For any business, the first year is critical. What happens in the beginning shapes the direction your business will take in the future. That’s a lot of pressure. However, you need to strike a balance between managing the details and keeping your sights on the bigger picture. Ups and downs are inevitable, but how you deal with them will have a substantial impact on your ability to weather the first year. Here are four tips to help you set yourself up for a great inaugural year—and many more to come.
This industry comes with a lot of moving parts. From your website and marketing efforts to finding great partners who can help you succeed, you will find your time getting eaten up by a lot of things that are not the core of your business. If you don’t get some deals going, you’re going to be done before you ever really get started. To stay focused, set a goal to close your first deal within 90 days. Set aside time each day—even if sometimes it’s just an hour or two—to work on achieving this goal. This will keep you on the path to success.
Starting a new business can daunting. While this is not the time to be reckless, sometimes people make a mistake in going too conservative, afraid to take any risks that could jeopardize their new endeavor. You have likely put a lot of thought into your strategy, but do not get so locked into that vision that you miss opportunities to try new ideas, too. A little flexibility goes a long way. You never know how a strategy will pan out until you try it; if you find the path you thought was best for you turns out to not quite work out, try something else. Keep your eyes open to new avenues that still lead to your end goal.
Few people strike gold on their first attempt. Expect bumps in the road, so they don’t catch you off guard. Plenty of investors have times when they question certain deals, strategies, or even if they should stay in this line of work. The bottom line is, this is a tough industry. For every success story, there are probably a lot of unseen struggles that had to be overcome. Look at disappointment as hurdles to clear, rather than impenetrable walls that stop you in your tracks.
As hard as starting a new business is, you need to make sure you look at the positives, too. Did you find a great real estate agent? Close your first deal? Get that website done? Celebrate a little! This is what it’s all about. While you need to be responsible and not spend money you don’t have, sometimes a nice dinner or a new piece of equipment you have been wanting is all you need to give yourself a boost. Stay motivated to keep working hard to achieve the next goal, to reach the next milestone.
Your first year in business will be eye-opening in ways you can’t even imagine yet. You are on a journey, and like every great journey, you will face obstacles, overcome struggles, push forward, and discover new talents along the way. Before you know it, you will be celebrating your first anniversary and moving on to bigger deals and greater success.