If you’ve finally decided to take the giant leap and start your own business – congratulations!
When you first get started running your own business, you’ll probably get swept up in the excitement of it all. But the first year of business is tough and it can make or break the rest of your career.
The best way that you can prepare is by following some simple advice from other business owners that have already overcome the same challenges.
We’ve come up with this guide to walk you through some of the dos and don’ts of your first year of business. Use these tips to stay true to your vision and find long term business success!
1. Stay on Top of Your Taxes
If you’ve opened your own business or decided to go self-employed, you’ll probably need to learn a new taxation system.
Launching your own business is exciting, but it comes with a lot of responsibilities, including filing a small business tax return. Even retail businesses have huge tax responsibilities, so retailers use comprehensive tax guides to stay on track.
To make the process easier, why not rely on a tax preparation service like TurboTax?
TurboTax allows you to file both your federal and state taxes with 100% accuracy or your money back! Use a TurboTax promotional offer to enjoy a discount on your next small business tax return and finally get your finances in check.
2. Perfect Your Pitch
Perfecting your pitch is vital to the health of your business. The perfect pitch will allow you to present your business to customers, convince investors, and sell your idea to the right people.
You always want to be ready with your elevator pitch, a.k.a a couple of sentences that you can use to sell yourself and your business.
Don’t confuse this with a catchy, marketing tagline. You want your pitch to be authentic and genuinely convincing. Practice your pitch with family and friends until you get it perfect!
3. Make Your Finances a Priority
The main reason that small businesses fail is that they run out of money. That’s why it’s vital to get your finances in check right away during your first year in business and to stay on track thereafter.
Set up financial goals for your business so that you can track your progress and keep an eye on your cash flow and bill payments. Know your profit margins well and make sure you understand the difference between revenue and profit.
4. Don’t Get Burnt Out
When you’re self-employed and running your own business, it’s easy to get burnt out. As you launch and grow your business, it may be a while (or never) until you get other employees, meaning most of the work burdens will land on yourself.
Entrepreneurial burnout is a real thing, so you want to make sure you have structures in place to avoid it. Remember to disconnect every once in a while and focus on your mental and physical health outside of work.
5. Know when To Ask for Help
The first year of business is tough and it’s perfectly normal to need some extra support.
Try and find some mentors in your field that can help you with their invaluable experience. Take advantage of local networking opportunities, you never know when you’ll get inspired with your next great idea!
6. Don’t Stop Learning
If you enjoy immediate success in your business it’s easy to think you have it all figured out.
Building your business is a long journey and it’s important to never stop growing and learning. Listen to your customers, welcome feedback, and be open to positive and constructive criticism.
Most of all, learn from the mistakes of other business owners who have already been there.
Their advice is invaluable to helping you prevent some of the most common business mistakes made during the first year.