8 tips for getting through the first 30 days of business
The first month of starting a business is often the hardest. There is so much to do, so many decisions to make and whatever income you make is dwarfed by your mounting expenses.
The first month of starting a business is often the hardest.
There is so much to do, so many decisions to make and whatever income you make is dwarfed by your mounting expenses.
Without the right planning and support, many businesses fail to break through to the clearer skies ahead.
To start you off on the right foot, here’s our eight best tips on getting through the scary first 30 days of starting your own business.
1. Get used to that weird feeling
For business owners making the transition from being an employee, it’s a weird feeling to have your work life change so drastically.
The structure of your day-to-day is stripped away and your work is no longer supported by your colleagues. Suddenly, every business decision is down to you.
Even scarier is losing the safety of a regular paycheck coming in each week.
This is simply the nature of small business and something most business owners experience at the start. Maintaining a good work/life balance and seeking support from your friends and family will have you best poised to adapt to the transition.
2. Plan your day
From our experience, it’s often the quiet days that are more stressful than the days when there is lots to do.
One of the best ways to combat stress during the first month in business is to schedule your calendar for each working day.
As an employee, your roles are clearly defined, and the boss will lay out all the work that’s needed from you. Once you’re on your own, you can go around in circles without knowing where to direct your attention.
Maintaining structure in your workday will help keep you focused on what’s most important and stop you from spinning off the tracks when things are quiet.
3. Get the legal and tax stuff right from the start
It’s essential to have all the legal and tax issues ticked off from the beginning so they don’t come back to bite you later.
Do you need to pay GST? Are you properly insured? Are your employment contracts in order? Do you need a partnership agreement?
Small decisions like finding the right lawyer, advisor or accountant can have pivotal long-lasting effects for your business.
Seeking expert help and advice might add to your costs in the short term but will make sure you stay compliant within the law and can save you money and headaches in the long run.
4. Speak to an accountant
Reaching out to your accountant should be one of the first things you do when starting a business.
As accountants, we can help advise on your business structure. Is a company, trust or just an ABN the right structure to start off with? Getting these areas of your business right from the start will prevent you from having to unravel a mess later on down the road.
With so much on your plate, delegating complex and time-consuming tasks will be crucial to the setting your business up for success.
5. Keep a savings buffer
It’s easy to underestimate all the costs and expenses that are involved with running a business.
While you probably expect to be paying for things like supplies and rent, there are many other smaller expenses that are harder to anticipate.
Stationary, subscriptions, licences and fees can fly under the radar but add up over time, slowly eating into your savings.
Having a stable savings buffer behind will protect you from getting stretched too thin and will give you precious peace of mind.
6. Know where your first paycheck coming from
It might seem simple, but it’s often overlooked when going into business.
Whilst large parts of your attention will be taken up by logistics and setting everything up, you should also be planning how you will start making your money back. After all, your cash flow will dictate your capacity to grow and improve your business.
How will people hear about you? Where are you getting your first 20 customers/clients from? Where will you make your first $10,000?
Establishing a strategy to generate your first revenue should at the top of your to-do list.
7. Don’t overwork yourself
A lot of business owners (us included) work themselves into the ground during the early days of their business. With the fear of failure and the pressure to grow at the front of your mind, it’s easy to think that your best shot at success is to work from dawn til dusk to get there. This isn’t necessarily the case.
Working long hours for the sake of it can be an inefficient use of your time and may ultimately be detrimental to your business.
Outline the essential tasks at the start of the day and give yourself deadlines to get there. Having a consistent clocking off time each day will give structure to your workday and save you from burning out.
8. Be patient and enjoy having a small business
Business ownership is a long-term game.
We all grow up watching TV and movies where businesses seemingly blow up overnight. In reality. successful businesses are built from many years of effort and good decision making.
Don’t panic if you’re not turning a profit straight away. Your goal should be setting up a base of happy customers who will be the foundation of your business for many years to come.
Most importantly, make sure you take the time to sit back and simply enjoy having your own business.
For more tips and to hear about our business journey, check out our podcast episode below or on your podcast app.
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Elephant Advisory is an accounting and mortgage broking firm based in Melbourne, with a successful history of helping our clients achieve their goals. With a little help from us, you'll be prepared to make the right decisions for your business or property journey, avoiding many of the potential mistakes along the way.