It is a well-known trend that many businesses fail in their first year.
In fact, some of the more depressing findings suggest that a staggering 90% of business fail in year one. This is for a number of reasons, which vary pretty dramatically. However, there are ways that you can reduce the chances of this happening to you.
If you are thinking about setting up, about to launch a new business, or at the early stages, this guide is for you. In it, we’ll look at some ways that when combined, will ensure your business doesn’t fail in the first year.
We say ensure… of course, sadly, we can make no promises. Something may occur that is out of your control.
However, these steps make the likelihood far reduced. Follow these tips, keep pushing on, and you’ll be celebrating you one-year anniversary before you know it!
Invest in your team: Investing in your workforce in the first year of business, in particular, is absolutely crucial. At the very early stages, your business is very fragile. In a small team, just one toxic individual could bring the whole company crashing down.
You need to a team around you who have the following qualities in common. They must be dedicated to your company, brand, and ethos. They must be passionate about their work, and their role in the company. They should be hardworking of course, and demonstrate this in willingness to get to work a little early some days.
Or, indeed, skip a lunch every now and again to get big projects finished by deadline.
Where you find team member of this ilk, however, is quite the different matter. For starters, never discount young people and recent graduates. What they lack in experience they often make up for in enthusiasm and an insatiable desire for success. Equally, don’t discount older people. They might not be ‘up’ on Facebook but their years of experience will help counteract your younger team members lack of it.
Use sites like LinkedIn to find suitable candidates, and don’t hesitate to approach them with a direct message. You never know, they could have been waiting for an opportunity to make a career leap for months!
Cancel that two-week holiday: Just because you are the owner, doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want (sadly).
It is imperative that first year that you dedicate almost all of your time to the business. Even when you are not in the office or place of work, you still need to be reachable. As the man or woman in charge, everyone in your team and all of your clients will inevitably look to you for final decisions.
A two-week holiday to the Maldives might be exactly what you need! But are you really going to be able to relax? You could come back to a failing business, and rectifying that and getting it back on its feet will be hard. It might even be impossible.
In five years time, when you’ve all found your feet and business is booming, then you can take that elongated break. But for now, cancel that two-week holiday and just book a weekend camping locally instead!
You’ll be glad you did.
Use a reliable business lender: Whether your business plans to make money online, or via products sold in a store, or in a service, you will need money to make that money!
Where you get this money from is up to you. It could be the case that you have the personal savings yourself; this is ideal. It means you have total control and means that you aren’t paying interest to lenders.
However, if failure does occur, it will be a huge blow, and heavy weight to carry. How about launching your business with an associate or friend. That way you can both contribute half. Sure, that only means half the profits, but it also then means half the loss and half the responsibility!
If striking out alone is your preference, but you don’t have savings, there are other options. You could get a business loan. Use a business lender match website to figure out both how much you need and how much you can get. Getting a line of credit is another option. Most banks offer this option, and you may be eligible.
However, they rarely actively advertise the fact that they offer it, so you will need to ask.
As the owner of a business, it will often be you that has the final say on spending decisions. For this reason, it is also imperative that you know where to spend and where to save. Seek expert advice if you aren’t already 100% confident in this area.
Improve your health: Your health levels might not seem to correlate to the success of your business, but they do.
Think of it this way. You have a big pitch coming up on Wednesday, but on Monday you come down with the flu and have to miss it. A weak immune system will strike you down again and again. If you don’t improve your health and then maintain it.
Missing too many important commitments and meetings due to ill health could become your downfall. So, learn how to look after yourself. Don’t try and survive on coffee and prepackaged sandwiches. This will only do for so long.
Look at your diet, but also look at your levels of fitness. Finding time to attend the gym a couple of times a week will help also.
Set your standards early: Be sure that you let your workforce know what you expect of them from the get-go.
Trying to be everyone’s best friend in the first month or two simply isn’t something you are going to be able to maintain. It will make it impossible to discipline people if they do something wrong, and may blur the lines between your roles within the company too much.
There is nothing wrong with being open and friendly, but know where to draw the line. Let your workforce know that you expect the very best from them, and ensure they know that anything less won’t be tolerated.