Tips On Surviving The First Year As An Entrepreneur

In this modern world, an opportunity to start a business is available to almost anyone.  Young people are turning into entrepreneurs all around the world. Unfortunately, not all grow into successful ones. Even if you have the best business idea for 2018, the first year will feel like all hell has broken loose. You’ll be in a position of a boss for the first time and all your courage and experience won’t be enough to prepare you for that. It’s hard enough to make the decision to start a business, not to talk about making a bunch of life-changing ones while managing the entire team of employees. You will face a plethora of problems where securing funds is the least of them. You’ll discover soon enough that it’s very hard to balance your professional and private life when you’re a scared nervous wreck whose adrenaline has hit the roof.

So is it possible to survive this gauntlet of the first year? Yes, it is. It won’t be all glamor and glitz and you’ll end up battered and bruised, but these are common battle scars in the world of business. Don’t let this discourage you - if you implement the tips below you’ll not only emerge as a survivor but a victor.


1. Divide Your Vision

This might sound a bit contradictory. You’ve probably worked hard to create your unique vision and everybody has told you that it’s extremely important to keep it from falling apart. But that doesn't mean you shouldn’t divide it into short-term goals. We all know what the ultimate goal must be like - a cause bigger than yourself that you fully believe in, with an ability to benefit the humankind. That is really nice and almost poetic, but it’s hard to figure out when you’ve actually achieved that goal. You can’t survive your work days by holding onto some distant metaphorical ideal. You need to create short-term goals that are measurable and attainable and that will require you to keep hustling every day. That will enable you to see the progress clearly and not give up. Setting seven-day goals is the best way to go for the first year. After you’ve divided your long-term vision into more palpable sections you need to help the others see it. Writing down your goals, reading them out loud and looking at them every day will do little if you don’t know how to share them.


2. Surround Yourself With The Right People


Steve Jobs is definitely the person to listen to when it comes to growing your business, and he puts a capable team of people at the center of that growth. You have the idea, but your employees are the ones who are making your business. Unfortunately, they’re also the ones who can break it, especially if it’s a young one. Maybe your so eager to get the whole idea started that you’ll recruit the first persons who apply but that way you won’t survive even a month, not a year. You need to set your recruitment criteria very wisely and pay a close attention to the qualities of the candidates. You’re looking for self-taught persons who are reliable, collaborative, well-organized, results-oriented, and easily adaptable. In other words, people who will challenge your company’s culture in a positive way. Don’t go looking for the same attitudes and skills like yours - they need to bring fresh ideas and insights.

It’s very important to gather people before you need them. Finding the right person can take very long and the process of recruiting candidates and posting jobs is not the cheap one. You may think that you don’t need any legal representatives in the house but legal issues emerge along the way without any warning and a quick search for an immediate assistance can provide you with an incompetent and costly lawyer. Your employees need to feel secure all the time so it’s mandatory to have a legal professional at hand who will make sure that a demanding process of workers compensation is carried out right.

It’s not enough to surround yourself only with your co-workers. A large amount of strain attached to the first year of business could quickly lead you to a burnout without adequate support. We know that your startup isn’t leaving you with much free time, but don’t neglect your friends and family since they’ll always be your greatest encouragement.  Even the best players need their cheerleaders.


3. Prevent The Chaos


Many young entrepreneurs have the attitude that they only need to follow their intuition. This is fine when it comes to turning your idea into a business, but when an actual business starts you need to start thinking. Chaos may be the source of creativity for artists, but businessmen need organization. Before you take your leap of faith you need to spend some time to learn about organized systems - they will not only save you time but also money. If you need to hire someone to help you with the organization - do it. At least in the first year.  If there’s no order in the business world, there is no productivity, either. You can take a look at some productivity systems out there but it would be best to create your own according to the nature of your business.  Having a precise business plan is particularly important when it comes to your marketing campaign. Maybe you can smell the money, but that doesn't mean your customers are eager to give it to you.

As you can see, it’s just three steps but they do require some effort. You need to establish goals that will pull you ahead and gather the people who will make them happen. All it takes is to organize things very carefully. Leave some time for yourself, too. After all, you’re only a human. And what differentiates humans from animals is their ability to think things through, so use it.


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