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How To Navigate Your First Year as an Entrepreneur

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Congratulations on starting your new business.

In an economy where the traditional 9-to-5 job is giving way, there is plenty of room for everyone to grow. However, the first year is hard on any entrepreneur. Knowing what to expect and how to operate your business smoothly will help you navigate that year successfully.

Keep Goals Realistic

Most people begin entrepreneurship with long-term goals, such as becoming the leading service or product provider in their area. Long-term goals are great. They show you have vision. Yet focusing too much on them can leave you burned out and feeling like a failure. Keep long-term goals in mind, but make plenty of short-term ones. A short-term goal might be making X amount of money in the first month or drawing in Y number of clients.

Get a Support System

Entrepreneurship is lonely. There’s no way around it, even if you have business partners. However, you should have a support system. These people can be friends and family, mentors, and colleagues in or outside of your field. If you run a bookstore, you’ll naturally want colleagues and supporters who know books. Additionally, you’ll also want supporters in the IT business or people who serve foodstuffs that you can sell in an on-site shop.

entrepreneur coachingAccept Criticism and Failure

The worst thing you can tell yourself is, “Failure is not an option.” Everyone fails, and it doesn’t mean your business will tank. Sometimes the people who tell you “no” at first will become people who say “yes” later. Listen to constructive criticism, and think about where you can change. If you aren’t sure, ask a mentor. If one change doesn’t work, make a new one. Use social media, email, and other avenues to find out what your clients like. Build on what they say.

Do What You Love

Before starting a business, think about your passions. What services or products do you want to bring to people? How do you want them to feel? What can you offer that similar businesses can’t? When you can answer these questions, you’ll know you’re in the right place.

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