Before I opened the doors of my business I spent a lot of time in the planning phase. Like most business owners, I made lists as if there were no tomorrow: items that I needed to purchase, things that I had to get done.
I also created a business plan. Though not formal, the plan included my ideals for my business. I knew before I even obtained the business license just what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I had everything figured out.
Or so I thought.
Fast forward to month number two. Just eight weeks in and I realized that in order to make it I needed to add on another service.
I changed my website design several times.
I created a batch of business cards and then, because I didn’t feel that they accurately reflected my company, I created a second batch.
One year later I look back and see where I started and where I ended up and I’m amazed at the transformation my business has taken, especially since I thought that I had it all figured out at the get go.
For a while I thought that I must have done some poor planning.
Now that I’m working with so many new business owners,I realize that the first year is a critical adjustment period in a new business.
You learn as you go. One thing may sound great, and then when you start doing that one thing you realize that if you just tweak it a bit it will work even better.
You may do one thing and then realize it doesn’t work at all.
Though you may think that you have it all figured out when going into the business, chances are you are going to be making some changes.
The key to that first year is to be as flexible as you can. Create a plan and follow it, but when bumps arise, flow over them smoothly. Change your course if you need to. You can make small changes without completely changing your business. And if you need to, you can also make complete changes.
In fact, one of my clients began with one idea in mind for her business-in fact, she had it written in stone, and was totally against adding one particular element to her business. But, upon opening, so many clients asked about this other element that she was at first opposed to and she realized that to be successful and to offer everything that she could to her clients she would need to add it on.
So she did.
If you are facing the same thing in your own business, don’t get discouraged. Your first year, and perhaps even longer, will consist of numerous changes. But these
changes are necessary if you want to create the best business possible.