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Starting your first business can feel exciting, liberating, and terrifying in equal measure. In the early days, while you find your feet, you may plough everything into your business to make it a success. Investing your time, money, and full attention in your fledgling company is a significant sacrifice, but one many new business owners are willing to take. Being committed to making your business a success is vital, but it is also important to pace yourself and take a long-term approach. Here are some tips to help you to avoid common pitfalls that could compromise the long term future of your business:
Don’t Do Too Much, Too Soon
Seeing your business thrive because of your hard work is a great feeling. When you start to enjoy some success with your company and reach a point where it is established, you may feel tempted to build on this success by expanding.
Expanding your business and increasing your locations too fast can be hugely detrimental. Just because your company works well in one area does not mean that it is guaranteed to enjoy the same success elsewhere. Thorough research is needed to assess whether there is enough demand to make expansion a viable option.
Many business owners mistakenly forget to consider the costs of re-fitting a new branch of their business, the associated staffing costs, and rates. Unfortunately, it is not as simple as opening a new office and achieving double the profits; your current location will need to support the new one until it starts turning a profit, which can be a considerable drain on a recently established business.
Sacrificing your health and your own money to pursue your dream of running a business is a massive risk to both your personal relationships and your finances. Protecting both yourself and your business from financial risk is crucial. You may be doing all you can to keep your business turning a profit. However, sometimes external factors can upset your plans. Maybe you need to arrange ancillary relief in your personal life, or perhaps your industry experiences a downturn. Many factors can exert financial pressure on your business, so being aware of these is crucial to keeping your business afloat in the long term.
Paying yourself a salary or dividends is essential, but don’t forget to continue to re-invest in your business. A lack of investment can cause your business to start trailing behind competitors, so you need to be up-to-date with the latest industry standards and ensuring that your business is equipped to meet these.
As well as re-investing in equipment, it is essential to invest in your staff too. Your business is only as good as the team that you employ. Ensuring that your employees are up-to-date with the latest training will ensure that they can provide your customers with the best service both now and in the future. Regularly investing in your business will ensure that your business remains forward-thinking and enjoys long term success.