The business world can be quite cut throat; swallowing up corporations and spitting them out with some regularity. A new business can find it difficult not just to make a mark, but to survive as well. If you are a startup, here are four tips that will help you survive that crucial first year.

Dig in for the Long Term

It is a common tendency for startups to gauge their future based on their first year. If it has been a good year, they are willing to plow forward. The cold hard truth is that most startups do not begin to make a profit for the first two years. Business experts recommend that you prepare to dig in for at least three years. This makes surviving the first year easier.

Have a Plan

No successful business was ever started on a whim. It takes a plan to help a startup thrive and grow in a competitive environment. The business plan will help you navigate emergencies and tide through the difficult first year. It does not need to be a long document, but it should be detailed enough to include the target audience, an estimated budget for expenses, and the financial goals that you wish to achieve.  

Keep Expenses Low

Remember that the first year is all about survival. Experts advise keeping costs to a bare minimum. Only spend what is essential to the business. If you can cut corners or find a cheaper alternative, go for it. Freelancers are a great way to hire talent on a budget. Office space can be avoided if there is no pressing need to have one. Co-working spaces are an ideal investment for startups. 

Be Selective with Your Time

Saying yes to everything is an easy trap to fall into during a startup’s first year. New owners are eager, in fact overeager, to do as much as possible in the hope that it takes their company forward. What may happen is that more sideways movement is achieved than forward. Be selective with your time. Carefully consider events, promotions, and even client meetings. They should meet your overall objective, not just an excuse to stay busy.     

In Conclusion

Starting a business can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. It is important to keep a cool head so you can guide your business to success. Always keep a clear goal in mind, so you can navigate through your first year and onward. 

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