Been in business for close to a year now? Bet you’re cresting on the wave of success and happiness. But what about when the wave breaks? Don’t worry, this checklist that goes over all the important goals and milestones that you need to complete during your first year of business will make sure you don’t fall and drown.
1. Planning Is Essential
The process of business planning does not, in any way, come to an end, once your business has taken off of the launch pad. If you thought that your business preparation course ended with the promotion of your business, think again. However, lucky for you, we believe that long-winded and unnecessarily detailed business plans are not a good idea after the launch of your business. Instead, we recommend a short, crisp and clear plan, also known as a lean plan, which is a methodology of business planning that is flexible and sticks to what is relevant so as to guide and direct your business after even after its launch. The Lean Plan helps you make sure that you meet all the milestones you have set for your business. Here are a few things to keep in mind for your Lean Plan:
- Ensure that your one-page pitch/elevator pitch gets a makeover
- Keep things fresh with your sales and marketing plan. Make sure it isn’t stale and boring. Refrain from setting unrealistic goals for your first year and narrow down to at least three milestones, that if achieved would be tantamount to success in your first year. Keep track of your goals with a yardstick that is dynamic and keep your team in the loop.
- Make sure to hold regular meetings to review the plan
- Focus on growing and expanding your business by figuring out how to increase your customer base, bring down your costs and taking measures to ensure a minimum standard of quality as well as the enhancement of the same.
- Make sure this process of planning never ends. This is the wheel that will help drive your business forward.
2. Managing Your Finances
It is absolutely crucial for you to keep track of the state of your finances, especially in the first year of your business. This means everything that could impact your financial condition such as getting a detailed market forecast, maintaining your accounts, data, records and updating all your information. Here’s how to go about managing your finances:
- Make a sale forecast as well as a financial forecast and a cash flow forecast to gauge by when you will be able to break even
- Ensure that you understand the importance of the cash flow process
- If required, establish a credit line for yourself
- Make sure to review your finances regularly
- Revise your forecast as and when necessary
- Set up a reserve of cash for emergencies or unforeseen and unprecedented problems that might crop up
3. Building a Loyal Customer Base
The first year of your business is the time when you actually start to establish yourself and your brand and become a part of your local community as well as your industry. You must be acknowledged as a reliable brand and be recognized for your customer-centric approach. For this to happen, you must be sure to listen to what your customers have to say and learn how you can improve and be better from their feedback. To make this happen, you must:
- Focus on forging partnerships and exploring avenues for co-branding in order to build and expand your network
- Seek the help of a professional consultant or advisor
- Incorporate feedback mechanisms and channels while strategizing and making plans
- A Customer Relationship Management System or CRM is always a good investment
- Make sure that your sales material is updated with all the information you have gathered and learned while running your business
- Get customer feedback and reviews on model or sample products, so as to improve the quality of your product as well as the customer experience
4. Personnel Management
Setting up a new business initiative in the competitive market can be pretty chaotic but you should take care not to work yourself to the bone and allow it to take a toll on your health. After all, you’re the pivot around which your business revolves and if you suffer in the market, then your business definitely will too.
Your first year in business is extremely important as it is the time you create the image of what your company is, what it stands for, what it offers etc. Essentially, this when you create the culture you want your company to be known for and whatever you do will create an impression about the same and set a precedent for your business. Instead of stumbling through it, and most probably wasting your resourceful money, energy, and time with inadequate people, this initiative will make sure that you set up employees for absolute success.
So, keeping this in mind, if there are any positions to fill within your company, now would be the time to do it. Here is what you need to do:
- Make sure the key positions in your company are filled and think carefully about whether or not you need to
- Assess your assets and liability
- Make up your mind as to the kind of people you are looking to
- Be sure to come up with good job descriptions for key positions
- Make sure that your process includes reviews of employees’ performances
- Formulate an orientation plan and training manual for your employees
- Delegation is an important aspect you need to learn about as it won’t be possible for you to do everything yourself
5. How to Market Your Brand
The process of marketing your brand and the products or services you offer might have begun well before you even started your business but, it must receive the most attention from you in your first year of business. This is where particularly social media comes into the picture. Social media allows you to exclusively present your brand to the target audience and fetch conversions. Most potential businesses would be smart to go for a Facebook page as it is a fairly easy means for clients to find the business and ask questions. Plus, one can take benefit of marketing opportunities with Facebook Ads. Thus, you must consider your industry and the effort and time you desire to dedicate to manage social media to help you decide which, if any, additional social media platforms to go on for your potential business.
Here is how to go about marketing your business and your brand:
- Be sure to formulate and come up with a brilliant and effective marketing strategy.
- Keep refining and fine-tuning your plan for marketing.
- Make sure your marketing programs are digitized.
- Post positive and creative customer reviews on your website.
- Connect your business to the social community by participating in local interactive events. This way you can easily bolster your business’s presence and help with word-of-mouth endorsements.
- Go for e-mail marketing for your potential and existing clients.
- Never forget remarketing- This kind of marketing targets clients who visited your business website but left without buying any product. With remarketing, they’ll see your banner ads while they are perusing other websites for products.
6. Learn from other’s mistakes in the market, including your own
This is one piece of advice that you’ll hear from everyone to implement in your budding business planning. You don’t require to be an entrepreneur to think this way, but most of the ambitious and successful businessmen do not stop at taking simple judgments. They always take the extra mile and carefully analyze the mistakes that others commit and create creative solutions of their own for better results
7. Reinvest in your potential business
A fault that a lot of newbies tend to make is not reinvesting in their business. You need to remember that your business won’t develop unless you reinvest at least half of what you have earned back into your business.
You must understand that you have plenty to manage during the first year of business, but these marketing and financial strategies can benefit you to maintain your potential business on track for success.
Need advice and consultation with regard to your business? Don’t tarry any longer! Get in touch with us at Trigacy today! We make sure that you achieve a successful first year in business. When you are beginning a new business in the competitive market, our services take care of the marketing and branding aspect for you so that you can focus on other primary objectives. Our digital marketing services like SEO, video animation, content creation, website design, and social media marketing can benefit your business online and help develop it.
With our world-class digital marketing services for new companies, you can fetch solutions to real-life marketing difficulties that will simplify the business processes, develop sales, and organize your business team. Please visit our website and browse through our finest digital marketing solutions.