12 Tips for New Business Owners in the First 12 Months of Their Company’s Life
- Develop a solid and realistic business plan. This is something that you need to do almost before you start your business. You need to include information on products and services, your proposed budget, and ideas on how you will identify and attract your ideal customer.
- Identify what you can and cannot do yourself. It is important to identify what you are able to do yourself to build your business and what you need extra help to do. For example, you may be able to provide a product or service but may need assistance promoting it or developing advertising.
- Start local. It is a good idea to start building your company locally and then progress from there. It may be less expensive to deal with local customers and you can refine your products and techniques before reaching out to customers that are further afield.
- Get feedback from your clients and listen to what they are saying. You should always look for feedback from your customers and learn from what they are saying. This is equally important with both satisfied and dissatisfied customers.
- Build a solid client list. You need clients in order for your business to succeed. Building a list of potential local clients will help you see what the local need is and give you ideas of who you can approach once your company is up and running.
- Get a good accounting program and learn how to use it. This is a critically important step. Pick one that makes it easy for you to enter expenses and income. Get used to using it so that when it is time for you to do your taxes you have all of your information right at hand.
- Get organized. In the beginning, it is often tempting to let organization slide but this can be a dangerous precedent to set. It looks bad to clients if you look unorganized and you may accidentally misplace important documents, materials or product outlines.
- Promote your business properly. These days, it can be difficult to build a business using word of mouth alone. You need to make sure that you are promoting your company using as many tools as possible including the internet, social media and radio or print advertising.
- Check your growth regularly. You need to check on your company’s growth on a regular basis. This will help ensure that you are on track throughout your first year and can help you determine where you need to make changes so that you are as successful as possible.
- Develop one and five year business plans. You need to have both short and long-term plans in place so that you can measure your company’s progress. This can help you stay on track and give you goals that you can work towards in future.
- Put all contracts and agreements in writing. You need to make sure that you are documenting all of your contracts and agreements with the customers you are working with. Good information to include will be the rates you charge, what the project will involve and what the deadlines are that you will be working with.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You need to manage your company wisely to ensure it grows but don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Most businesses have made a few errors during their early days and have recovered from them. These tips can help any new business owner manage their company’s growth over the first twelve months and can keep business growth on track in a meaningful way.
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