Starting a new business is exciting...and scary, very scary. You’re surviving on little more than adrenaline coffee and a dream. You’re making lots of important decisions that will undoubtedly affect your future, and you don’t know if they’re going to pay off or not. It’s a lot to deal with, so it isn’t surprising that around 80 percent of new businesses fail in the first year!
The stats might not look good, but you need to remember that 20 percent of startup do fight to live another day and there is no reason you cannot be one of them, especially if you apply these first-year startup tips:
Set Lots of Short-Term Goals
A lot of startup owners tend to look further afield than the first year - they have a vision of how they want their business to be in a decade, and they center everything around that. That’s all well and good, but you need to make it through the first year before you can start building your empire, so make your goals things you can achieve, and which you need to achieve, in the coming months.
Spend as Little as Possible
There’s no denying that startups are money sucks, but it’s always smart to spend as little as you can possibly get away with in the first year of business. Whether that means getting the best quote on your company's fuel from New Era Fuels, using guerilla marketing or hiring freelancers from PeoplePerHour instead of fully-fledged employees, it is so important that you do what needs to be done for less. Cash flow is a real killer, so you’ll want to avoid having too little money at all costs while you establish yourself.
You can’t run a small business on chaos. If you don’t have a defined plan and set procedures for doing stuff, then it’s easy to miss out many of the important steps that go hand in hand with building a successful business. I mean, even losing your server’s login password scan cost you hundreds of dollars if it means you can’t do business for a few hours! So, sit down and plan some solid systems for organizing your office, implementing your systems and storing important information. It will probably take you some not inconsiderable time, but it will be worth it when you can run your operation much more smoothly in the end.
Work on Your Work-Life Balance
Money worries, a lack of interest and too little organization can undoubtedly sink a startup in its tracks, but I’d wager that just as many startups fade away because their owners are completely burnt out. It’s all too easy to spend more and more time working and less and less tie letting off steam in that first year, but it really won’t help. You’ll get tired, make more mistakes and eventually be buried under the burden. So, set very specific working hours and schedule regular lunch breaks, date nights and even vacations!
If you take this very sensible advice, chances are you won’t have to worry so much about making it to your second year of operation. Stay calm, get organized and watch the pennies and you’ll be fine.