Your Business: The First Year
So you’ve finally done it. The lease for the property has been signed and you’ve got a base to operate from. Now where do we go from here?
If you have never owned or taken part in running a business, you will realise that the beginning of a business is where you will do all your learning. What follows is a few pitfalls for you to keep an eye on in those first few tricky months, and how best to avoid them.
You Will Work More Than You Have Ever Worked In Your Life
Did you think that you worked hard in your old job? You putting in those few overtime hours on the weekend so that it saves you dealing with the backlog when you come in on Monday made life a lot easier. That is a wonderful business strategy when you work underneath someone, you had the one job title when you were there. Now you have many different job roles, and you may need to work up to 16 hours a day to keep track of every spinning plate. As well as a manager, you may also need to be an accountant, customer service advisor, receptionist and I.T. administrator, all at the same time! Bear in mind that this is in the infancy and that it does get better. You will look back and be grateful that you put in those extra hours.
You Will Be Asking For Lots Of Favours
This one especially applies to the one man band operations. You will need to ask for favours. Favours to spread the word, favours to help get the maintenance done, even favours for someone to do the coffee run. If you’re in small team, these little favours will cement your working relationship, and if you’re asking for outside help (which you will no doubt do), reward their help in some way as they are dedicating their free time to help you.
You Will Learn To Negotiate Over The Smallest Detail
You’ve successfully managed to negotiate getting a business loan from the bank. That must have been the hardest part, right? Wrong. You will be forever negotiating deadlines that need to be pushed back, negotiating cost, or negotiating if a staff member can change their holiday to a week later.
The Financial Results Will Be Varied
No doubt you have been told that the first year of a business you will barely break even, and someone will try and tell you facts and figures of how many fail. Keep your long term goals in sight and remember why you started this business, you were ready to weather the storm then, and you are now.
You Will Love It!
You are running an operation that you have built from all your late night brainstorming sessions. This is your dream, and you are on the way to achieving it, so make sure you enjoy every second! It may feel like you are banging your head against a wall sometimes and you may get anxious or overwhelmed, but this is all the exciting bit. When you are a successful entrepreneur you will look back on all of this with a smile.