Seven Tips for New Small Business Owners

A man looks out into the ocean at sunset, perhaps contemplating starting a new business.

Starting a new business can be a daunting task, but there’s nothing we love more than watching entrepreneurs succeed. That’s why we put together this list of seven tips for new small business owners – to help make your lives just a little bit easier, because we want you to be massive successes. (And you might as well learn from the entrepreneurs that came before you, right? No need to reinvent the wheel.)

And there is no shortage of you. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 5.4 million new business applications were filed in 2021. This is a major increase, compared to 4.4 million in 2020. But starting a new small business is one thing, keeping it up and running is a completely different story. You’ll need all the help you can get, and we hope our tips will help you on your journey.

So read on for seven great tips for new small business owners! (And if you need help with the process of actually setting up a business in Orange County, or California in general, or anywhere really, check out this in depth blog post on how to setup a new business.)

Keep Personal Affairs Separate from Your Business

Many new small business owners tend to mix things up. For example, they use their personal bank accounts for business. This is definitely something to avoid. You need to keep everything related to your business separate from your personal life. Open credit and bank accounts exclusively for your business. This way, you will be able to easily trace your business transactions and keep organized financial records.

Identify Your Unique Selling Point (USP)

Do you offer a high-quality service or a unique product? What makes your business stand out from the others? How will the customer benefit from your product or service? All these questions can help you identify the USP of your small business. The USP is the essence of any business, large or small. It is what makes your product or service better than others offered by competitors.

Don’t forget why you went into business in the first place. There must have been a passion or personal need that helped you build your business idea. Use this to find your USP and articulate it clearly to your potential customers. Tell them what value your small business will bring to their life. This is how you attract and persuade people to buy your products and services.

Target a Niche Market

As a small business, you probably have limited resources. So, don’t spread your efforts too thin. Focus on a smaller target group to be able to fulfill their specific needs successfully. You probably can’t afford to target large markets, at least in the beginning, so you may benefit from focusing your efforts and resources on a smaller niche market.

For example, instead of targeting the entire food industry, you can specialize in “under 5 mins meals”. This will help you stand out in the market, keep your marketing and branding budget down, and provide a more unique customer experience. Then, over time, you can start expanding your market scope steadily.

Grow Gradually

When starting a business, you probably dream of it becoming a great success overnight. However, it’s important to keep your plans realistic. Having a successful business requires a lot of time and effort and you need to be patient and persistent.

Be careful, because your business will probably face a lot of ups and downs. So, don’t take success for granted or expand too quickly. Things can easily get out of control, and you’ll find yourself overwhelmed. It’s better to take things slowly. Set regular goals that help your business grow gradually and steadily. Land small customers first, then target larger companies. At each stage, give yourself time to build the required experience and resources for the next phase.

Create a User-Friendly Experience

Do everything you can to simplify and shorten the buying process. Keep in mind that not all customers have the time or patience to fill in long forms or go through multiple steps to purchase a product. So, remove any unnecessary steps. Also, try to offer various payment options to meet different customers’ preferences.

Make sure your website is easy to navigate. Any marketing content you publish must also be clear and simple. In addition, your business must be accessible. The customers should be able to reach you through various methods, like phone, social media, and email.

Sharpen Your Networking Skills

Networking is a crucial part of any successful business, especially if you are just starting out. By attending business networking events, you’ll get to know key players in the field. You’ll also learn about market trends, identify best practices, and open new opportunities.

There is no way to avoid networking events, even if you are an introvert. That’s why you need to work on your business networking skills. Attending these events should not feel like torture. To master networking skills, you can check our top 5 tips here.

A woman lounges in a hot bath, symbolic of new business owners remembering self-care.

Just because you are starting a business doesn’t mean you should forget about work-life balance entirely. Remember to find some time for yourself. Self-care can help new business owners avoid burnout.

Don’t Forget Yourself

Starting your own business requires a lot of time and effort. All the stress and the heavy workload can take a toll on your health and mental wellbeing. That’s why you need to be careful not to lose sight of yourself and your needs.

You are the main asset of your new small business. So, take good care of yourself, just like you are taking good care of the business. Try to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night. Don’t forget to exercise and eat healthy, nutritious meals. Spend some time doing things you love and do your best to keep a reasonable work-life balance.

There you have it. Our seven tips for new small business owners. Hopefully, this will make your life just a little bit easier, and nudge you along on your road to success. Building a new business isn’t easy, and it’s important to take all the help you can get. Here’s to your success!

The road to a successful small business can be full of challenges and obstacles, but we are here to help. At My OC Bookkeeper, we understand the challenges of starting a new business in the Orange County area and can help you each step of the way. From basic monthly bookkeeping services to sophisticated business consulting, we are here to help. Reach out to us today and let’s do great things together.

Want to learn even more about starting a business? (Especially if you are in Orange County, or somewhere in CA.) Take a look at the video guide below, read this step by step guide to starting a business in Orange County, or check out this post on finding out if the name you want for your CA business is available.

Orange County, CA Business Networking & Events Calendar – Dec 2021

A business person in a suit, symbolic of the businesspeople who attend networking and business events in Orange County.

Upcoming Orange County Networking and Business Events

The end of the month is coming fast and it’s time for the December Orange County Business Networking & Events Calendar – your premier guide to this month’s best opportunities to mingle with Orange County’s best. There are plenty of opportunities to learn, network, and pitch your products, services, or great ideas – so strap yourself in and get ready for the best business events of December across Irvine, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, and beyond.

The Orange Chamber of Commerce Business Networking Group

When: December 1 and December 15th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm

Where: Colleary’s Bistro, 2143 N Tustin St, Ste A-6, Orange, CA 92865

The Orange Chamber of Commerce Business Networking Group convenes every first and third Wednesday of the month. It is an excellent opportunity to meet with local entrepreneurs and share ideas, find leads, and make connections. Tickets cost $20 for Commerce members and $30 for non-members and can be bought here.

Women in Business Breakfast

When: December 2 at 7:30 am

Where: The Center Club, 650 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Shawn Andrews from Andrews Research International and author of The Power of Perception: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and the Gender Divide, will be leading a discussion on ways that women sometimes hold themselves back in their professional lives. The event costs $8 to join.

First Friday Social Networking Mingler

When: December 3rd from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Where: The Country Club Nightclub, Costa Mesa, CA

Hosted by the Modeling Network, this is an opportunity for models, actors, photographers, agents, agencies, influencers, and those looking to get into the beauty and fashion industries to meet and mingle among great cocktails and a great environment.

Youth Business Market

When: December 4th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Where: Masuda Middle School, 17415 Los Jardines W, Fountain Valley, CA 92708

The Orange County Children’s Museum Youth Market is an opportunity for local children to refine their business skills by setting up a booth and selling their products to guests at the market. If you have a young entrepreneur in your family be sure to sign up, and if you want to support our county’s youngest business people be sure to stop by. Booths cost $20.

The symbol for Masuda Middle School, which is having a great business event.

Irvine Startup Mentorship Program

When: December 4th from 8:00 am to 9:00

Where: Virtual

Hosted by business coach and investor Lakshman Singh, this is an opportunity to learn anything and everything about fostering a successful startup business. Tickets range from $30 to $75 and can be purchased on Eventbrite here.

OCIACC Annual Holiday Party

When: December 4th at 6 pm

Where: Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails, 2607 Main Street, Irvine, CA

The OC Iranian American Chamber of Commerce’s annual holiday party is finally here. This fun event will include dinner, drinks, music, and some standup comedy and is a great opportunity to celebrate all of the winter holidays. Tickets cost $150 for members of the OCIACC and $175 for non-members, with the proceeds supporting the OCIACC’s ongoing work to assist the local Iranian American business community. (Tables of 10 cost $1,400 for members, and $1,600 for non-members.)

TIEcon Southwest 2021

When: December 5th 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Where: Sheraton Cerritos

Hosted by the TIE SoCal Angels, this all day event involves workshops, panel discussions, speakers, and plenty of networking opportunities. Tickets cost $75 for TIE Socal Angels members, $125 for non-members, and $175 for non-members with a one year membership to the group included.

Leads Groups at the Greater Irvine Chamber

When: December 6th from 11:45 am to 1:15 pm

Where: Greater Irvine Chamber, 36 Executive Park, Ste. 100, Irvine, CA 92614

Irvine and Orange County’s best salespeople meet monthly to share leads, make strategic contacts, and learn from each other. Participation is limited to Chamber of Commerce members, (although non-members may attend once only for a $25 fee), and only one person is allowed to participate from each industry.

Business Plan Workshop

When: December 9th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Where: The Yorba Linda Public Library, 4852 Lakeview Avenue, Yorba Linda, CA

Hosted by Jim Chamberlain of SCORE, this is a great opportunity to learn how to create a masterful business plan – a crucial thing for all entrepreneurs to know. In particular, the three financial statements will be discussed. Speaking of which, if you want to learn about financial statements, check out our incredible blog post which will explain everything you need to know.

Int’l Association of Business Communicators – OC Holiday Party 2021

When: December 13th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Where: Two Left Forks Restaurant, 6511 Quail Hill Parkway, Irvine CA 92603

A great opportunity to mingle with marketing and communications professionals, this great event involves a three course dinner, random drawings, and a chance for some serious networking. Tickets are $25 for IABC members and $50 for non-members.

Looking for a bookkeeper, accountant, outsourced CFO, or business consultant in Orange County? (Or anywhere in Southern California for that matter.) Look no further than My OC Bookkeeper – we can help you with all of your business needs.

Want to learn about all things business and accounting? Check out the My OC Bookkeeper blog, the best business blog in Southern California. (Possibly the world.)

Want to learn more about how to be a good networker? Take a look at this great article here from the Science of People website, or take a look at the video below.