We all start ventures and new businesses with enthusiasm and excitement – new office, new staff, new paint job etc and the euphoria is hard to let go off – until we hit the first snag. This post will give a few insights from my perspective on How to Survive the First 5 Years of Business, and make that leap.
Pishon started shop in 2007. That makes it a little over 12 years in operation. Have I wanted to throw in the towel and close shop? Of course! But when I think about the grit and hardwork that the team behind and in front have, I keep it going, and we’ve moved from being a one-chic hub to a growing firm and marketing agency.
So what do businesses face that make them close shop in those early years?
Well, from observation and based on some people’s experiences, it’s simple.
A new business venture is like a new marriage: it’s really exciting and fun; then it’s a lot of work and fun. Then it’s a lot of work and not so fun; and then it’s just a ton of work mired with headache after headache and you are learning way too many hard-earned lessons and wondering how you got here. But if you can survive the first two to three years, you will likely make it for the long haul and reap the rewards, which are bountiful. — TSE
Bad management: It’s not only in politics that we have bad management, we also have it in business. When you don’t know how to handle your staff and the responsibilities placed in your hands, you are heading for a bad fall.
Poor financial appropriation and management: From experience, I know that web design is a business that has the potential to make some good sum of money. This has a way of misleading designers that this money is forever. It isn’t. All most of us to is to buy gadgets and phones we don’t need, and forget that the secret is to save for a rainy day. So you don’t go back to square one.
Poor personality/client management: A business without clients isn’t a business at all. I’ve seen companies who have poor client management but have professionals working for them. The problem they face is that they have no customers to patronize them because the word customer service seems to be very foreign to them… Most of us can testify this occurs frequently with airlines – well, maybe in Nigeria – They don’t bother to be polite or take the pains to care for our luggage. It hurts!
Loss of focus: For some business owners, today it’s web design; tomorrow it’s programming, next week it’s fashion designing. A loss of focus is the fastest way to poverty, I think. I’m not saying that it’s not possible to handle 2 kinds of jobs, (after all I double as a musician) what I mean is stick to what you are doing and don’t lose focus. It wasn’t until my second year in web design that I started earning money. What if I had quit the first year because I felt that nothing was going to come out of it? I guess we both know the answer…
Bad luck: I don’t believe in luck; I believe that if you are hardworking, no matter how long it takes, it’s going to eventually pay off. But taking risks and bad investment can lead to your business folding long before you planned it to. I don’t wish this to anyone of us, so all I’m going to say about this point is that you should be wise in your business decisions so we don’t get hit badly.
Generally, nobody plans to start and stop a business but lots of factors make us want to give up. I’d like to urge you to keep doing what you’re doing and never for once even think about stopping. On the other hand, starting that business may have been an error in itself. Pressure sometimes makes us do things we never want to do. Look within.
10 tips to Survive the first 5 years of Business then?
- Be committed
- Be disciplined
- Take financial lessons and be business savvy
- Be shrewd
- A little ruthlessness is needed.
- Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith even when it doesn’t seem like it
- Always have your A – game
- Always have a plan B
- Be loyal
- Treat your workers — even if it’s a friend helping with finance — treat them well.
Follow these tips and you’re well on the way to becoming a reputable and reliable business.
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