Starting a new business is often exciting and daunting in equal measure. With so much to organise, it can often be difficult to know where to start. Whether this is your first startup venture or you are a seasoned entrepreneurial vet, it’s crucial that you get your business off to the best possible start.
Your first year of business is critical. Success in your first year of business will help to set the right tone for your venture moving forward. Before you launch your business, you will need to ensure that you have a plan in place for the first year with realistic and attainable milestones clearly laid out. When you are putting your plan together, it’s important that you focus on the key components of your operations to ensure that you are set up for success from the outset.
Let’s take a look at a few things you need to pay close attention to when you are planning out the first year of your new startup.
For many new business owners, one of the biggest challenges they face in their first year of business is maintaining their books. Keeping accurate financial records is essential in keeping your business on track towards your goals. Modern small business accounting software packages provide an incredible amount of functionality and integrate directly with the ATO’s system to make it easier for you to fulfil your reporting obligations. With the right systems in place, you will be able to stay in full control of your finances as your business grows.
A business plan is an important document for any startup. Having an effective business plan in place will help to guide you through your first year of business with greater ease. The information contained in your plan will help you with your decision making, forecasting, creating effective marketing campaigns and managing your business more efficiently. Your business plan will also be crucial if you are seeking financing for your new company from the bank or private investors.
In the first year of business, finances can often be tight, forcing many entrepreneurs to wear many hats. While you can certainly expect to be busy in your first year, you need to ensure that you don’t spread yourself too thin. Outsource tasks that you are not good at and focus on your strengths. If marketing, accounting and logistics are taking your energy and focus away from the core of your business, you can hire freelancers, use software or outsource these tasks to free up more of your time to spend on the core components of what makes your business unique.
One of the main reasons that many businesses fail to survive their first year is a lack of funds. When you are planning your finances, be sure to allow for a contingency fund to cover unforeseen expenses. Upgrading computers, printer repairs, inventory issues, vehicle breakdowns and other issues can all result in an unexpected bill. Having some money stashed away to deal with these issues will help to keep your business running smoothly no matter what surprises pop up during the first year.
Throughout the first year of your new business, you will need to learn on the job, make changes to your plans and adapt to the market as needed. As an entrepreneur, you should always be learning and expanding your knowledge about your industry so you can improve your business. Listen to your customer and your staff and take their feedback on board to make positive changes so you can provide the best possible service to your clients and establish your new business as a true entity in the local market.