Starting a business is a tough endeavor, and every day is full of challenges. There’s the question of whether you can get customers, even whether the business can earn money. It’s even scarier if you have already started the business, and there’s seemingly no interest from the marketplace. No customers mean there’s no income! So how are you going to pay for your expenses and inventory (if any)?
Regardless of what kind of business you start, you need to have the capital and available time to sustain your business, especially through the critical first six months of operation. This is especially true if your small business does not have inventors willing to bankroll your startup phase.
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Before starting the business, it is always best if you are well-prepared financially. The worst assumption you can make before starting the business is that you can earn money immediately from the business. This sometimes happens, but for many, they may not see any income (much less profits) with the first six months of operation.
During this critical period, you must not count on receiving or spending any money coming in from your business on yourself or for your bills during those first six months. All the income from your business during those first six months should be reinvested in your business in order for it to grow and reach your planned first year potential.
Once you have passed that first six months milestone, you can set up a small monthly salary for yourself, and begin enjoying the fruits of your labor. But the first six months or operation for any business are critical, so do not plan to use any of the money your business generates for yourself during that period.
During the first six months of the year, here are some ways to help you sustain your business:
- Continue to improve your products and services, and more importantly, the way that you are presenting your products
- Think about your target customer and find ways to reach them
- Think of how to keep the customers and website visitors that you have right now (however few) will keep coming back to you for more
- Whether you have only 5 or 500 customers, be sure to give them the best customer service you can possibly offer
- Get yourself out in the marketplace, whether in social media, traditional media and earned mentions online.
- Hone your sales strategy
- Identify the right strategy that you could help you earn money
If you’ve got your business plan properly organized, and have implemented the plan, you should at the end of your first year be able to begin thinking about hiring other people to alleviate some of your work-load. In the meantime, be sure not to spread yourself too thin. There’s a lot of work, so you need to prioritize the things that will give the highest returns.
Remember this: starting a successful business is not a means towards either a job for yourself or a way to keep busy. It should be regarded as the beginning of an enterprise that will grow and prosper, with you as the top guy.
Eventually, you’ll have other people doing all the work for you, even running the entire operation, while you vacation in the Bahamas or Hawaii and collect or receive regular income from your initial efforts.
Recommended Books on How to Sustain Your Business in the First 6 Months:
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
- Save Your Small Business: 10 Crucial Strategies to Survive Hard Times or Close Down and Move On
- 19 Ways to Survive: Small-Business Strategies For a Tough Economy (101 for Small Business)
- Small Business Survival Guide
- The 7 Irrefutable Rules of Small Business Growth