How to survive first year in business

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You don’t have to love whatever your business is about (and probably shouldn’t), but you do have to be fired up about it. You’re going to devote a lot of time and energy to starting a business and building it into a successful enterprise, so it’s really important that you truly deeply enjoy what you do, whether it be running fishing charters, creating pottery or providing financial advice. Make sure you’re on the right track by asking yourself these three questions before you do anything else.

How long can most people live without money? Not long. And it may be a long time before your new business actually makes any profits. Being employed while you’re starting a business means money in your pocket while you’re going through the start up process. Not employed right now or can’t continue in your current job? Read How to Get Your New Small Business to Make Money.

You need a support system while you’re starting a business (and afterwards). A family member or friend that you can bounce ideas off and who will listen sympathetically to the latest business start up crisis is invaluable. Even better, find a mentor or, if you qualify, apply for a business start up program such as the ones provided through Futurpreneur Canada. When you’re starting a business experienced guidance is the best support system of all.

Don’t wait until you’ve officially started your business to line these up, because your business can’t survive without them. Do the networking. Make the contacts. Sell or even give away your products or services. You can’t start marketing too soon.

Lastly, consider writing a business plan. The main reason for doing a business plan first when you’re thinking of starting a business is that it can help you avoid sinking your time and money into starting a business that will not succeed. (See Why You Need a Business Plan for other good reasons.) Remember, you don’t have to work through a full scale business plan for each new business idea you come up with; ask these 5 Questions to Discover If Your Business Idea is Worthwhile.

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