Starting a new business is exciting. You may have a big dream to change your community or to create something that will delight your customers. The first twelve months will likely contain many exhilarating moments, but most business owners also encounter a few challenges.
No one has a crystal ball that lets you see exactly what issues may come up, but working to protect yourself up front can help. Taking the following steps can make a big impact and can help you get through that first year and on the road to success.
1) Set up all the legal and financial needs of your business – but get ready to readjust
Starting a new business is not just about your vision. Your new company, no matter how small or large, will also be a financial and legal concern. You will want to make sure that you have the licenses, insurance, contracts, and financing in place before you launch. During your first year in business, however, you may notice that your needs or your business changes in directions you did not expect. You may decide to launch a new product, hire more employees than you originally thought, or relocate. When this happens, you will need to head back to the drawing board and re-consider your legal, licensing, and financial needs, since they may change as well.
2) Build a team
Even if you are a contractor or freelancer starting a new business, your success will depend on a team. You may need employees at your company, or you may need external professionals – such as mentors, accountants, and others — to provide you with specialized services and the support you need. During the first year of your company, you will have a chance to notice what services and support you need and you will want to use this information to carefully hand-pick a team to help you.
3) Keep your hunger
For many people, starting a new business is a life-long dream. Over the first twelve months, though, that dream will become an everyday job. To succeed, business owners need to find ways to keep their enthusiasm high. Team meetings can help you build excitement in your organization. Mentoring can be another way to help you keep energy levels high by giving you a platform to discuss your business.
4) Note your cash flow
Focus on developing your cash flow during the first year, so that you have money built up to invest back in your business and to deal with any unexpected challenges. More money coming in is the solid financial foundation on which to build your company. Looking for more stability? Learn how to get funding for your new business.
Your business is as unique to Lynchburg, Virginia as you are and likely offers something new to the community. During your first year of business, though, you will want to pay attention to your cash flow, your enthusiasm, your team, and the logistics of your business to set you on a road to success that lasts beyond the first twelve months.