WorldExecutivesDigest|When it comes to running a startup, there are those who make it and those who don’t. Sure, your business can fail at any point in its run but the truth is that the majority of startups fail either within their first year or within the first five years. This means that if you manage to get through this rough patch, your chances of survival grow exponentially. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top five tips for your first startup year.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
The first thing you need to understand is the risk of putting all your hopes in a single product/service. There are so many problems that may arise from this and the only way to stay safe is to diversify your product. By creating several additional streams of revenue, what you’ll do is increase your odds of survival. Furthermore, pivoting from one product/service to another is far easier than having to rebrand your entire business or start anew. This might be just the contingency plan that you need.
Manage your cash flow
You will be surprised at how little cash, even the most profitable of startups have during their first year. Why? Well, because they have to buy supplies, pay rent for the office space, pay salaries to their team, cover operational expenses and more with cash, while the majority of their income is either in invoices or account receivables of other kinds. For this reason, cash flow management is one of the key factors for the survival of your enterprise. To boost it, you should either sell invoices, secure a line of credit or persuade your customers to pay in cash.
Invest in marketing
It doesn’t matter if you have an outstanding product or not, the only way for you to create a need in your customers is to invest in marketing. You can create both digital and old-school marketing campaigns in order to reach out to as many potential customers as possible. By buying promotional merchandise in bulk from agencies like Fast Promotional Products, you get to achieve a far better price per unit, thus improving the overall ROI of your marketing. Bear in mind that you need to take it one step at a time. This means that you first boost your brand recognition and then proceed to boosting your brand awareness.
Make return customers
One of the most important things for the survival of any enterprise is its loyal customer base. First of all, regular customers make about 40 percent of your entire profit but this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the benefits that they make for your enterprise. They also act as brand ambassadors by recommending your business to others (WOM), by writing positive reviews online and by sharing your content. The best part of it all is that all of these benefits you gain as a side-effect of just having a loyal customer base.
Don’t burn out
The very last thing you need to take into consideration is the importance of staying sane and healthy during this period. Sure, running an enterprise is always intimidating but it’s always the hardest during the first year. This is why you need to be extra careful and take it easy. Also, you need to pay special attention to your social circle, seeing as how leaving them out or neglecting them tends to be one of the things that first-time entrepreneurs often come to regret. All in all, you need to put yourself first.
The very last thing you need to take into consideration is the importance of setting up practices, models and habits that you would abide by for years to come. It’s not like cash flow stops being important after you survive the first year. However, after handling it successfully in this period, it will no longer be something unknown and unfamiliar. In other words, by abiding by these five tips, you’re merely making the acquisition of knowledge and experience somewhat faster.