You’ve just finalized the business papers, and you walk into the office space. You’re probably feeling excited, nervous, scared, and enthusiastic all at once. But the next question is: What happens now? You have this great idea, but you’re not exactly sure where you go with it. The scary thing about starting up a business is that if the first few years don’t go well, the business as a whole is difficult to recover. The Small Business Administration reported that 50% of small startup business fail within the first five years. The goal here is to make sure that your business isn’t a part of that statistic. Here’s what you need to do to keep your business alive and thriving.

  1. Sit Down and Make a Detailed Finance Plan

The biggest reason why businesses fail is that of finances. If the finances aren’t organized and planned, then everything tends to fall apart soon after. You need to make sure that you have a solid foundation before moving forward with any other steps. Pull out a chair and a financial spreadsheet and go over what you need. You will need to lay out how much money is going to be needed for each part of the business to run flawlessly, and you’ll need to figure out how much profit you expect to make the first couple months. For example, if you’re setting up a mini golf part you’ll need to think about how much to spend on the equipment, how much a small pool cost would be, how much you’ll be spending on rent and advertisements, and then factor in how much you’ll need to make to cover all of those expenses. Make sure that you cover everything and then make plans on how to meet those goals.

  1. Make Plans for the Future of the Company

If you think that you can just start up the company and let it run itself, you’re wrong. You need to have a constant guiding hand to make sure that it’s headed where you want it to go. If you let it run itself, it’ll probably run itself right into the statistic of the 50% of companies who die within 5 years. You guiding hand should plan out exactly what you plan to do with the company for the 10 to 15 years. Make premature plans for expanding after a while and plan how you would do that. Prepare for every possible situation so that when catastrophe rolls around, you’ll know exactly what you need to do. For this part, make sure to pull in people you trust. Ask them about realistic expectations that you should have about starting and where they think the company will end up in 10 years. Make sure that you write everything done, so you have a good idea of what you need to expect.

  1. Start the Hiring Process

This is either the part that you’ve been looking forward to or the part that you’ve been dreading. For a brand new business, you should never need more than 5 employees, or you might have started out a little bigger than you can manage. For your first 5 employees, it’s a lot easier if you enlist the help of friends and family to give you a hand. They will be the backbone of the company as if expands. You will definitely have at least 5 people willing to be your employees while you work out the kinks of the business. Then as friends and family move on to other jobs, you can slowly replace them with interviewed individuals who are well-suited with the position. It allows you more time to figure things out without immediately having employees who might complain at the initial lack of organization.

The most important thing that you can do for your business is to have a vision of where you want it to go. If you have that ready to go, then a lot of the stress with go away when you’re making plans to complete other aspects of the company. You’ll already know what you want it to look like, you’ll know who you want to hire, and you’ll know how much money you’ll need to make. So, your first step is simply to plan.