5 Tips for Surviving Your First Year in Business
Your first year in business is critical, as if you don’t do things the right way, and sometimes flounder even a little, your dream can quickly go up in smoke. If you are just starting out, you have heard the stories of businesses who failed in their first year, and they probably have you terrified to even try. However, there are a few tips on this list that will help you survive that first year of business with your sanity intact.
1. Use the Predictive Index when Hiring
While hiring isn’t the first thing you do when you open up your small business, it is one of the most important. Using the predictive index test when hiring employees can save you a lot of time, money, and hassle. This test is scientifically backed and works well to weed out the best from the not so good candidates that you will be interviewing for positions in your business. This can save you the training and money it takes to start a new employee, only to find that they weren’t the right fit after all. It’s not fool-proof, of course, but it has been proven to work well.
2. Keep Your Expenses Low
Another way to survive the first year in your small business is by keeping your expenses low. Most businessowners know that they are going to barely break even that first year, due to the start-up expenses, and hassles that can happen along the way. Hire only employees that you absolutely need, and if possible, use freelancers and contractors to fill in the gaps where you need too. If you can do without additional office space that first year, that’s a good idea as well to save costs.
3. Cater to Your Customers
Catering to your customers is the way to have a successful business and it’s something you and your employees don’t want to forget. Remember, your customers are what makes your business to begin with, though many businessowners forget that, in the rush to become successful and make a profit. Make sure to stay in tune with your customer’s likes, dislikes, and never ignore their feedback. It’s a good idea to have survey cards made up, or even have them online for your customers to fill out to see where you need to improve your business or maybe change things up a bit, to make them happy.
4. Marketing Your Network is Key
As a small businessowner, it’s important to realize that you are going to get nowhere with your business without effective marketing. That means that you should be out there marketing on social media, your website and even with fliers and word of mouth. Of course, digital marketing is the best way to go, but it’s important to realize that you can market without going over your marketing budget as well. Connecting with your customers is essential in that first year and marketing is one concrete way to do that.
5. Keep Up with Your Competitors
When you are in your first year of running a small business, the last thing you can do is rest on your laurels. You need to try to get a sneak peek into the minds of your competitors and don’t let them outdistance you in marketing, sales, or things that matter with your customers. Customers are going to go where they can save the most and find the best quality product. That place needs to be you.
These are just a few of the top ways to have a successful first year as a businessowner. Following these tips will ensure that you live to sell another day.