Many people dream about starting their own business, but very few are actually able to live their dreams by executing them, and even fewer make it past the first five years. This is mainly because a large number of times, these business owners don’t really know what to expect.
There are no words to describe what it feels like but in simple terms; it’s fun but scary at the same time. A large number of small businesses fail because of an inability to successfully make it past year one.
Many business gurus believe that with the right knowledge of what to expect, a new small business owner will know how to prepare for upcoming challenges. Here are a few things that any new small business owner should expect.
Be Ready to Hustle When You’re Tired
Isn’t that what being a small business owner is about? You may be thinking that as a small business owner, you can take a day off when you feel like it but that’s not the case. As the brains behind the entire operation, you need to hustle even when you feel like you’ve done enough. That’s the difference between being an employee and a business owner; you’ve never done enough.
There will always be paperwork that you need to sign, orders that you need to make and customers whom you need to talk to, especially in the first year. Just like in every other phase of life or an industry, the initial period is always make-or-break, and the end result highly depends upon how much work you put in.
You can spend each second checking and rechecking your plans and improving them, working on ideas and developing new strategies. After all, there’s so much on your plate (marketing, product development, vendor contracts and employee training)
You Can’t Make Every Customer Happy
It’s true that as a business owner, you need to retain a sense of balance in everything you do but when it comes to satisfaction, you can’t make everyone happy. As a small business owner, you’re bound to make quite a few customers unhappy and the truth is, you don’t really need to make everyone happy, either.
It’s important that you remember that the key is to have a consistent customer service policy and handling complaints carefully. If your product doesn’t impress a customer all that much, then the way you handle a complaint is sure to make them a loyal customer.
A major factor that differentiates your small business from that of a larger conglomerate’s is that you, as the owner, can give customers the attention they want, which is why they are likely to approach your brand in the first place.
Be the Master of All Trades
When you first thought of starting a business, you may have guessed that you’d only have to sign things and the wheels of your business would turn themselves. Wrong. In year one, you should expect to be able to do everything and know how every process works.
Along the way, you’ll think ‘they didn’t teach me this at business school’ as you try to find a good web hosting company for your company website or take aesthetic pictures of your products so you can post them on a social media account. You don’t learn everything about starting a business; you have to experience it hands-on.
From managing office operations during the day to writing content for your website at night, you’ll have to do most of it in the first year. You’ll be lucky to have friends or family who’ll be willing to help around but in year one, you can’t afford to hire many employees. In addition, even when you do get people on-board, you’ll have to know how to do things yourself before teaching them the basics.
Be Familiar with Laws
No this is where it gets interesting. Staring a small business will require you to be familiar with laws about hiring and taxes so that your business will genuinely be able to help people in the community by offering employment.
There are a number of regulations, laws, and licenses you need to know about before you can officially carry out operations as a business. In the beginning, you should expect to hire a lawyer for such needs because it’s impossible for you to know all the complex regulations that surround the startup of a small business.
This is crucial because no matter how hard you work on your business, it’s likely that even a small detail or legality can be held against you. You’ll be doing yourself a favor by investing in proper legal advice and obtaining all the licenses you require. Nevertheless, legal counsel isn’t cheap so you should expect to have enough financial resources.
There Will Be Some Bumps along the Road
Failure, no matter how big or small, is an inevitable part of running any business, whether big or small. You could make a product that doesn’t turn out as successful as you thought, your marketing strategy may backfire or worst-case scenario, you get a wave of negative feedback.
The first year won’t be failure-free but that doesn’t lessen your chances of reaching success. To keep yourself prepared for these situations, business experts advise that before you should quit your job, you need to have some savings. To be more specific, you should have enough money to support yourself for a year.
You need enough savings because no matter how well you plan the first year of your business, you can’t predict the future so there is always a chance that you might fail. There’s nothing wrong in preparing yourself for the worst-case scenario while planning for the best.
These are just some of the things that every small business owner must expect, especially during the first year after launching their business. Of course, no amount of expectation and preparedness can actually make you battle-ready to start a business but knowing a few of the most common symptoms will help you diagnose and reassure yourself that this is supposed to happen.
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