First Year: What to Expect During Your First Year As a Small Business Owner
So here's whats going to happen. You're going to find that you are really good at something and better yet you're passionate about it. On top of that, there might even be people who want to pay you for it (maybe, maybe not). You have friends and family saying you should really charge people for this. Either way, you begin to think of how great it would be to quit your day job, and go to work with yourself.
You do crazy things like try to learn to build a website and read those forums and chat rooms on coding (It's a bad place; don't go there). You do not so crazy things like start a business Facebook page, and give on coding and try a free trial on Squarespace. You even go so far to order business cards and get your first free order at Vistaprint. This all happens within a couple of months because you're excited and you're still in the honeymoon phase. And that is totally alright. You need this phase to get off the ground. But this relationship with your new business idea is going to need the DTR talk sooner or later.
A few months go by and you're looking at those start up expenses and they're starting to outweigh your clients. This is completely normal - nerve-racking but normal. This is to test you and prove that your business idea is viable and long lasting. It's to start working out the kinds, solidify your brand, and decide if this is the right move for your life and your career.
But it's not all bad news - a lot of great things can happen during your first year as well. You can make lasting personal and professional relationships with clients and other creative professionals. You'll also feel a sense of accomplishment for starting something from scratch.
This is also the time to take chances, try new things, and be bold. Your first year allows you to takes risks that are harder to do once you've established yourself. And who knows? One of those risks could lead to a really great opportunities or material for your portfolio.
So if you find yourself in that first year of business, in that black pit of doom -