How To Survive the First Year in Business

Starting a business is similar to riding a bike. Even when you know how it works in theory, and you have a clear goal, it can still take a while to get the hang of things. The key is not to give up. If you have a great business idea, your company can thrive in spite of temporary setbacks. Here a few small business tips for making sure your startup grows healthy:

1. Make a Business Plan

There’s a difference between having an idea and a plan. A good concept for your company is important, but it’s just the first step. Now you need to flesh out the details and outline how to get from point A to point B. What should you include?

  • Mission statement: What you want to focus on or achieve
  • Financial goals: How much revenue you think your company should generate
  • Business identity: What qualities you want your business to stand for
  • Product description: A description of what you want to offer your customers
  • Five-year projection: Where you expect your company to be in five years

All of these items should use real data as much as possible. Be specific about your goals, including how many employees you want to hire, how you plan to expand and how much capital you need to achieve these goals. 

2. Develop a Marketing Strategy

You can’t sell to customers if you don’t know who they are. Investing in market research is one of the best small business tips because it tells you where to use your resources. Once you understand who your audience is, it’s easier to streamline products to cater to their needs. Your customers form the basis for effective advertising, research and development, e-commerce and web content.

3. Focus on Great Service

Building a solid customer base should be your top priority. This means hiring friendly employees, treating customers with respect, following up on feedback and taking good care of clients. Designing helpful blog content for your website and staying active on social media are good ways to build a personal relationship with customers. 

4. Go Forward by Looking Back

Take the time to measure your company’s progress on a monthly basis. Look at financial records and customer activity summaries to see which areas are improving. This information can show you which demographics to prioritize at the beginning.

If things seem less than perfect at the beginning of your startup’s life, don’t get discouraged. By adapting to new circumstances and following small business tips that work, you can triumph.

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