Starting a business can be overwhelming, regardless of whether you’ve started one before or if you are a rookie entrepreneur. For those who have already started a business, most will agree that there are some keys to the business world they wish they were aware of before opening their doors. While the advice may vary slightly by industry, here are our top five tips to anticipate those impending business surprises.
1. You probably won’t strike it rich. At least not right away. This may not come as a shock, but the first few years of owning a business aren’t as much lucrative as they are about getting established in the community. Between the startup costs and maintenance, you probably won’t be able to ride on a champagne lifestyle just yet. Along with this comes long hours and over-servicing. A 70-hour week is not completely out of the realm of possibilities during the first few years of business.
2. Be prepared to wear many hats. While you may have majored in Business at your local college, you will quickly become an expert in marketing, operations, public relations and sales. At the very least, you will become a skilled multitasker.
3. You may have more power than you’re used to. Since you will be the main decision-maker, you will have the power to see your ideas become reality. While this is an exciting proposition for many of us, it’s important to maintain realistic expectations on both individual and business levels. The key is not to promise yourself or others too much. We recommend managing business the way we all try to with our personal lives – within our means.
4. You will have stiff competition. While you may think your bakery is the best thing since sliced bread, chances are your potential customers already have a favorite bakery in your area. We have found that the most success comes after you identify the competition and understand their strengths and weaknesses as a brand. Only then do you have the leverage to forge a business that has a fighting chance at winning over a new customer base. Learning how to differentiate your business from the competition is a key step in establishing a successful operation.
5. You will likely fall off the proverbial horse. But if you’re smart, you’ll get back up. Having a business plan will account for these kinds of setbacks. Also, tapping into available business resources, like using a registered agent, may help you stay on track and out of litigation troubles. Dealing with slow growth? Nearly every startup rides the roller-coaster revenue train at one point or another. The key is remain honest with customers, continue to provide great service/products and finally, to weather the storm.
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