Businesses are tricky to get started and then once you have started, they are tough to maintain. It is for this reason why business analyst always says that you should pick a business which you are passionate about, otherwise you will never give it the time that is needed, let alone the blood sweat and tears which go into a successful small business. Within that first year is when you are going to learn the most, this is when you are really going to see what you are made of and it is when you will learn the most about business.
Much like driving, you only really learn once you have passed the test, and once you have actually launched your business, here is what you are going to learn.
It doesn’t take long for people to realize that being super nice all of the time just isn’t sustainable. Unfortunately there are going to be staff members who try to BS you and who don’t work as hard as they should, there will be customers who are out of line and you will have to show your teeth with suppliers to get the best prices. You may start off being nice all the time, but that won’t last very long.
Keep The Cash Flowing
A common mistake which many first time business owners make is that they invest too much in the wrong thing which then freezes up their cash flow. This is an easy mistake to make, but equally it is an easy mistake to avoid. Your cash should be invested in fast moving products and nothing more. Be sure that you are not over-investing in stuff which won’t sell.
Failure to Outsource
There is a very real temptation when you first get into business to manage everything on your own, to cover every detail and to take on every task, this is not a sustainable way to run a business. In fact if you do this then it will not take you long to either burn out or to make mistakes. It is essential that you lighten the load through outsourcing, even if it is just your payroll and accounts. Outsourcing is essential to improve a business and to help it save money in the long run.
It will not take you long to recognize your place in the eco-system where you have set up your business and whilst you may think that there is no competition amongst small business owners in the same sector, this will be something which you will quickly understand is not true. Everyone is fighting for their slice of the pie and you have to as well. What you will learn however, is how big a slice your particular business is able to gain, and who the big boys are in the area.
These are just some of the lessons which you’ll learn in that first year of business.