If you have recently waved goodbye to your full time job to try and make it as an entrepreneur, the chances are you are wondering why on Earth you veered away from excellent promotion prospects, a steady wage and office camaraderie. The novelty of working for yourself can soon wear off when you realize the number of things that you need to do, the competitive nature of launching a startup, and you have no idea where your next paycheck is coming from.
As a new entrepreneur, you will have a to-do list as long as your arm. You are no longer a specialist within your chosen industry, you now need to be a Jack of all trades. You now need to fulfill the role of the marketing executive, the social media manager, the finance guru, the web developer, the payroll clerk, and the head honcho. This can be overwhelming and can leave you feeling at risk of burnout. It’s vital that you remember why you said goodbye to full time employment in the first place. You want to be the master of your own professional destiny. You can still achieve this, but you must strike a healthy work life balance and know your limitations. Take a look at these steps you can take to ease the burden of entrepreneurship.
Make Your Business Plan Your Bible
Don’t just pay lip service to a business plan, to file it away never to be seen again. Instead, you need to construct a well thought out plan to empower your business vision. Your business plan should be a well thumbed working document that you adapt and use as a guide to help you through your first few years of trading. This is the document that will help you to secure funding, that you will distribute to business angels before pitching to them, and that you will take to your bank manager when you have regular meetings about your startup’s progress.
Having a business plan will give your startup structure. It will also help you to clarify your thoughts regarding the future of your venture and your expansion plans. Having this structure helps ease the chaotic nature of those first few months of trading, and can ease the burden of entrepreneurship.
A business will either succeed or fail based on their reputation. Fostering a positive reputation is crucial if you are to compete with your industry rivals. It can be difficult to work out how to generate interest in your venture when you are brand new. How do you compete with those firms who have been around for years and who already have a strong foothold in your chosen sector? Forget about the stress of competition and focus on your own business entity. Look into incentivizing those people who have purchased a product or service from you to encourage them to leave reviews on your social media feeds, your website and third party websites.
To encourage positive feedback, you need to pay attention to the initial point of contact for your customers. If you choose to get a professional answering service to ease the burden of telephone queries, you will be certain of a polite tone and informative individual being the first point of contact for your potential customer base. Outsourcing this aspect of your business will allow you to delegate the responsibility of an administrative task and allow you to concentrate on more pressing aspects of your startup launch.
You might feel the pressure to expand quickly. However, if you are a freelancer, work from home for a little while. This can decrease your overheads and will ease the burden of needing to find work premises. Working from home gives you the opportunity to feel comfortable in your own surroundings. The commute will go and you can hit the ground running once you have woken up, had a shower and eaten breakfast. Forget pajama days and procrastination, and treat your work from home day in the same vein as if you were heading into the office.
Don’t think about expansion plans until you are established and comfortable with your current size. If orders are coming in, you are busy and your supply chain is honed, then consider expanding. Remember, any form of expansion will cost money, so you must ensure that you have a buoyant cash flow to expand while not forfeiting the quality of your product, service and customer experience.
Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. Yes, you will be working for yourself and making a mark in your chosen industry, but you also need to ease the inevitable stress that you will find yourself under. Follow this guide, hone a strong business plan, and enjoy your foray into the world of entrepreneurship.