How to Survive Your First Year in Business?

Starting a business is exciting. There are so many moving parts and things that need your attention. You most likely have more than a few sleepless nights ahead of you.

Most businesses are not going to be able to make it. Around fifty percent of startups fail within the first five years of their inception.

If you want your business to be successful, you’re going to have to give it your all, especially in the initial stages of your business.

The first year for your business is crucial. Most entrepreneurs give themselves a test year to see if they can make it. In business, several things can go wrong. But with due diligence, some things can be done right.

Here is how you can survive your first year in business:

  1. Pay attention to yourself.

As a business owner, your first and foremost priority should be to take care of yourself.

Your family and employees (if any) depend on you to make the right decisions.

It is your job to make sure that your business grows and prospers. But you can’t do that if you aren’t paying attention to yourself.

Starting a business is tough, and you’re going to be spending a lot of time trying to set things up the right way. But that does not mean that you get to ignore yourself.

Make time out of your busy schedule to exercise and spend some quality time with your family. Having a healthy diet, and minimal fast food will keep you energized for the long run.

By paying attention to yourself, you’re going to have a peace of mind. Being calm and composed will allow you to take advantage of all opportunities that might present themselves to you.

  1. Your audience.

Finding the right audience is something that a lot of businesses struggle with.

If you try to market your product or service to everyone, you’re going to end up selling to no one.

Find the ideal audience for your business. It is the first step in having a profitable business.

Businesses that don’t find and appeal to their target audience are destined to fail. Try not to do that.

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After you’ve found your target audience, you should see how you’re going to make your offerings appeal to your audience. Present your offering in a way that will appeal to your audience.

Try to address pain points that your audience face and how your business can provide an end to their misery.

Keep an eye on your audience and how they behave and interact with your brand. Your audience can tell a lot about your business. If most of your audience is not happy with your offering, something is wrong, and you need to fix your business before things take a turn for the worst.

Like most things, your audience is going to change with time. You should be aware of this and make the right decisions for your business.

  1. Build a brand.

As Simon Sinek adequately put it, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”

Building a brand identity should be a high-ranking priority of yours. At the start, you can start building a brand from live chat app for a website as it is free, and through catering your visitors best, you can generate a formidable reach through word of mouth marketing.

Building a brand isn’t just for luxury brands like Gucci or Channel; it’s also for other businesses like Fjallraven, Dollar Shave Club, Fitbit, etc.

Building a brand will help you develop loyal supporters. These super fans will help spread the word about your business for free. All you need to do is to make your business remarkable and try to develop a secure connection with your audience.

For small and even medium-sized businesses, it should be a no brainer to have exceptional relationships will all of their customers and partners.

By building a brand, you’ll be able to differentiate yourself from other generic competitors and get in a league of your own.

  1. Develop a Unique Selling Proposition.

Always have a unique selling proposition for your business.

Without a unique selling proposition (USP), you’re not going to have many sales.

A USP helps you to differentiate yourself from other players in the market.

If you’re an apparel brand that is selling T-shirts, you’re going to be facing a lot of competition. You are going to have to deal with the local competition, online competition, as well as overseas competition.

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Not having a USP in this scenario can most certainly spell the end for your business.

If you want to survive the first year of business, you’re going to want to have a robust USP.

Here is how you can develop a USP for your business in no time:

  • Identify your audience.
  • Find their pain points.
  • See if your business can offer a solution.
  • Research the market to find if one of your competitors has a similar USP to the one you’re crafting right now.
  • If yes, go back to the start and find something else. You’ll want your USP to be unique.
  • If not, polish your USP a little, and you’re good to go.
  1. Find a mentor.

You’re going to make mistakes. We all do. But the important thing is that we learn from our mistakes.

In business, you might not have the resources to avoid a mistake. Most entrepreneurs and companies are pressed for resources. In such a scenario, finding someone who can guide you through the rough patches can prove to be nothing short of a blessing.

A mentor is a veteran business person who has more experience than you in certain things. Mentors can help you avoid mistakes that might cost you your business.

Mentors have been where you’re standing right now. Most people can’t relate to what you’re going through, but a mentor can. He or she may even show you ways that will help you overcome the difficulties that you are currently facing.

If you can’t find a mentor, don’t fret. With the help of the internet, hundreds of business leaders who came from a humble background but quickly rose to prominence can be found.


If you’re confident in yourself and your abilities, you’ll be able to survive in the first year of your business and longer. As time progresses, you’ll be able to gain new skills and knowledge that will help you grow your business and become successful.

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