How to Succeed in Your First Year of Business

Making it through your first year as a new business can be the most enduring task you’ll face, but luckily we have some top tips on how you can not only succeed, but thrive in your first 12 months.

You’ve done it.

You’re standing on your own two feet on the first day of becoming a small business owner.

So, what now?

There’s plenty to be worried about when you’ve just packed in your job and leaped into a new venture, which is why it’s important to take a step back and think things through – before it gets too late.

Only a small proportion of businesses make it through their first year, and if you want to be one of them you should take note of the following tips.

Know your mission

It’s one thing having a business idea and it’s another effectively building a business based on a belief you’re passionate about.

Simply thinking it will make you money isn’t enough, especially in the age when people are expected to be working towards a cause they really believe in.

Before you even think about heading into business you should know just what is driving you to do this. You’ll need this thought to help push you through the difficult periods – you’re more likely to have reason to carry on if there’s a strong motivation behind you.

Plan your marketing technique

Next, you need to plan your marketing strategy.

This doesn’t just mean writing down the techniques you’re going to use. This means coming up with a legitimate plan of action that will carry you through your first year of business and account for any issues you may encounter.

It may seem like a lot of work but when you’re 6 months in and struggling with funds, knowing that you have something to pull out of the marketing bag could save the business. Don’t fail to underestimate its power!

Accommodate quick growth

Provided everything’s going well, you’ll begin to grow.

This is the most exciting aspect of the business, and when it can begin to feel real.  However, you can’t be unprepared for it. If you begin to take on too much work, who will take care of the extra workload? How long will it take to find them? What area do you want to expand first?

Consider all of these points even before you make your first sale. That way you’re one step ahead of the game and don’t have any worries about the unknown.

Listen to the feedback

As a new business there’s going to be a bit of buzz around you, whether it’s with the local community or your online competitors.

It can be easy to ignore the critics in these early stages, but that’s not the wisest option here.

Whoever feedback comes from take it seriously. Consider it and weigh up what you think. It can be difficult to take criticism for a business you’ve just begun, but by rectifying any issues during these early stages you can avoid big mishaps later on.

Have a backup plan

While you can plan for every eventuality, handle the obstacles with the finest of care and manage your finances impeccably, sometimes, things simply don’t work out.

If you get to this stage you need to know you have a backup plan. Will you go back to employment? How long will your savings last you?

Squirrel some money away just in case it comes to this so you know you’ll have a backup plan in case it doesn’t quite go as you imagined.

What are your top tips for succeeding in your first year of business? Drop a comment below or get in touch over on Facebook or Twitter!