millennials especially in an economy like Nigeria that possess lots of challenges with opportunities few and far between. This challenges typically defines how they strike a balance between work and life and still attain success in their budding organisation.
Considering all these, they still need to reach certain goals or milestones. And this can be done with the following habits:
Maintain Your Books
Often time, this is always ignored by budding entrepreneurs because they find it tasking and possibly not value adding. Typical growing entrepreneurs/millennials are most time bothered about that big idea/expansion/project and forget that numbers are equally important in the formation of the big idea.
For your business to be successful, it is imperative that you keep record. Keeping record of things like income, expenses, salary, assets, inventory, receivables, payables, loan, taxes etc. are not only important in determining the value of a business, but it also helps keep track of certain key components in your business (revenue, profit, debtors, creditors, tax due etc.).
Simply writing down in a book all financial transactions/records can go a long way to secure the financial health and growth of your business. A more advance approach can be the use of software such as MS Excel or other advanced accounting packages (Tally, Peachtree, Quickbooks etc.)
Have A Proper Payroll Structure
I setup and own the business therefore I can make withdrawals as I please. This is wrong and exposes the business to financial risk that can ultimately lead to business failure.
There should be a clear payroll structure; as the owner of the business, you should fix a salary for yourself as the business generates revenue. This salary must be fair and almost is reflective of what the business can afford. Employees should as well be put on a payroll structure such that as the owner you can accurately prepare an annual payroll budget for your business.
Manage Your Expenses
At inception, cash flow is lean and it is important that you properly manage your expense at this stage expense. You can’t be too careful in determining what you should purchase and what you shouldn’t purchase. Do you really need to purchase new items, or can you recycle old items or seek bargain purchase? Are there no other cost-effective ways of making the delivery? Do we need to rent an office space or co-join with other businesses such that we can render mutual benefit or cross-service? Shouldn’t we seek for discount or bargain purchase?
Understand Your Cashflow - Budgeting
Entrepreneurs are sometimes caught in the web to spend and spend and spend with the belief that the cashflow will be constant over the life of the business; because the business is growing, and customer base is increasing. The big question however, is that, are the customers paying such that we have a positive cashflow?
You can’t build a successful business without understanding the dynamics of your cashflow. Some business/products are seasonal, therefore the variation in cashflow while others are not. It is important that business owners map their financial future through cashflow projections and forecasting/budgeting and ensure accountability and probity.
Financial success is not a short-term task. It requires a lot of work such as forming business relationships, networking, partnership, attending events etc. Millennials need to invest some of their time in networking and forging partnerships; this may come with some financial hit/mild impact on bottom-line, but the benefits can’t be overemphasized since some of these networks/partnerships may lead to long-term loyalty and sustainability.
The Market, Your Guide
The market is a dynamic place and is always changing. To succeed, your need to be flexible, adapt and understand the expectations of the market; your ideas or personality comes second in this regard. No matter how great the idea/product, if it fails to be accepted in the market, it already become a recipe for failure; as it has been proven time and time again that the market is never wrong, therefore businesses must be flexible, accept feedback from the market and introduce products/services that address the need of the market.