Your first year of business is a big thing. It’s where you get started as a career oriented person; it’s also where you prove to the world at large that you’ve got what it takes! And that’s also exactly why it’s so easy for your first year of business can go so wrong. A lot is at stake here, and if you’ve never run a business before, this could be the making or breaking of you.
But you won’t be alone along the way! A lot of other small business owners are in your position, hoping to make it big but needing to protect their company at the same time. And that’s why there’s a clear framework to follow for your first year of business – check it out below.
Develop Your Idea to the Full
You’ve got a product or a service that you’re incredibly proud of, but the business you’re using to sell it might not be up to scratch. As such, you need to put a bit more time into your idea. Who are you? What do you want? What can you offer? Questions like these can help you to form your brand image, and most of all, can take your customer service to the next level! It’s also important to make sure you keep up with your education and develop the right knowledge in your field. For example, you might follow courses to become a PT to better move from a small yoga business into a fitness-based enterprise. Your skillset defines the scope of what you can offer, so never let it become stagnant.
Understand Your Finances
Your profit and loss margin is going to be a natural priority, sure. But there are quite a few business owners out there who completely misunderstand how to handle their cash flow. They can miss out on a few essential areas, such as needing to pay their own salary, or the pros and cons of taking out a business loan, that have the potential to tank their company within the first year.
Take some time to get comfortable with the numbers. If need be, you can also bring an accountant on board (or outsource to them) that’ll help you to get familiar with how your books balance. And most of all, never jump into a financial decision without first weighing up all of the potential outcomes!
Round Off Your Business Plan
Your business plan is the one thing that’ll guide you through this whole first year. That’s why you should focus on rounding it off and ensuring it’s complete enough to give you a road map. Not only will you be able to follow it until you’re sure you’ve accomplished your goals, but you’ll use it to impress investors and bring the support you need on board too.
But what needs to go on a business plan? At the very least, your product ideas, your marketing needs, any organisational goals, and your long term financial preparations. Even if you’ve got a good grasp of all these things, do some research into each of these sections before you fill them out to make sure you’ve packed in as much detail as possible.
Your first year of business can be stellar. Evaluate your needs with these points to make sure you know what you’re getting into.