Startup Life: Tips for Surviving the First Year

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If you’ve launched your own startup, you might be worried about the fact that 9 out of 10 small businesses fail. Maybe even more worrying is that 20% of businesses fail within the first year. No matter what industry you’re in, surviving the first year isn’t going to be easy and you could use all the help you can get. With that said, here are six tips that’ll help your startup survive the first year.

Establish a healthy work environment

Establish a healthy work environment

With this being your first year in the business world, you might not be aware that the work environment plays a huge role in how successful your business will be. Not only does it affect morale but it also helps your operations run smoothly. Whether you operate from your garage or a real office, make sure you let enough natural light in. Moreover, organize your office in such a way that every team member knows exactly where every item is. Obviously, you can’t get absolutely everything right from day one and it’s very important to keep improving your work environment as much as possible.

Choose the right people

Choose the right people

Many new entrepreneurs want to save money and decide to wear all the hats in their company. This may seem like a good idea but it only hurts your productivity and makes you more likely to make mistakes. Therefore, hiring employees for your startup is a must. The only problem is, not every candidate is going to fit in nicely and help your business grow. Identifying the right candidate isn’t easy but with the right set of interview questions, you should be able to do it. Become a mentor to every new employee and you’ll improve their chances of contributing to the company and sticking around long-term.

Protect your business

Protect your business

 

Probably the last thing you want to happen is an emergency to change the fate of your business. Even if you insure your startup, it can be difficult to recover from a fire or burglary. Therefore, it’s a much better idea to do everything in your power to keep your startup and everyone from your customer to employees as safe as possible. On top of this, you should also ensure your staff knows what to do if something happens to your equipment and they can’t go on with their work. Your safest bet is to look for a reliable emergency electrician you can turn to if something goes wrong.

Get to know your competition

Get to know your competition

A recent study showed that about 19% of startups fail because they were outcompeted. Due to the ease of starting a personal business nowadays, the competition has become stiff and succeeding can be tough. The best way to ensure you don’t get left behind is to keep a close eye on your competitors. Figure out what your rivals are doing that the consumers want and incorporate that into your own operations. Bear in mind that this doesn’t mean you should copy the exact same product or service they offer. Copying other companies only hurts your reputation and makes it more difficult to attract customers.

Save on marketing

Save on marketing

There’s no doubt that marketing is an important part of running a business. After all, how else are people going to find out about your startup if you don’t promote it? Still, marketing requires a lot of money and your business might not be able to afford. Luckily, there are some cheap and free ways to attract new customers. The best way to do this is to create pages for your business on social media and use them to interact with potential customers. Unless you opt for paid social advertisement, you should be able to generate enough buzz about your business without spending a real fortune.

Maintain healthy cash flow

Maintain healthy cash flow

Among failed small businesses, 60% of them cited poor cash flow as a reason. Your startup can do well but if there’s no cash to use, you simply can’t keep operating. This is the reason why you should do everything you can to keep the cash flowing. Keep a close eye on your expenses and don’t get caught off guard if prices change unexpectedly. Also, send polite reminders to customers who owe you money. If you can’t get them to do so, turn to a collection agency instead to keep money running.

Many businesses need more than a year to become profitable and it’s probable that this will also be the case with your startup. Just focus on surviving during the first twelve months and you’ll eventually see your business doing better. Once you actually get your company off the ground, it’s time to start thinking about ways you can improve your product or service and compete with the big names in your industry.