The First Year of Owning a Business

The first year of owning a business (any type) is typically very frustrating and challenging.  It’s filled with mistakes and setbacks.  Take two steps forward and three steps back.  It’s a learning experience.  Most business owners in the real world don’t expect to make a dollar of profit their first year in business.

For someone who has worked in a job their entire life, that might be difficult to grasp.  But it’s a common reality if you ever decide to be an entrepreneur and venture out on your own.

In most cases, the only goal in the first year of a business is to SURVIVE.  Many businesses don’t make it past the first year.  Yes, some businesses hit the ground running and make a profit in their first year, but it is a VERY small percentage of new businesses.

The truth is it takes time to get a business established.  It takes time to get your name out there. It takes time to build up a customer base.  It takes time to get referrals.  It takes time to gain market share.  It takes time to generate revenue and profit. It takes time to develop systems and work out the kinks.

I’ve never personally known ANYONE in the traditional business world who was profitable their first year in business.  Sure, it might happen from time to time but it’s not the norm!

One of the things I love most about the network marketing industry is that you can be profitable from your first month in business.  Because you have little to no overhead, you can make a profit right away.  Where else can you do that?

Of course, individual results will vary.  Not everyone will be profitable in their first or second month in network marketing, but if you are doing anything at all to build your business you should be.

Even better, you can do this part-time while you keep your day job.  You can have that steady check coming in from your day job while you get your network marketing business up and running.  Not many businesses let you do that.

In fact, most new regular businesses require a full-time effort with little to no pay for the first couple years.

When I hear people complaining in our industry that they haven’t made money in their first 90 days, I normally laugh.  Most of these folks have done very little if anything at all to build their business, yet they expect big results.  I just don’t get it.  I think it’s the employee mentality that causes them to get frustrated and quit.

Once again, most traditional entrepreneurs don’t expect to make a dollar of profit for their first year or two in business, but they still plow ahead and do the work anyway.  Why?  Because they believe in what they are doing and they have a vision for their future.

My best advice is to appreciate what you have your hands on and be grateful for network marketing.  Be grateful that you can start a new business for less than a few hundred bucks, work part-time for a few years, and build up something that offers the potential to earn a full-time income.  Be grateful that you don’t need employees, insurance, a building, inventory and all the other headaches that come with owning a traditional business.

And whatever you do, please have realistic expectations.  This is NOT a job.  You are not trading hours for dollars.  You are building an asset that generates income, not trading hours to generate income.

I had a guy call me the other day who wanted to make $5k a month in his network marketing business within one year, just by working five hours per week.  When I asked him how much he made in his full-time job he told me $2000 per month.

Think about that for a moment.  Someone works full time, nearly 160 hours per month in a job to make $2k per month, but they expect to work 20 hours in a business per month and make $5k per month.  Really?  How logical is that?  How realistic is that?  This seems to be the norm in our industry.

The bottom line is that the first year of owning a business is tough.  It can be a humbling experience.  You might succeed, you might fail, or you might just barely survive.  But if you have some faith, a good game plan, a vision for your future, and the ability to persevere, there is a high likelihood you will succeed IF you stick with it.

What are your thoughts?  Leave a comment below to let me know what you think.  I look forward to hearing from you.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Network Marketing Professional & Blogger

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5 thoughts on “The First Year of Owning a Business”

  1. How man people enter into this industry with realistic expectations? I can admit that I didn’t have them when I first ventured into the industry, but thankfully I had great leadership that guided me in the right direction and informed me properly where I was misinformed. Now as a leader, I aim to do the same thing. I spend a lot of time clarifying so that there is no confusion or misleading on my part.

  2. Great way to explain it Chuck!

    It amazes me when people complain about not making enough in their first month or 2 in network marketing too. They have the mindset that it is a slot machine that can’t lose. I love how you integrated traditional businesses into this post. Most people who start a traditional business have to have a good reserve in the bank just to survive during those first years.

    I agree with Chuck…be grateful, and work…the benefits will come.

    1. I agree with you Greg,

      It is hard to find someone who is willing to work even a little bit to make money vs. someone who is in it to “get rich quick”. Some people will also spend the money as soon as they make it and not invest it back into their business. I believe in working with your mentors, work hard, be patient and the money will come.

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