Starting a business is not just about having a visiting card in your name. You need to stay ready for numerous crest and trough, especially during the first year of your business. You are always sailing in a pool of anxiety to emerge victoriously. The first year is the hardest but the most exciting one. Here are some of the hardest things every small business entrepreneur goes through
- The first year is majorly about surviving your business and the struggle might crash your fancy dreams and expectations. Profit making might not be possible for everyone, but that’s pretty fine. The main concern with financials is to get more funding and have a parachute backup plan.
- There are no more fixed hour shifts to work but yes there are sleepless nights. The leisure time is consumed in calls, emails, meetings and more since there overnight success does not exist in reality.
- Rejection and mistakes are inevitable but learning for future progress. Many times these overtake businessmen’s confidence but not every day can be a good day. Even after a good product/service, the inflow of customers and profit is relatively low and business proposals face rejection since people doubt your capability and business’s future.
Overcoming all hardship can help you set up a successful business. Here are some tips and tricks that will help you sail through the first year of your business
Create a business plan
Before you begin a business or anything, you need to have a business plan in place. There is no need of collecting numerous documents or creating a book of the plan. You should have your end goal in mind and focus on how to achieve it by answering to such as what product/service you will offer, what are its benefits, what’s your budget, when is the launch date, what will be factors affecting your expense and profit margin, etc. This will help you get organized and increase productivity.
Control your expenses
Since it a start-up, it is better to manage expenses than to run out of money. You are unsure of the funding or profit/loss the business would incur in the coming months. So, plan all your business moves accordingly that will include physical office, hiring, and marketing of the business. And, remember to store 5-6 months’ income in advance
Hire the right team
Selecting the right talent is necessary and that too in case of desperate needs. Just adding up people to increase employee strength will drain your funds. When selecting candidates, don’t limit yourself to their skills and knowledge, rather go beyond and understand their attitude. Explain your business vision and see if they go along with you in the long run and in a start-up environment that is entirely different from a well-established firm. Another important thing to consider is the positive and lively attitude of the employees.
Delight your customers
To make your business survive, you need to have good products and service that make your customers happy and satisfied. Be ready to accept feedback and work on them. This will make your customers feel special and return to your business. Happy customers perform word-of-mouth marketing for your business, increasing the count of loyal customers. Customer relationship management turns a good company to a great company.
Build your network
Network building always helps you grow your business. You never know you could get investors, partners or customers for your business from your network. Reach out to professionals for guidance and better opportunities. Make use of time and opportunity when you meet people by asking relevant questions. The more importance you give them the more response you will get in return.
One of the major factors that affect your business is to stay positive confident, and not to look back at the downfalls. There will be negative feedbacks, critics, and haters. But learn to digest or ignore them. There is always a chunk of people who for no reasons demotivate others. Remember you can’t delight everyone and its ok. Failure is just a leaning, learn from it and move on.
It is necessary to announce your business and make a presence in the market. If your budget allows, go for paid marketing, else opt for organic ways. This will help you get more customers as well as investors. It is better to have some budget set aside for marketing. Also, before investing in a channel see where your target audiences are found most active. Identify your business USPs and pitch them to get more traffic, leads, and conversion.
Know your worth
Burning the midnight oil is good but not always. You need to know your and your business’s worth. Don’t stay ready to say a yes to everyone just sake of business growth. This can anytime backfire and degrade the reputation of your business in other’s eyes. Being obsessed with work will kill your work-life balance and unexpected results will kill your confidence.
Have a backup plan
Always have a plan B or pivot for your business. As an entrepreneur, if your business is not fetching desired results in some time, change things to survive. This can include business vision, marketing, strategy, product/service, target audience, etc.
Get your business on eCommerce platforms
There are various B2B commerce websites, such as Moglix, where you can get your products online for sale and connect with your customers directly. There are numerous benefits of getting your SME business online. If you thrive to grow big, just do it.
Don’t judge everything in one year. Give things and people some time and stay optimistic. Success will be yours!