Start-up success: 5 tips to get you through your first year

Starting your own business can be daunting, emotionally draining and, occasionally, petrifying. But once you’ve made it through your first year of trading you’ll begin to enjoy your venture as much as you did when it was just a figment of your imagination.

Here are 5 top tips for making it through that tough first year:

Assemble your A-team

You’re only as strong as your weakest employee. The ups and downs of your first year may put stress and strain on your team, especially on co-founders. But if you embark upon your venture with a group of like-minded colleagues, with high levels of expertise and a passion for your project, you may find yourself strolling through your first year with a skip in your step.

Shamelessly promote

Telling everyone you know about your new business venture may seem futile, but the more people you tell the more likely it is that you’ll find a helpful connection amongst friends of friends. Building a network is like building a support mechanism, if things go wrong you don’t have to face them alone.

Know when to say no

If your idea is popular and you have more than one investor looking for a slice of your freshly baked pie, it is important to ensure that you don’t accept money that may cause you problems in the future. Investors who want a lot of your time may cost you more than they invest in the first place. Only take money from those who can support your project without dictating its growth

Prepare for the worst

If you’re lucky, the first year will be a breeze, but if you assume the worst to begin with then you can make sure you have provisions set by to deal with any tough times that come your way. This might mean preparing emotionally, setting aside some funds or even making sure you’re not liable for any mistakes.

Make sure you’re emotionally invested

If you’re not passionate about your business then you’ll struggle to make it through your first difficult year. It’s important to be committed to your idea and ready to make the sacrifices necessary to succeed. If your heart isn’t in it, then your money certainly shouldn’t be!

Photo Credit: Shinealight. (Own work.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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