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How to Survive the First Year as a Startup

Many startups are being founded each year, as people enjoy the idea of becoming their own bosses. The market is challenging and competitive, and a lot of startups don’t make it past their first year. Most startup owners believe that with a good idea and a steady starting budget they will be able to overcome the hardships of a competitive market. However, it takes a lot more than a budget and an idea for a startup to survive.

There is no doubt that a startup business will face many difficulties on its way to success, but what matters the most, is the ability of startup owners to endure those difficulties and find means to overcome them. Countless startups have failed within their first year, because of the mistakes their owners had made, and many owners weren’t even aware of the consequences of their decisions. Luckily, there are numerous ways to survive the first year as a startup, and here are a few of them.

How to Survive the First Year as a Startup

Back everything up with research

Every business decision, no matter how important or not, should be carefully considered. Information plays a vital role in decision making, and the best way to gather information is by doing research. Whether you are trying to identify your target audience and their preferences or you are trying to scan the competition and their strategies, you will need to do some research.

Research is crucial for gathering information that will give you an insight into your target audience, just how well does your product or service resonate on the market and what is the demand for it, as well as who is your competition and what are they doing right or wrong. All of that important information you gather by doing research is essential for future decisions, plans, and strategies.

Focus on important activities

The first year is crucial for startup businesses and many owners try to stretch their focus on too many things at the same time. What’s important is to focus on activities that are really important for a startup, especially in the beginning, because some business aspects require attention right from the start, while others require attention later on. For instance, you should focus on building a product first, as well as building enough presence and awareness on social media and networks before you launch a marketing campaign. After creating the perfect product, startups should focus on traditional marketing techniques as well like flyer printing, newspaper and magazine articles, webinars, live podcasts, and video commercials.

Furthermore, it’s important to plan each step carefully and always reflect on progress, because constantly driving a business forward can mean overlooking a potential mistake that can have dire consequences later on. Nevertheless, every startup owner should determine which business aspects are truly important for growth and success, and focus on them from the start. There will be plenty of time to deal with other business aspects after the most important ones are in order.

Carefully plan out finances

For many startups, struggling with finances is a common thing. In the beginning, a startup budget is enough to cover basic necessities and startup owners expect that revenue will grow alongside their business. However, startup owners have a tendency to overspend on things that really don’t matter in the beginning such as getting their own office space or hiring managers.

These are all just additional costs that can not only thin out your budget, but also wipe it out entirely. Spending money on things that aren’t vital for your startup can outright kill your business within a first year if you are lucky to even get that far.

Furthermore, there are additional expenses that most startup owners aren’t even aware of, that can occur at the most inconvenient moments such as licenses, work permits, insurances, etc. These additional expenses can become a big issue, especially if there are no funds to cover them. The most important thing to remember when it comes to startups is that they should manage their finances carefully and not spend their budget on things they won’t need from the start.

Move forward step by step

Driving a startup business forward is essential for its growth and success, but it should be done at a steady pace. Moving one step at a time is extremely important during the first year. That means that you should be executing your business decisions and ideas carefully and correctly. That way you will have the time to do things properly and implement strategies the right way. On the other hand, rushing things will get you nowhere, and it might even mean your startup’s downfall.

Your startup’s success will depend on making the right moves and things such as marketing campaigns, social media promotions, and advertisements, which need to be executed flawlessly in order to produce the best results. That’s why it is important to step back and evaluate your moves before taking them.

Surviving the first year as a startup is a difficult and demanding process but it’s also a very exciting period. With careful planning, good research and right decisions, your startup will not only survive its first year, but it will reach success you’ve been aiming at, as well.

How to Survive the First Year as a Startup

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