Do's & Don'ts in your first year of business?
I have recently started my own company 6 months back and so far it is going well. I am keen to expand quickly and push myself all the time however should I consolidate in my 1st year, then look to expand in the 2nd year OR just go for it if I feel the time is right to expand?
While you have to work hard as an entrepreneur, you need to pace yourself or you will get burnt out. I don't know enough about your business to determine whether or not you should expand right now, but definitely make sure you are able to keep up the pace for quite a few years. Congrats on your success so far!
Politics, Weather, War, the price of Oil, wall-street - the economy will dictate the environment you will work in. IF you can expand without expending much or any resources - I'd say do it. But if its going to take resources ($$$) you need to watch the economy and see when the time is right - usually right before an expansion, not before a recession.
1. Identify a USP if you do not have one
2. Keep yourself updated
3. Watch your competitors
1. Miss the bigger picture when you make decisions
2. Mix relationships with business
And I think it is best to expand when you think the time is right. Good luck!
Great answers; here're mine to add
Do: build a great team, listen to customers and confirm your target market, refine your product/service idea, model it...raise funds (if needed), delegate, have fun, be generous, share the success, and work hard!
Don't: run out of cash, destroy your chances for IP, grow too fast & beyond your means, think you're God, be stingy, and yes, like others said...don't burn out and don't give up!
Best wishes and good luck! (btw, 3 is my max for "!" marks)
Develop a tactical plan that has a timeline associated with it that ties back to the overall business plan. Identify the actions, targets, resources, costs, timing and expected outcomes and track the results carefully.
Thanks everyone for your input, it's really appreciated and very helpful...Wish you all the best with your own businesses.
Do: Find a best team
Don't: Don't invest much money in starting stage
Do: realize your a business owner, an entrepeneur, you need to ensure continuity
Don't: on of the main pitfalls is losing the "Do", going under in your work because it makes fun
focus on your customer base relationships, and building your database ... consolidate what clients you have and then go ahead again. make sure your segment of customers is the right one and dont vary from what works..
Do make it a habit of saying NO to unnecessary expenses. Growing a business is like landing a plane: there is a certain glide path you should follow to land safely, else you crash and burn! Don't grow too fast for you capabilities (personnel, cash, knowledge base...etc)