How to Survive Your First Year of Business
You’ve got a spectacular idea for a business project, bags of passion, and an attitude built to persevere through the tough times that are bound to come up. But is all that enough to carry your enterprise past its first year of business ?
‘400,000 new businesses are started every year in the USA, but 470,000 are dying.’
Though some erroneous statistics float the cyberworld, the government tells us that year by year, the lifespans of businesses are getting shorter. In 2015, only 25.4% of new construction businesses survived. Now, it’s predicted that only half of new enterprises survive for five years or more, and about one-third for ten years or more.
Contrary to prevailing belief, it’s actually pretty rare for failure to be an outcome of neglect. What’s far more likely is your business failing due to mismanagement. Inaugurating the right tools to start with can give you the best possible chance to survive those slightly dispiriting odds, allowing you to transform your idea into a growing, money-making enterprise.
Assess why you’ve got to the point you’re at. Why are you starting your own business? To make a lot of money? To try and spend more time with your family? Not having to answer to anyone else? In reality, the best reason for starting your own business is twofold. Firstly, you’re genuinely enthusiastic about your product and the industry it slots in, whatever it may be. And secondly, you strongly believe your enterprise has a space on the market to flourish.
The latter notion is something that’s more essential to consider. Most startup entrepreneurs have more than enough passion, but some might find that it blinds them to the veracity of their success window. Do you have an idea for a product that no one else has thought of, but could do well? How much have you researched? Have you developed pre-launch marketing surveys for better knowledge about people really want? Possessing all of the right preparation is crucial, and honing fridge-door prerequisites even more so.
Serve your customer, not yourself.
Feel ownership of your start-up, but remember that ultimately, it’s there to serve your customer and not you. Vanity projects don’t last long, and don’t make money. With every business decision you make in your first year of business, keep your customer in mind; build a product that they would would love, and would get excited about.
Forgive the early mistakes, but don’t let your business overpay for them.
Making mistakes early on is not only admissible, it’s practically certain. Don’t be too hard on yourself when the errors do happen, but at the same time, make sure the risks you take don’t cripple you. Don’t plummet all your resources into one department; test out what’s effective first year of business with experimental investments and see what it yields. Try a $10 Google Ad campaign instead of a $100 and gauge the results for future planning. The low-risk pitfalls that do come your way could very well be the key to your success through trial and error.
Outsource if you need to.
Seek out the experts where you must. Most new businesses need website design or an app to curate success in the digital world, which requires professional help. And many new businesses require particular processing software. You can acquire low-cost Saas software, for example, and then integrate with a pro tech team to create an overall low-cost solution.
Other business techniques can be self-taught over time. More and more business owners are harnessing social media through a combination of self-learning and online resources to help you transform from a personal user to a professional marketer.
Every entrepreneur needs to know that failures don’t necessarily defeat you. You learn from your mistakes, and use these lessons to succeed the next time around. As we’ve noted, risk is an integral part of your learning process, but you’ll miss out on 100% of the chances you never take. Gauge with your customers; govern those risks to control the outcome as best you can, and strategize your talent, wherever you choose to source it.