What To Expect In The First Year Of Business
How to Manage a Startup Business Month by Month Part 2
Written by Brenda Stokes for Gaebler Ventures
The second half of the year after starting a business is not as hard as the first half, but is still full of challenges. Those businesses that survive their first six months still have a significant chance at failure within the first year, so how do you manage the business to avoid this failure?
Even when a business survives the first six months, the second six months can come with new challenges. You are becoming established, yet you are still so young that the business can go bust any moment.
To keep things from going bust, you should have acquired a business credit card by the end of your sixth month. This gives you a little more financial wiggle room if you need it, but you must take into consideration that you need to keep the available credit open if you can.
Only use your business credit card when you need it because you never know when that money may save your business. Also take into consideration that the money borrowed from a business credit card is paid back with interest.
Here are some steps to manage your startup business for the remainder of the first year:
- 7th month – Re-evaluate staffing needs. Add to your staff if you need to and don't be afraid to reprimand those who are not doing the job they need to be doing. You are going to experience some turnover within your business, but don't let that discourage you. You can find other valuable employees.
- 8th month – It is time for you to take another look at your business marketing strategy. This is also a good point for you to have a sale within the store. Look for new types of merchandise and put others on sale to make room. Customers love sales.
Adding new merchandise is something you want to start doing frequently because customers are going to look forward to seeing what you have that is new. If you have the same thing all of the time, they will get bored. Make this a part of your marketing strategy and start incorporating new merchandise into your marketing campaigns if you haven't already.
- 9th month – Place comment cards within your business and an area upon your website that allows you to accept and view customer comments. See what it is they want. Let them know that you are willing to serve them. By this point they know what your business is all about and can make a sound opinion about it. Do what you can to make this a good opinion.
- 10th month – It is time for you to start making plans for a one year anniversary. You are going to do this in the same manner you did when you had your grand opening.
You may also want to do something for your staff to show them your appreciation. A business is only as good as its staff, so you have to keep them happy.
- 11th month – Evaluate your business expenses. See where you stand on your return on investment. See if you can pay off any of your business expenses and still yield the profit that you need.
- 12th month – Celebrate by having a party for your staff and your customers. You have survived the very tumultuous first year. It is the year when you establish business processes, ensure you keep inventory up, staff levels right, and to ensure that all systems are in place.
By the end of the first year, you have a monthly routine established. Business startup can be a difficult task. As long as you stay on top of your inventory needs, staff, and concentrate on keeping customers happy, as well as ensuring you keep the money flowing and have enough for emergencies, you should be a success.
Brenda is a graduate of California State University and a professional writer covering a variety of business topics. To learn more about Brenda, check out her website at The Digital Inkwell.
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