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How to survive your first year in business

So you’ve set up your own business and are in those first few weeks or months of trepidation, excitement, freedom and let’s face it stress. Well don’t worry, here we share some of our top tips to survive your first year in business and come out the other end sane and hopefully wiser and even more successful than before.

1. Become a more confident version of yourself

When you are a small business owner and don’t have a business partner to support you, you are often the only one dealing with client acquisition, doing all the new business pitches and maintaining client relationships, as well as dealing with things when they go wrong or if you have a difficult client. 

So you will quickly need to become confident and stand up for yourself and your business (but not in a pushy way). This can be very difficult for those who are introverts or of a more quiet nature. The best advice I can give you is to put a character mode on, pretend you are the confident and successful business person you want to be.

One of the best ways of doing this is finding an outfit that makes you feel super confident, dress for the person you want to be, you will be surprised just how great it makes you feel and how it gives you an extra boost of confidence for that first scary client meeting.

2. Trust your gut

If a deal, client or project sounds too good to be true or too easy, unfortunately it most likely is exactly that. Always trust your gut instinct if something doesn’t feel right, don't do it or get involved, back out calmly and look for a client or work elsewhere. 

3. Routine is key

It can be hard at first to establish your own routine for your working day. Everyone works differently and of course it depends what you do and whether you need to be available for clients on different time zones.

However, setting up a routine helps you become more motivated and keep track of what needs doing when and also allows you to feel like you accomplished something at the end of the day. Try out a few different routines, whether that's starting early and finishing earlier to pick up kids from school or perhaps you are a creative and work best late at night when it's quiet. The best routine is the one that works for you and remember you are your own boss now so you can set your own hours.

Passion planner is a great way to structure your daily routine, focus on the goals for your business and for your own self development and a way to keep track of progress so you can maintain your motivation and accomplish your goals.

4. Exercise when you are stressed or need to make an important decision

As Elle Woods once famously said "Exercise gives your endorphins.. endorphins make you happy", but exercise also gives you the chance for some much needed headspace and time to reflect. This "me time" is vital for any business owner, not just for your own sanity but also to make sure you process and make decisions correctly rather than just making snap decisions.

5. When making a big business decision, sleep on it

Try and avoid making snap decisions or jumping into deals. Even though the initial excitement of setting up your business can make you feel you need to act fast to get the ball rolling, it is always wise to take your time over those big deals or investments to weigh up the pros and cons. If you can, sleep on it and always remember to trust your gut.

6.  Make some fellow small business owner friends so you can bounce ideas off each other and have some support when you are facing tricky situations. 

Running your own business can be extremely lonely especially if you are running it solo. Make sure you find some other fellow business owners that you can share your worries with, run ideas past and get advice from. There are often many small business groups or networking events in your local area and are worth checking out

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