Have you ever ran a marathon? Running a business is often like that. You start off enthusiastic and full of energy. Soon enough this diminishes to be replaced by hints of strain and stagnation. You want to push harder but it hurts to even try. Then comes the cramps, the shortness of breath and this journey is no longer fun. 

At this point you have one of two choices; you can either quit and lay on your ass or you can keep going, step by painful step until you reach the finish line.

Though a crude comparison, it is often go through a similar process when starting a new business. Although there are exceptions to the general rule, starting a business is a lot of hard work and it often will take some time to see the fruits of your labor.

Typically, you have to work your butt off just to exist in the first year. This is because you are new in the market and people just do not even know you exist. This is further compounded by the having small if any budget at all for marketing. In the first year you have a lot of set up bills such as paying fees, registering things, setting up shop and paying salaries.

It is really smart to get pointers from someone who has a business but even with all that advice much of what you will learn comes from simply making mistakes. Its ok. You will learn more from your mistakes than from your successes. The trick is to keep going. Sooner or later people will become familiar with your business. If you offer good customer service you will get referred clients.

The second year in business is typically one in which you start to have a little growth and this is when you will begin to see the true weaknesses  of your business. You may have to retool, drop a few of your services or add new services. This is the fine tuning phase.

In the third year you continue to expand your client list and this is when you will realize that you need to take risks. With a growing client list you will be stretched and you and your team will have to expand your skill sets as customers will make new and unexpected requests.

You may have to reinvest in new equipment and do further renovations to your office space to account for new changes in the business. It will often be within year five that you would have worked out the workflow, staffing issues and tools you need to provide robust service to your customers.

So if you have reached the part of the marathon where your legs are starting to cramp, just hang in there. It is a marathon and it is supposed to hurt. It does not matter how bad it seems now,  when you cross that finish line it will be all worth it.     

Leave a Reply