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How to Survive Your First Year as an Entrepreneur

The pandemic has been quite tough on many Businesses and individuals. About 60% of businesses that closed during the pandemic haven’t reopened. These numbers are undoubtedly discouraging for fledgling and seasoned entrepreneurs alike.

How to Survive Your First Year as an Entrepreneur

But every cloud has a silver lining, and the same goes for these troubling times. According to WSJ, the number of new businesses in the US is booming.

While many economists are not sure how to explain this phenomenon, it’s important that you can—at least when it comes to your own business. As long as you know your why you can master the hows.

Don’t lose sight of your goals

The ability to look at things long term is among the many great qualities of a good entrepreneur. Times of intense turbulence are the best times to think about some of the key aspects of your business.

Set aside a couple of hours every day to think strategically about the future of your business and what steps you can take now to get there. Do this even when you are operating in crisis mode.

Short-term goals are just as important as long term ones. It will be easier to achieve your long term vision if you break it down into short-term goals. For instance, you can set seven-day goals. The SMART method can help you set and achieve your goals effectively.

Get the best hands for the job

To achieve your entrepreneurial goals, you need the help of the right people. You can’t have a great business without great employees. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that the best workers are only the highly specialized professionals.

To make sure you’ll find the right talent for your business, ramping up your recruitment efforts isn’t enough. You need to train new hires and do what you can to keep them happy.

To create a healthy work environment, you need to give each employee a role that contributes to their job fulfillment. Moreover, you need to be understanding of the challenges they face and help them storm through the collective trauma we are all experiencing at the moment.

Reach out

If you are hard-working and persevering, doors will open for you. But you must knock first. Nurture the connections you have and work on expanding your network.

With most people isolating, now is the right time to perfect your networking skills via online platforms such as LinkedIn. Don’t settle for messaging. To get some human interaction, have a video call or pick up the phone every once in a while.

If you are in need of help, don’t hesitate to reach out. To find out what resources are available to you, reach out to your local legislators.

Grants.com and SBA are not the only organization you can turn to. Local governments across the US are finding new ways to support local businesses, so be sure to check out what’s going in your neighborhood. Get involved in a local task force that focuses on entrepreneurship and small businesses.

If you are not sure where to start, find a seasoned local accountant that can lend you a hand. For instance, they can help you write a business plan that will make it easier to get grants.

Stay on your customers’ minds

The businesses that continued to thrive during the pandemic are the ones that stayed on their customers’ minds. You don’t have to pump more money into marketing, but you may need to find new ways to reach your target audience.

You need to be where your customers can see you, and rest assured most of them are indoors. Identify the types of digital marketing that can give you the most leverage. These may include social media marketing, influencer targeting, or SEO and SEM.

Don’t fall into the hyper-productivity trap

Since many of us don’t have as many opportunities to socialize as we used to, you may feel pressured to use that time to be more productive, learn more, and advance yourself in general.

Most people, but especially entrepreneurs that are just starting out, feel like they must do more with the time they have. Yes, pushing yourself is good, but not to the point of burnout.

Don’t let entrepreneurship completely consume your time off. Instead, find ways to use your productive hours more wisely.

As an entrepreneur, you may be inclined to do everything by yourself. But you didn’t hire the right people just to do the work you can’t do yourself. Delegate.

Focus on parts of your organization that require most of your attention and assign the other tasks to your employees. You can even hire a virtual assistant for specific tasks in order to leverage your time better.

Every once in a while, examine everything you do critically, and identify tasks that are not aligned or not relevant to your goals. By doing so, you’ll find the best way to allocate your time and resources.


About the author: Michael Deane has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle and on Twitter.

When not blogging (or working), Michael can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.


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