Surviving the First 5 Years in Business and Beyond What We've Learned

Surviving the First 5 Years in Business and Beyond: What We’ve Learned

With special thanks to Elliot Hershik

Reaching five years in business is a major accomplishment. Learn about some tried-and-true ways to reach this milestone and achieve long-term success.

When my husband, Elliot, and I bought our Supporting Strategies bookkeeping franchise in 2015, I remember hearing that only about half of new businesses with employees last five years. (This still holds true today.) We were determined to be on the right side of that statistic, so we were thrilled to reach the five-year mark in 2020.

Our endeavors to extend our success are never-ending, and we’ve learned a lot over these past six years. Here are three of the big takeaways.

1. Do the Work
You may have a phenomenal product, great service offerings or own the best franchise of all time. However, you still have to do the work to make your business successful. Once we knew we were going to buy a Supporting Strategies franchise, we got out in the community and networked anywhere and everywhere. Why? Because we knew that for people to find out about our business and what we were going to do, we had to tell them. It may feel like it’s taking forever to gain traction, but if you do the work, you’ll see results.

2. Delegate
Trust but verify. If you hire someone to do a specific job, let them do it. By delegating certain duties, you can free up your time to focus on strategic and revenue-generating tasks. Your responsibility, then, is to manage what you delegate. In the beginning, you can expect to have some trepidation. Like anything new, there will be a ramp-up period. That’s where the “verify” piece comes into play. Have metrics in place to know whether a hire or outsourced resource is doing well or isn’t a good fit. If the circumstances dictate, don’t hesitate to make a change.

3. Be Decisive
You’re the boss, and that means making tough decisions. Sometimes you’ll get it right, sometimes you won’t. The last thing you should do is be indecisive. That can really hurt your business, especially when it comes to time-sensitive issues. Don’t let analysis paralysis stand in the way of making a good decision and then acting on it.

Above All, Learn From Your Mistakes

One thing I know: As a small-business owner, you will make mistakes. Be sure to learn from them, move on and avoid repeating those errors in the future.

Owning a business is not easy. Some days are exhausting, and some are exhilarating. But rest assured that Elliot and I would do it all again. Providing our services to other business owners is what keeps us going.

If you’re planning to join the ranks of small-business owners, get ready for a rollercoaster ride. Hang on, and good luck!

At Supporting Strategies, our experienced, U.S.-based professionals use secure, best-of-breed technology and a proven process to provide a full suite of bookkeeping and controller services. Are you ready to learn how you can move your business forward? Contact Supporting Strategies today.

Surviving the First 5 Years in Business and Beyond: What We’ve Learned

Dawn Hershik

Dawn Hershik, Managing Director, Supporting Strategies | Chicago Far West Suburbs, provides bookkeeping and controller services to growing businesses.

Legal and Tax Disclaimer

This website is created by Supporting Strategies to provide general bookkeeping and accounting information only. Supporting Strategies does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice, and the information contained herein is not intended to do so. As such, the information provided should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, legal, and accounting advisors, and you should consult with a tax, legal and accounting professional before engaging in any transaction.

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