How to Survive Your First Year in Business

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Getting your business off to a good start is crucial for your financial viability in both the short and long term. After all, around a third of all businesses will go bust in their first two years of existence and nearly 50 percent will never reach their fifth anniversary. As such, entrepreneurs need to recognize just how fragile their new company really is. Fortunately, you can learn from the mistakes others made before you and avoid falling into dire straits yourself. On that note, you can consider this your survival guide to your first year in business:

Establish a Foothold

To a certain extent, all business owners need to live in the here and now. However, for entrepreneurs just cutting their teeth with a new startup, achieving some initial success is vital. Therefore, new companies should prioritize finding a niche and running with it for a while. Getting deals done and money in the bank will alleviate some of the early tension and let others in your industry know you’re legitimate.

Network Like Crazy

Speaking of legitimacy, one of the best ways to get the word out about your business is, of course, to network constantly. People are often reluctant to engage with a new company before they understand who they’re working with – so don’t be a stranger! Go to conferences, attend seminars, and be willing to reach out to any and all contacts you have.

Assemble a Team

No professional ever reached the height of their game without a little help from a supporting cast. Obviously, hard-working and capable employees are valuable to any operation, but entrepreneurs should also look for candidates with complementary skills to their own. If you’re comfortable in front of a microphone, but blanch when faced with pages of accounting data, then make it a priority to bring in someone adept at handling numbers and spreadsheets.

Make it Work – Somehow

There’s a time and a place to strive for perfection in your work. Still, new business owners have to learn to let go of their micro-managing impulses and simply focus on functional solutions. For example, your website doesn’t have to be as eye-catching as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel – it just has to be user-friendly and operational.

What’s more, you should recognize your limitations. If you need to reach out to a web design firm to fix your site, or a phone company like Votacall to improve your communications system, then do so. Sure, saving money is important, but certain aspects of your business are too essential to ignore. Remember, making the right investments at the outset will set your company up for substantial success later on.

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