It’s no secret that your first year of business is a difficult one, it might even be the hardest that your business ever faces. In the early days, capital can often be low, relationships can be uncertain and despite every effort to be well informed, some knowledge is only gained with time.
When it feels like you’ve got the whole world working against you, it’s important to stay motivated. If you can make it through your first year, your chances of success grow massively.
Create a Strong Business Plan
With every new business, there will be hurdles to overcome, and there are some interesting statistics surrounding financial success. Although only around one in every two hundred new businesses succeeds, you can give yourself the best chance possible by following a strong business plan.
Amazingly, one of the most common reasons that a business fails is because the business plan simply wasn’t well thought through. Researching and putting a plan together is the sort of task that should be taking around a year from inception to finished product.
Have people from the industry look over it and really scrutinise it. It can be a good idea to look for investment, as people who are risking money will sift through the plan very carefully.
Make SEO an Early Focus for Web-Based Businesses
For those who aren’t in the know, all the comings and goings of SEO trends can seem incredibly daunting. However, the basic principles remain the same; if you have good content on your website, use your headings and tags wisely, remember to label images and achieve useful link-backs wherever you can then your site will already be in pretty good shape.
If you’re the kind of person who’s relatively computer literate then simply reading up on some SEO strategy will stand you in good stead. If you’re not so tech-savvy then there is no shame at all in seeking the help of an SEO expert. It’s a good idea to really scrutinise the background of the expert that you choose as the money that you invest could quickly mount up if you happen to select someone a little unscrupulous.
Structure Your Time Wisely
Whilst it’s fair to say that you will be working harder than you thought possible in your first year of business, you will also certainly learn the value of working smart. You can put in all the hours of the day behind the desk, but if you’re not using time productively then you’ll never get ahead.
Having a time planner that’s written down and adhered to will allow you to tick off goals in a tangible way and keep on top of projects that could become lengthy. Using concentration and productivity hacks, such as the Pomodoro technique, or minute planning are brilliant ways of making sure that you squeeze the most out of every minute.
Simple things like answering emails three times per day instead of the minute that they fire in can make a huge difference to your productivity. Sizeable blocks of uninterrupted working time are the ultimate goal and a well planned timetable can help you get there.
Make Time for the Things You Love
The final point, but without doubt the most important. No matter how smart you’re working, how fail-safe your business plan and how solid your SEO strategy, if you’re not taking care of yourself then your business will fail. Great business people realise the importance of taking time out. You are your most valuable asset, so it’s important to take care of yourself.
If you had a car and you drove it at super-high revs, never changed the oil or took it to be serviced, sure, you might do the miles faster, but it’d break down really quick. On the other hand, if you change the oil regularly, keep it serviced and drive at a sensible speed, the car is going to last much longer and eventually travel much further.
Treat yourself as you’d treat that beloved car, recharge your batteries regularly and make sure that you’re prioritising ‘me’ time. There is no shame in taking a day off to spend with the people you love, even if it’s busy at work. Remember, an investment in yourself, is an investment in your company.