4 Steps for Surviving Your First Year in Business
If you’re a new company striving to make a name for yourself, you’re likely experiencing a wide range of emotions: excitement, fear, optimism and stress. It’s true that startups often experience a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs during their first year of business. However, there are some steps that can be taken to minimize failure. Here are four steps that can help you succeed during your first year in business.
1. Create a Detailed Business Plan
Many entrepreneurs dive right into their business without taking the proper time to establish a foolproof business plan. If you’re the type of person that craves creativity and spontaneity, it may be wise to hire someone who has the skills and abilities to make a detailed business plan. The following information should be considered:
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Funding requests
- Management structure
- Product or service descriptions
- Marketing plans
- Financial estimates
Your business plan should include these details, and other particulars specific to your company, for the next three to five years. If you’re looking to get funding from investors or loans, a detailed business plan is essential.
2. Make Customer Service a Top Priority
All startups need something that sets them apart from their competition. One of the best ways you can do this is by providing superior customer service. Word of mouth advertising is ideal because it’s one of the most effective ways to obtain loyal customers. Though it may seem erroneous to prioritize customer service over making a profit, especially to a struggling startup company, in the end customer satisfaction will give you the edge over your competitors. Don’t skimp on hiring good customer service employees and plan ahead for how to solve common complaints.
3. Track Your Progress
You won’t know how your company is doing if you don’t track your progress. A wise startup company knows that it needs to measure success and failure with detailed metrics and goals. Tracking should be done regularly to make course corrections along the way. It’s too late to wait until the end of the year to see how money and time was spent.
4. Establish Good Content Marketing
A final step to help your company survive is establishing good content marketing. Sufficient money should be spent to establish a strong online presence including a website, blog posts, social media accounts and more. High-quality content portrays your company as an industry leader. Relevant, timely and sincere content also enhances your status as a respectable company.
There are several steps that startups can take to increase their chances for success during their first year in business. Creating a solid business plan, prioritizing customer service, tracking progress and creating quality content are the first steps to achievement.