Year 1 – Small Business Tips

As the old joke goes, your first year of business can be pretty rough, and the last year isn’t much better. Done right, your first year of business will ensure that the last year comes at a time of your choosing and not at a time of lacking any other option. 

That’s why we’re going to look at a few tips to help steady the rudder and keep the wind in your sails. Business isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would be the CEO of a multinational conglomerate with a fleet of private jets queued up in their backyard. What’s the difference between businesses that last and businesses that go under? Let’s see… 

Get a merchant account 

If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to set up a merchant account. Your clients need your business to meet their expectations. If your company offers a separate experience to the normal way that customers expect to interact with you, your trading days may be numbered. 

The market is always going to flow downstream. People will go wherever is easiest for them to spend their money and get what they want. If you’ve focused on your products without focusing on administration, now is the time to make the necessary adjustments with a merchant account. 

Whether your customers wish to pay via traditional magstripe methods or whether they prefer to use “chip and pin” or contactless NFT, you have to be ready for whatever your customers demand. By offering more ways to pay, and gaining access to useful sales figures, you can ensure that your company will remain favored by your customers while you benefit from a raft of data.    

Ask for feedback

Everything’s OK right up until it’s not OK. At that point in year one, things could be too far gone to recover. That’s why it’s best to iron out all snags as soon as you become aware of them. Letting things snowball and get worse at this early stage is not recommended. You simply don’t have the resources to survive a major catastrophe. You need feedback. 

Asking for customer feedback can go one of two ways. You can view their answers with the surprise and disdain that anyone should have found issues with your business. Or you can learn from what you have discovered and make sure the same issues don’t affect the ongoing support of new customers. 

Feedback isn’t a list of reasons highlighting how your business will fail. Feedback shows how your business can correct course and steer clear of the rocks. 

Keep your focus 

Newly fledged entrepreneurs can sometimes let their early successes go to their heads. Just because a business is turning a profit today doesn’t mean that the person at the helm is beyond making mistakes tomorrow. 

One of the biggest ways that entrepreneurs let themselves down is to throw the seeds of ambition to the wind and run away with every half-decent sounding venture that comes their way. Basically, they bite off more than they can chew.
If you expect your core support to stay loyal, you must remain loyal to them. Keep your focus and don’t change your offering without good reason.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.