New Business or Side Hustle? 3 Ways To Stay Motivated The First Year
The first year of operations is a critical time for any new business, with pressure to find and keep new customers, manage cash flow and potentially hire help, it’s easy to see how new business owners may become overwhelmed
In fact, SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, recently surveyed 1,000 entrepreneurs with a new business or side hustle across the country for our fall 2019 Megaphone of Main Street: Startups report and found that most entrepreneurs are personally handling all business tasks themselves during their first year of operations. Talk about pressure! SCORE asked that same group of entrepreneurs what factors kept them motivated during their first year of operations. Here is what they said:
The Support of Friends and Family
Friends and family were reported to be the strongest source of support (66%) in the first year of business operations. Not only can a close network of friends and family act as a means of mental support, but they can also provide free marketing. Don’t underestimate the power of your personal network of supporters – word-of-mouth marketing can be extremely effective. While not everyone may want to contribute in a major way, many will be willing to support however they can.
Ask your friends and family to engage with your content by sharing social media posts and interacting with your brand online. Also, consider the groups that where your friends and family already have membership. Perhaps your aunt is willing to wear your brand and spread the word at her fitness class, or maybe your friend is willing to pass out discount coupons for your business at her university. The possibilities are endless.
Having a Business Plan
It’s not surprising to hear that having a business plan was the second largest source of support (43%) for new entrepreneurs during their first year of operations. It should be noted that all 1,000 respondents of the Megaphone of Main Street: Startups report have worked with SCORE, so they fully understand the benefits and importance of having a solid business plan. A business plan allows business owners to fully understand their concept and mission, scope out any potential problems, and be prepared for nearly anything that may happen.
Having a Mentor
Having a business mentor was tied with having a business plan (43%) for the second largest source of support for new entrepreneurs, probably because having a great business mentor and a great business plan go hand in hand. Business mentors are a great go-to source for answering those tricky questions that often arise in the first year of operations (and beyond), and they can also provide consistent guidance as you navigate your path to long-term business success.
You don’t have to do it alone! For assistance creating a business plan and navigating your small business path, visit www.score.org/find-mentor and sign up for a free, experienced small business mentor.
This guest post was authored by Betsy Dougert
Betsy Dougert currently serves as Vice President of External Relations for SCORE, where she is responsible for national public relations, government relations and sponsors. Her ten years of experience in marketing and communications have focused on building brand awareness and engaging stakeholders through storytelling at educational institutions and non-profits. She earned her master’s degree in strategic communications with a certificate in public relations from Villanova University, and a bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary.