For businesses of any size, the first few years are the most critical. Some businesses experience tremendous growth while others experience growing pains. As you head into your first few years as a small business owner, there are a few things you can do to help bolster your chances of growth and success.

Have a Clear Plan

Obviously, having a business plan is a must, but it’s important to extend your business plan beyond day one. Make a plan for at least three, if not five, years into the future. Know the direction in which you want your business to go so that when faced with decisions, you make them based on where you’re headed, not where you are at that moment.

Hire Help Early

A mistake many business owners make is that they don’t bring on help early enough. As a determined business owner, it’s tempting to buckle down and do it all yourself. However, the reality is that you can be much more productive when you have someone to share the load. Take a look at your business, decide where you need help and then find the right person. Keep in mind that the hiring process can take a while, so if you wait until you absolutely need help, it may already be too late.

Reinvest in Your Business

A majority of the money you make within your first year of operation should go right back into your business. Paying for advertising, hiring more employees or purchasing additional inventory can give your business a boost you wouldn’t have if you didn’t reinvest. Try to reinvest as much as you can so you can enjoy the rewards that come with it.

Put Your Customers First

The key to long-term success is keeping the needs of your customers at the forefront of your business. If you have a product-based business, your products should evolve and grow with your customers. With a service-based business, the same applies. Your service should change with the changing needs of your clients. It is a mistake to create an offer and then never change it for as long as you’re in business. Listen to your customers, take their feedback and give them a reason to keep coming back.

While there is no foolproof way to guarantee success in your first few years as a small business, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances. Keep these in mind, work hard and watch your business soar.