How to Succeed in the First Year as a Startup

The first year as a startup is a crucial period of time. In twelve months you will either be a company entering its second year and begin to thrive, or you will become part of the devastating figure of 90% of startups that fail in the initial stages.

More and more people are beginning to take advantage of the returned stability following the financial crisis, so the market for startups can be a tough nut to crack. As a business owner, perseverance is key to keeping your startup as a rising star rather than a deflating balloon.

For the first year as a startup, there are a number of things that you can do which will ensure your success as a business.

Plan, Plan, Plan

On the battlefield, chances are the side without a comprehensive battle plan will not be victorious. The same can be said when it comes to business. From scribbles on a whiteboard to a comprehensive document, your business plan is the bread and butter of your success, so treat it as such!

Set out into writing how you will obtain initial capital investment, growth plans, financial expectations, and ultimately a five-year growth stream.

Changes happen every day in business, so this is something which you need to review on a regular basis to keep it current and in line with your business plans. Of course, the first step is writing the business plan – so make sure you do this before making any big leaps! You may thank yourself in the future when you have a set course, as ‘winging it’ in business rarely ends well and your startup will face many obstacles in its first year.

Hire Smart Candidates

A business can either rise or fall on the basis of its staff, according to some business owners. As a general rule, the happiness of your employees relies on the little things you don’t think about and this, in turn, can have a huge impact on your business. Your management style will affect how your company culture evolves, so it’s important to get it right from day one.

Micromanagement can be the death of an otherwise capable team, so trust the people you employ! Recognise their strengths and delegate the necessary steps for startup success based on this. Micromanaging can not only be demotivating and irritating for your staff but can also distract you from much more important matters when it comes to running your business. Ultimately, you create more work for yourself, so avoid it at all costs!

Shop for Real Estate

Location, location, location can be a real issue for a start-up business. You want to be in a central location, either easy to get to for clients or somewhere with high footfall. But, rent for a new startup may not be feasible in such locations. However, there’s no need to break the bank for location. Instead, with the help of qualified property managers, you should focus on finding the right size, facilities, and location for your business as it is. Moving to a better area or upscaling is always possible the bigger your business becomes.

It is also important for you, as a new business owner, to consider the health and safety aspect of your startup’s new office. You are responsible and therefore liable for the safety of your new employees. So, ensuring you find a space that is fit for purpose is essential as a startup.

Exposed wires, hazardous fixtures and other obvious health and safety violations can be easily fixed. But, you also need to ensure there is an adequate ventilation system. Poor air quality can significantly reduce your staff’s productivity and even cause long term health issues.

If you choose to ignore any significant health and safety concerns, you could face severe legal consequences down the line. So, it is always best to set a precedent in your first year as a startup for meeting all safety requirements and creating a safe space to work.

Remove Ego from the Equation

No doubt you will have a vested interest in your startup succeeding, from monetary investments and even your pride. However, it is important to leave that at the door every day. There is no deadlier poison for a startup than that of the ego. You will have bad days, people may not believe in you and you may doubt yourself. But, it’s important to remain positive in spite of all of that.

Treat each new day as a new opportunity to learn about your industry, to improve and adapt your business to meet and even surpass the current standards. Say goodbye to your ego and your first year as a startup will be much easier to handle!

Your first year as a startup business will be a whirlwind of emotions: frustration, happiness, confusion and perhaps even elation. But, if you set the foundations of your business right – a solid plan, good hires, and a brilliant location – then your success is only a matter of time.

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