Advertising & Marketing

First Year in Business Survival Tips

Whether you’re starting an online shop or setting up a physical location locally, starting a business is a big deal… so, congratulations! Running your own company is one of the most rewarding — and challenging — things you’ll probably ever do, especially during your first year in business.

Starting a business is hard, even if you have unlimited resources and finances. In fact, one in five businesses fail within the first year, and 50% fail by year five. While there are a lot of outside factors that can influence the success or failure of your business, there are some proactive business survival tips and ongoing strategies you can implement to set yourself up for success.

5 Business Strategies for Small Business Survival

1. Have a solid business plan.

A business plan is a tool you’ll turn to again and again, from your first year in business to your fifth. Think of this document as a small business checklist for success — it should include your marketing and financial strategies as well as identify your target customers. It’s a place to include information about your products or services and the structure of your business, as well as a summary of what makes you unique. In addition to using your business plan as a point of reference for yourself, it’s a key tool if you plan on applying for funding or attracting investors. It’s proof that you’ve put time and research into making your business the best it can be.

2. Avoid burnout.

Your business is your baby, and during your first year in business, it might feel like you’re working 24/7 to bring your vision to life. But like anything in life, you have to find balance so you don’t get burnt out or overworked. Whether that means taking an off-site lunch break, going for an afternoon walk or even meditating for a few minutes between customers, it’s critical that you take care of your mental and physical wellbeing.

3. Build a support system.

It might be your business, but you can’t succeed alone. You need a support system professionally and personally — don’t be afraid to ask friends and family members for help, and make the effort to grow your professional network. You can do this by reaching out to other small business owners in your area and coordinating with them to build up your businesses together.  There are also lots of online forums for small business owners to express frustrations, share support, develop ideas and more. In addition to providing support, you never know what kind of doors will open from the connections you have.

4. Ask for feedback and be adaptable.

One of the best business strategies for small business survival is simply talking to your customers, or prospective customers. Are they happy or excited about your product or service? Are there things they don’t like about your shop’s policies or your website experience? Don’t be afraid to ask for their feedback, and be open to their ideas for your business. By remaining flexible, you will be more capable of adapting to changes in the market and new technologies that can help your business. This will not only help you get through your first year, but ensure your business is built to last for decades or more.

5. Pay attention to your finances.

From setting up a bookkeeping system to tracking your expenses, it’s important that you know where all of your capital is going, especially in your first year in business when things are probably a little chaotic. If numbers aren’t your thing, it could be a worthwhile investment to outsource financial tasks to a pro — especially when things like tax returns are due. Having a trustworthy accountant or financial advisor for your business helps you make the most out of your money for both your business growth and your savings. They may also be able to help direct you toward investors and other ways of increasing your working capital for future growth.


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