If you’ve decided that 2018 is the year to finally make your move into entrepreneurship there are probably many questions that you want to know the answer to and many fears that you want to be diminished before you make your first steps.
While we don’t want to put you off, we think that it’s important to tell you that most entrepreneurs will bail in their first year of business. This is usually just after they find out that it entails more stress and hardship than glitz and glamour. However, what you need to remember is that if you’re successful in your first few years, you’ll certainly reap the rewards. As long as you keep your eye on your goals and don’t let things overwhelm you, you should do well. Here are our top tips to make sure that year one is as successful as it can be.
Stick to the goals of your business plan
While we’re not going to bore you with the ins and outs of a business plan, it’s still an incredibly important part of the business and something that you need to achieve before you get the business moving. As well as detailing your financial plans, your business plan should highlight your ultimate goal. Don’t have one? Then stop and think before you go any further. One of the main reasons that companies fail in their first year is because the business owner has not established a firm goal. Once you’ve established your goal make sure that you look at it, read it aloud, and work towards it every day.
Keep your expenses as low as possible
Another huge reason that new businesses fail is for the simple reason that they’ve ran out of money. To make sure you don’t fall into this trap aim to keep your first-year expenses as low as possible, focusing on the things that you need rather than want. For example, only hire employees that you definitely need, try to go without permanent business premises for as long as possible and sacrifice paying yourself a reduced salary while you get things up and running. Remember that you can’t really forgo spending money on employee salaries, marketing and businesses insurance, but you can shop around for ways that you can reduce costs on certain things. Be Wiser Business Insurance, for example, allows you to find the very best deal for your company’s requirements.
Spend time building your network
As an entrepreneur, you should never overlook the importance of professional networking because in business the more people you know, the better. Be confident to reach out to professionals in your field, and you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities begin to come your way. Don’t expect to gain things without giving something back, however.
Make sure you’re focused on the customer
It’s true that you need to focus on creating your product or service but its also true that you need to dedicate a lot of time focusing on the needs of your customer. After that, you’ll need to work out how you can meet these needs in a way that would encourage them to make you their first choice every time.
Realize where you need to adapt
Yes, in the early days of your business resources will be incredibly tight but it’s essential to make sure that your time and money are being spent correctly, i.e. in the right places. To do this, it’s best to back everything up with numbers, so you have a clear reference point if anything were to go wrong. Some things you might want to think about are where your foot or website traffic are both coming from and what your profit percentage is per product or service. As an entrepreneur, you’ll also want to learn to love risk. The true risk isn’t deciding to start a business; it’s the decisions you make when you’re in business. Once you’ve realized that not everything is going to be smooth sailing, you’ll find it easier to adapt to the challenges that come your way.
Have some backup plans in place
To protect the future of your business, you’ll need to make sure you have some backup plans in place. This means that you’ll have to figure out what to do in the worst case scenario – if your business fails. Choosing the right business legal structure can help you with this and is, therefore, one of the most important decisions you can make at these early stages. This will affect which authorities you need to notify about your business, how much tax you pay, the financial records you need to keep and, as we’ve mentioned, the financial liability that you’ll face if your business comes up against some trouble.
Don’t be afraid to ask for support
A lot of entrepreneurs fall into the trap of being too proud to ask for help or support from others that are more experienced. Use your networking skills to find other people or a community that can help you smooth out any issues you may be facing. Starting your own business from scratch can be mentally, emotionally and physically draining and there’s nothing bad about admitting that you need a little help every so often.
For all of the budding entrepreneurs out there, hopefully, our list has given you a clearer idea about the processes that you need to go through to achieve success. As with most things, once you have a clear idea of what you’re up against you can be more prepared for survival. When the going gets tough – don’t give up.