Starting a business is one of the most challenging things that you can do. Getting it off the ground requires real grit, determination and a whole lot of very hard work. But if you’ve got that first step under way then congratulations! You’re already doing great. But the truth is that a lot of small businesses end up failing over the course of the first year, which means you need some pretty sharp business acumen to be one of the ones that succeeds – and don’t forget, you also need a little luck too. Here are a few tips to help you through that tricky first year…
Put The Time In
First of all, you have to remember that starting a business is hard work. If you’re running a bar, it isn’t all about pouring shots for people and partying every evening – you’ll also be up early the next morning to take deliveries, make orders, do your accounts, and clean the bar. Starting a business is frequently not particularly glamorous – being a young mogul sounds like a lot of fun, and being your own boss is an excellent and freeing feeling, but you need to remember that a lot of the time, what you get out of your business is directly proportional to what you put into it – so the harder you work, the more money you’ll make.
Hire The Best People
It’s important that you make sure that you hire the people who share your specific vision for what you want your company to be. When you’re starting a company and you’re still in the first year, you want to save money wherever you can, which means that you shouldn’t hire anyone who you aren’t passionate about and who in turn isn’t passionate about your business and about what you’re selling. Don’t settle for the wrong people – you’ll end up putting in a lot of time and money training them and in the end it might not work out. Make sure that you hire people who you find it easy to communicate with.
Figure Out What You’re Good At
Let’s face it, no one, not even you, is good at everything. You need to be confident about yourself but you also need to make sure that you’re realistic and aware of whatever failings that you might happen to have. That means that you should start to learn to delegate tasks. If you’ve never navigated Twitter before in your life, hire a social media expert to help you out. If you’re not sure where to go with safe packaging, look into getting an IBC tank from a company that specializes in that sort of thing. Allowing some parts of your company to be helped out by other people and businesses will take some of the pressure off your shoulders.
Create A Great Working Environment
In order to keep the employees that you’ve hired – the best of the best, of course! – it’s important to create a great working environment. Being honest is one of the best ways to do that – constructive criticism and feedback is absolutely invaluable if you want the people you’re working with to be able to improve their skills, and you also want to make sure that they feel as though they can talk to you as well. Being approachable as a boss is crucial – you don’t want anyone to struggle or suffer in silence because they’re too afraid to talk to you, after all. Still, you should make sure that you aren’t too accessible for your staff. Although it’s great to be on good terms with them, it’s important to remember that you’re their boss and not their friend – if you try to befriend them too much, it’ll lead to problems with favoritism down the line.
Learn How To Network
If you aren’t completely sure how to network, now is absolutely the time to learn. It can feel strange and awkward going up to people at networking events so that you can figure out what you can do for each other professionally, but it’s important to remember that everyone else is there to make similar connections and that you need to do so in order to get far in business. When you’re networking, make sure that you listen carefully to what people are saying to you and that you ask them plenty of questions – it’s the best way to get to know someone.
Take Care Of Your Clients
During the first year of your business, chances are you’re frantically buzzing around as you try to drum up new business and clients. But it’s important to remember that all your clients are important – not just the new ones. Make sure that you pay attention to the older ones too. Do your best to stay in touch with them, make sure that your product is still working well for them, and ensure that this time next year, they’ll still be one of your clients.
Create An Excellent Site
When it comes to making a site, it’s important that you do it impeccably. Remember that it needs to be extremely easy to navigate – assume that your customers are much more stupid and less computer savvy than they really are! It should be intuitive and neatly labelled so that people can find the correct sections of your site quickly and easily. It should also explain what exactly your company does in a sentence, so that people know how they can use you and work with you. Make sure that you include your contact information on the site, with your name, postal address, phone number and email address, so that potential clients can get in contact with you easily.
Take Time Out
Finally, even though running a business means that you have to work extremely hard, it’s important for you to make sure that you don’t completely burn out. Make sure that you stay physically healthy by going to the gym regularly, and ensure that you go out to meet up with your friends as often as you can.