What You Need To Know When You Open Your First Business!
Q: As a first time entrepreneur, what part of the process are people often completely blind to when you opened your first business? What part of the process were you completely blind to before you started and which hit you like a wall coming out of nowhere? Maxwell J. New York, NY USA
I have to laugh a little at this question because it takes me back to my first disaster at age 20 when I opened my first business. I was is a service industry and took on a client and a project that I had no business taking on. I was way over confident and I have to admit a little greedy (It was a multi-million dollar contract).
My Biggest Mistake
What I didn’t do when I first opened my business was double check on my client before I committed myself to the job to make sure they had the resources and stability to back up their claims. I also needed to run the numbers carefully to insure that I would generate a profit, stay within their budget, and be able to meet their deadline without incurring extra labor expenses before I committed to this job.
In just a few months after starting the project the company suddenly went bankrupt and I was out thousands of dollars. It was a real struggle to regain my confidence and financial stability.
Fully Vet Your Prospects When You Open Your First Business
Years latter and lesson learned, I was once again approached with a huge and potentially very profitable project. This time however, I took a different approach. Even before our first meeting and with the clients full knowledge, I completed a full vetting process of them and the potential project. When you open your first business you will make mistakes, that is a given. The point is to learn from those mistakes and improve your process.
Cross-check and Verify
We then sat down to have our first meeting and go over their project and proposed budget. I had doubts about how realistic the budget they proposed was and asked for 48 hours to verify what I thought would be closer to the actual costs of the potential project. You noticed that I said “Potential” because I still had not committed myself to the project yet.
Take a Methodical Approach to Opening Your First Business
I took a more methodical approach to safe guarded my bottom line. By doing so, I presented a more professional demeanor to my client. I let them know that I was looking out for their interest as well as my own by giving them the most accurate information that was available. When you open your first business it is easy to get very excited when you land your first contract or make your first sale. It is definitely a time for celebration. However, make sure it will actually be profitable in the long run first.
The final result was that by extending the same level of professionalism and excellence throughout the project not only did I make a profit, I also had very happy customers. So happy in fact, that they referred my company to others resulting in two additional projects. When you open your first business it is important to remember you are also building your brand. That means every job, every contract, every sale is vital to your business. As such, you must deliver the highest quality in product and customer experience that you are currently capable of. Every time.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line; when you open your first business don’t take on projects bigger than your company can handle, verify everything before you commit, and perform every task no matter how small with the highest level of excellence and professionalism. I hope this has given you a little guidance.
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If you need more in depth help please feel free to Contact Us. I would also strongly suggest that you download a copy of Business Genesis. You will find that a lot more detailed information than what I can provide to you here. We can also chat on our Twitter page where we let you in on our latest tips and resources for you and your business. Good luck!
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