6 Strategies to Survive the First Year as a Startup
Every startup’s first year is scary, which is supported by the fact that about one-third of them don’t survive the two-year mark.
Startup owners tend to fear failure and deal with a lot of financial troubles, which seems to eventually lead their businesses to a demise.
These are the extreme versions of a young entrepreneur’s fear, but psychologically they still make their first startup year very difficult.
The first year as a startup is full of excitement of getting off the mark and setting foundations. While the second year is when you need to see growth and traction.
The second year exposes those who are not working. Thus, it’s all about making solid foundations regarding your offering and business infrastructure and having your customers all in place by the second year in business.
Here’s what you can do to solidify your business foundations and survive that crucial first year of your business.
Work Environment Must Be Healthy
Your office environment is very important because it can have a great effect on work efficiency and morale. People working together tend to act as a family, so our business environment becomes our professional home.
It’s more than just a place where we work, so it’s crucial that employees feel comfortable at work.
Have In-House Tech & Design Expertise
At this stage of the global digital revolution, it is important to have a top-notch coder in your team. Whether they will outsource a part of the work to external developers depends on them.
It is essential to have one person who is tech-savvy and fully immersed in the commercial aspect of the business.
Don’t Pay Any Money for PR & Marketing
In your first year, you should invest your funds in building the product, not promoting it to survive.
This doesn’t mean that you should give up on having a marketing strategy altogether because it makes your product visible to the target audience and competition.
Make sure you do something that matters (and resonates with people), have a captivating personal story about your passion and drive for the business, visit trade parties and events, build profiles on social media platforms, and give journalists some interesting data and information (because they’ll return the favor).
Don’t Network Just to Get Something in Return
If you make helping others an integral part of your collaborative nature, your brand name will start resonating with people stronger and you’ll expand your audience.
If a journalism student asks you for an interview for a college newspaper, don’t hesitate to accept it. Don’t do it just because they might someday become a big-name reporter.
You will realize that whatever market you enter, it is ultimately one big community to which you want to contribute in order to build authenticity, authority, and reliability.
Protect Your Startup
Nowadays, the threat of someone breaking into your office windows is not as big as having cybercriminals break into your system and gain control over sensitive data, such as your customers’ personal information and credit card numbers.
Is your data protected? The information you hold is one of your most valuable assets, so you should protect it by any means.
Data loss can lead to a major business disaster, so shop around for reliable cloud providers, and store your data on the cloud. Find the provider who offers the best solutions for the protection and retrieval of your data.
Being a Workaholic will Negatively Affect You in the Long Run
Don’t get burned out at work so you don’t have enough energy for taking care of your personal life.
If you start feeling detached from the world, get sick often, and feel exhausted all the time – you’re overworking. Workaholism has a negative effect on performance and health. It will negatively affect both you and your company as a whole.
Make sure that you get your life-work balance correct by exercising, physical activity, socializing, and getting enough rest.
Once you start the startup you are ready to do what it takes so it continues to grow. You may want to drive it as hard as possible.
Taking some time to zone out and reflect on your business is invaluable. It will help you realize whether you’re stagnating or actually making progress.
About the Author
Raul Harman’s is an IT consultant and a writer who has a lot of experience about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. IoT and the world of mobile devices have been his focus in the previous years. Raul is a passionate runner and adventure seeker. Every spare moment he loves to spend in nature. He is a regular contributor on Technivorz and BizzmarkBlog.