What to Expect When You First Start a Business
Set Your Expectations and Improve Your Chances of Success
Starting a business is both exhilarating and terrifying. Whether you’re looking at taking on a franchise or delivering a product or service from scratch, you can mitigate risk by doing research, developing a strategy, and setting your expectations accordingly. As experienced business owners will tell you, those steps can help move you toward profitability but also give you enough perspective to realize that you may need to tweak your strategy along the way.
When you start a small business, here are some things that you should know from the get-go.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job Just Yet
No matter how great your business idea is and how confident you are in its success, it’s advisable not to quit your day job immediately in pursuit of your own business. It can take time for your business to gain the momentum you need in order for it to be your full-time job.
What’s more, if you keep another source of income for a little while longer, you create more time and space in which to make your business decisions to benefit you in the long run.
If you intend to quit your day job at some point, work long enough to put aside savings to manage your day-to-day finances for about six months to a year to keep you afloat while you focus on getting your business off the ground.
How to Spend Your Time
Believe it or not, one of the necessary components of getting your business off the ground successfully is planning on how to spend your time. That’s because when you first start a business, you have a long list of priorities. You need to shift your priorities to match the critical tasks that are most likely to grow your business.
Brace Yourself for a Roller Coaster
Does riding a roller coaster conjure up images of hitting the theme park with friends and family? Well, while good times lie ahead once you’ve got your business up and running, when you first start your business, you can expect to experience many of the extreme highs and lows that you would on a roller coaster. You may even experience adrenaline rushes, nausea, and simultaneous fear and joy.
Much like on a roller coaster, your outlook and your point of view can change radically from moment to moment. The key is to buckle up and commit to seeing the ride through to the end. Having a solid business model and plan to refer to will help you navigate all of the twists and turns of business ownership.
Prepare Your Friends and Family
The rewards make it worthwhile in the long run, but starting a business is very stressful in the beginning. While you may expect to take on that stress yourself, it is inevitably stressful for those around you as well. They might bear the burden of your stress or worry about your well-being.
Anticipate the feelings of your loved ones and plan to keep the communication lines open to avoid any damage to personal relationships.
Plan to Adapt
The marketplace is fluid, which means that you will likely need to adapt your business model or your business plans mid-flight. While your business plan may be solid and thorough on paper, it’s a whole other thing to put it into practice.
You experience on-the-job training at a fast pace. You’ll be changing direction and delivery or even making modifications to your product or service as you go (especially when you are starting out) to meet consumer need. Those are shrewd business moves that will carry you to profitability in the long term.
Starting a business is not a sprint. So, keep focused on why you started your business in the first place: to give your great idea the chance to come to life via a product or service that will beat out your competition.
It can be easy to get discouraged and lose sight of your goal. Put up visual reminders of your goal and celebrate your small successes on the way to your ultimate goal of profitable business ownership.
Don’t be afraid to connect with established business owners to mentor you through this process. They can offer real-life experience, as well as help to advise you on how to adapt in the marketplace for success.