How to get through your rocky first year in business

Goal setting

You should set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timed) goals for both your business and yourself, and re-visit these goals on a regular basis to ensure that you are on track. These should be short, medium and long term focused, and you shouldn?t be afraid to ?dream big? as long as what you?re aiming for is realistic. The problem many organisations face is that they set themselves unrealistic goals, which the business depends on in order to survive, and this just isn?t an optimal way to run a business.

You must set out how you will grow the business and never get lazy with the goals either ? if you are over-achieving, re-evaluate your goals and make them even bigger.

Cost control

Budgeting is essential, and you need to calculate how your finances will be distributed within your business. Renting office space can be one of the most expensive overheads so you should research the most affordable option for you. You need to ensure that you budget for absolutely everything, including the installation of IT systems, and speaking from experience, a back-up source of revenue is strongly advised.

Cost control is vital as it can be the differentiating factor between a business which booms and a business which dies. Late payments can be a real issue for example, having a knock on affect on cash flow. You must ensure that you stand strong against organisations and don?t feel bullied through the need for their business. You should also set up purchasing policies – you will be surprise how much money organisations are spending on the likes of office sundries, for example.?

Take one task at a time

Time management is of the upmost importance ? not just for yourself, but for your staff too. You need to have thorough plans for days, weeks and months and ensure that you take one task at a time. This will help you work efficiently and even though you may have 10 things to do at once, tackling them individually will be much quicker than attempting to tackle them all at once. Similarly, keeping a clean, tidy and cluttered free environment in which to work in will help with efficiency too.

You will no doubt come across challenges that will make you want to pull your hair out, but it?s important to realise that every new business goes through these moments. By taking the first step in starting a business and producing a stringent business plan to stick to, you?re already halfway to understanding that you will get through that rocky first year. Good luck!

Beatrice Bartlay is the MD and founder of?2B Interface

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