Most businesses struggle during the first year of operation regardless of industry and type – e-commerce, energy, automotive, education, or food, your new business will undoubtedly face the same issues as most start-ups.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the issues that you may encounter in your first year, including quick advice to get you through them.
Focus on your core goals, mission and vision. Your industry and the economy are dynamic, but some things should stay the same – your goals, mission and vision should always be there as a guiding force as you continue to grow. It must serve to reach your long-term objectives. You may have multiple different strategies in motion, but you need to be consistent with your mission and vision.
Varying from the core focus of the company means risking chasing every opportunity that comes and failing to build a unified, cohesive, and meaningful brand.
Establish a company culture. The first year is vital for creating business culture as quickly as possible. The culture will begin with the leaders and will influence all other employees. The culture you establish will also set the atmosphere for what behaviour and performance are good and what isn’t. It also dictates how you approach operation issues, and it presents a big impact on the company’s ability to acquire, retain and develop employees.
Lead by example and always alert every one of your expectations and why the company’s goals, mission and vision are important. New companies must hire values-compatible people as it will shape the company’s culture. Hire wisely as your first few hires will impact your company’s future culture.
Manage cash flow. You can begin by developing cash flow projections for three, six, or one year. Do scenario simulations in your projections by setting thresholds for both worst case and best-case outcomes. Evaluate your projections as the first year progresses to compare it to your budget. Adjust your strategy as needed as you experience increases and decreases in the actual cash flow projections.
Create brand awareness. You exist because you have a product or service that you believe people will derive value from. Your target market must know about your products or services before they can consider purchasing an item. New businesses must raise brand awareness and establish a degree of credibility. Create brand awareness by approaching it in a way that mirrors your goals, mission and vision.
Today’s start-ups are fortunate as it is easier than ever to establish an online presence. It starts with a website of your own, whether it be a brochure or e-commerce type. Your first challenge is to find the right provider and a name for your website.
If you’re in the first year of your business and are yet to have one for you, you can start by doing a domain name check through Crazy Domains or other providers to reserve a name for your business. You can directly purchase it along with a packaged plan that will suit your business needs.
If the day-to-day operations of your business are becoming overwhelming, do note that all other CEOs have experienced the same struggle. Don’t give in to burnout, slow periods, or pressure. Focus on your goals and adapt your company with the latest trends to help it grow and flourish through its first year.