Starting your first company is a major step in your life. The next 12 months are going to be exhausting and stressful but also fulfilling and exhilarating. There are countless lessons for you to learn and you will be stronger and smarter for learning them. There are a few key pieces of advice you can follow to increase your chances of success. If you want your business to grow this year, follow these five tips.
1. Set goals for growth.
Running a successful new business takes time and you can’t expect to be a success overnight. Instead, set goals for growth and measure them through Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). For example, you may set a goal to bring in 120 clients this year, which means 10 clients per month. Hitting the “10 clients per month” goal is easier than worrying about finding 120 clients in one batch.
You can set goals on both a macro and micro level. On a large-scale macro level, you can set a goal to pay off your investors completely within five years. One a small-scale micro level, your goal might be to increase your website traffic by 10% this month. Both are equally important to guide your decision-making.
2. Never stop learning.
As an entrepreneur, you will be responsible for every aspect of your business. You will need to know the principles of accounting, marketing, and human resources along with every aspect of your products and industry. Strategic entrepreneurs know they can never become experts in everything but will strive to learn as much as they can.
Research different webinars, conferences, or virtual courses you can take to learn about your business. This might mean attending a weekend course on marketing or taking an Udemy class on Quickbooks. Keep up the learning process so you can manage your team members well and make smart entrepreneurial decisions.
3. Find a mentor.
You may have a hard time making decisions objectively as an entrepreneur. This is understandable: you are only human and will naturally make mistakes. However, if you want a second opinion or an expert to guide you to business growth, consider seeking out a mentor. This is someone with years of business experience who knows their stuff. Your mentor can be a nationally-recognized name like Mark Wiseman or someone local with your community who you respect and trust.
4. Dress for the job you want.
Start-up culture has become significantly more casual over the past decade. From the classic black turtleneck of Steve Jobs to the hoodie and jeans of Mark Zuckerberg, more business owners are leaving their suits and blazers at home. However, this might be a mistake. You still need to appear professional at times when meeting with investors or securing financing at the bank.
Look up nearby women’s clothing stores or professional suit outlets to get the apparel you need. Along with basic apparel, add jewelry and other accessories to complete the outfit so you can show people that you are a serious business professional.
5. Take time for yourself.
You may be tempted to skip vacations and work through weekends to keep your business growing. However, this time off is more important than ever. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, vacation time makes people more productive. It prevents burn out, improves focus, and keeps team members engaged in the organization.
Make sure you take vacations and set aside at least one day each week to step away from work. Running this new job requires energy over several months or years. You will need to take breaks to stay fresh. Most importantly, know that you will make mistakes during your first year as an entrepreneur. Failure doesn’t occur don’t meet the challenges set for you, it occurs when you refuse to get back up and face them again.