No matter how prepared you think you are when launching a new business, there will always be a curve ball. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur with several businesses or an ambitious one on your first voyage, we can all agree that the first 365 days can be the most frightening. Few small businesses make much profit in their first year — if any profit at all. Even with a low startup cost business, you must eventually invest money to grow it by expanding products, services, moving into new geographic territories, or hiring others to help you. I’ve been running my own business since September 2016. Here’s what I’ve learned. Prepare When you’re not looking for an investor or bank loan, it’s tempting to skip a business plan altogether. However, the process of writing out your plans is a great way to hone your vision: what problem are you trying to solve? Whose lives are you trying to improve? What’s your realistic time frame for launch, sales, and profitability? You don’t need a 100-p...

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