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Hit the Ground Running: 7 Tips for New Business Owners

Hit the Ground Running: 7 Tips for New Business Owners

Launching a new business can be a daunting endeavor. As soon as you form the company, you'll face many important decisions — ranging from the mundane to the critical.

While much of what you must learn will come through trial and error, there are still plenty of lessons you can study based on the experiences of other business owners. Here are seven tips to help you hit the ground running.


Generating revenue and turning a profit are goals that every business pursues. To accomplish them, you'll need to get more specific. Break such fundamental goals into sub-goals. For example, instead of focusing exclusively on turning a profit, set a sub-goal of making at least five sales calls per day.

The more calls you make, the more likely you are to win some of those sales, bring in revenue, and head toward profitability. Breaking down every major strategic objective into actionable, attainable sub-goals will make the arduous process of building a business more manageable.

Hit the Ground Running 7 Tips for New Business Owners

Track cash flow religiously

Businesses must generate cash flow to survive. Yet, all too often, business owners spend insufficient time monitoring how money moves through the business.

A good habit to form early on is generating financial statements according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. These statements should include an income statement, a balance sheet, and, perhaps most important of all, a statement of cash flows.

Don't spread yourself too thin

As the owner of a start-up, you'll likely have a seemingly never-ending to-do list that constantly demands your attention. If you try to cover every task yourself, however, you'll likely struggle and may soon get burned out.

Delegate what you can, as expertise and budget allow, to employees (if you have them) or contractors. Although doing so may feel uncomfortable at first, it's critical to take care of yourself.

Resist the temptation to grow too fast

For some companies, opportunities to grow may abound — especially if you're in a hot industry or seasonal business. Just bear in mind that if your company grows too quickly, you may run the risk of failing to deliver on customer expectations or running out of cash.

Use financial forecasts to plot how quickly you can safely grow the business without burning out yourself or your employees or spreading resources too thin. That said, don't ignore opportunities to expand if they present themselves.

Keep overhead costs low

Many new businesses find themselves struggling to stay afloat because of high overhead costs. From the moment you establish the business, do your best to minimize overhead. For example, instead of hiring full-time employees to perform administrative tasks, consider engaging outside contractors.

Instead of renting an office, run the business out of your home for a while. Low overhead also cushions your company against economic changes, such as high-interest rates, or setbacks, such as the loss of a key customer.

Hire slowly and carefully

When the time comes to hire employees, create a stringent application process and avoid shortcuts. Don't be in a rush to fill open positions. Hiring the wrong employee can have catastrophic consequences. Before interviewing, write a detailed job description to ensure candidates understand the role.

Present candidates with real-world challenges to test their respective abilities to problem-solve. And while it takes time to check each applicant's references, set aside the time to do so. You just might uncover critical information about someone that saves you a lot of time, money, and stress.

Know when to ask others for help

Running a business — especially a start-up — can wear out even the most energetic person. Don't be afraid to ask others for help navigating the inevitable challenges you'll face. To that end, build a team of go-to mentors and advisors who can provide a fresh perspective on the seemingly insurmountable problems that may arise.

Look into forming an advisory board of retired business owners and other experts in various fields. In addition, you should ideally have a trusted accountant and attorney.

Survive and Thrive

As an entrepreneur, you'll face countless challenges when launching and running your business. Your ability to survive and thrive will depend on a broad range of factors. We hope the tips covered here can help you position your company to compete no matter what type of market conditions you face. Good luck!

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