Launching a business and going into the workforce as your only advocate can be stressful. The first year can be filled with a daunting amount of work. Here are some important reminders that can help you stay on top of your financials and propel your business to success.
1. Taxes aren’t automatically deducted
Unless you want a potentially nasty surprise come tax season, it is important to remember that when you are self-employed, your taxes are not automatically deducted from your paycheck. While your initial take-home pay might be higher, it is often critical to set aside money throughout the year to earmark for taxes.
Since this might be your first time filing your taxes in this manner, and they might be more complicated, it can be helpful to know what happens if you file taxes late. For example, if you owe taxes (which is likely when you’re self-employed) you might have to pay a penalty and interest in addition to taxes owed. Remember, if you need any extra time to navigate the complexities, you can file for an automatic extension although even with an extension, you’ll still have to pay your estimated taxes by Tax Day.
2. Remember why you started
If you are new to having your own business or being self-employed, the first year or two can be emotionally trying. It is important to remember your passion for your business and to rely on all the work you have already put into getting your venture off the ground. When in doubt, remember to stay calm and try to focus on doing what you think is the next right step.
While the first year can feel like the hardest, it is oftentimes when you learn and grow the most. Try to take the hardships as they come, remember your commitment, and apply all your knowledge to your future plans.
3. Be flexible
One thing the past years have proved is that knowing when to pivot and adapt can be a crucial business strategy. When you are first developing your business plan, you might not have a complete grasp on what you need, what works, and what doesn’t. Once you have some analytical data to look at, it might be time to change up your original plan to ensure you are meeting your goals.
Does the data show that almost all your sales are online? Perhaps it’s time to consider a digital-only business. Do your employees work better when they don’t have to work set hours? Maybe you should consider providing a flexible work schedule. Try to remember to keep both your goals and your audience in mind.
4. Make time for yourself
Burnout and fatigue can be one of the biggest mental hurdles to overcome in finding success for your business endeavors. Make sure you aren’t spreading yourself too thin and remember to make time for yourself. This can be anything from meditating in the morning, taking a short trip, or calling your best friend – anything to help reset yourself. You are the force behind your business, and you need to make sure you are mentally and physically ready to push yourself to success.