Tips To Help Your Business Survive The First 3 Years

tips help business survive first years operating

Being a business owner, startup founder, or entrepreneur is often glamorized these days. But the truth is that businesses have a horrible survival rate, especially over the last several years for obvious reasons. Many new companies fail in their first few years of operations due to so many difficulties. There are expected obstacles that businesses will have to deal with, along with plenty of unforeseen roadblocks that can lead to losses or bankruptcy.

It is a volatile and challenging economy for business owners to handle regardless of experience level or skill. The current market is rife with inflation, supply chain disruption, digitalization everywhere, labor shortages, political issues, and global competition threatening company profits in all industries. It can be hard for businesses to keep their heads above water in an economic climate like this.

As a business owner, you don't want your operation to become another statistic. So here are 4 top tips that should ensure your business can face the challenges of its initial years in operation. 

1. Plan For The Long-Term 

While it might seem too optimistic, you should consider making long-term business plans. However, this doesn't mean you plan too many years ahead. Start with a yearly business plan first. Twelve months is a long time for a business so there will be ups and downs. 

Knowing what you need to do ensures you have a higher chance of success. With a definite goal, you will have something to aim for. Additionally, your plans should include what to do in case of missed goals and emergencies, which will help your business greatly. Keep an emergency fund for cash in case of a downturn in business so you can weather the storm.

2. Have A Solid Product Pitch 

As a new business, you likely have a new product or service that you need to sell. To maximise sales, you must be able to pitch your business to investors and retailers alike. However, you have competition. To set yourself apart, you need a solid product presentation. Focus on your unique value proposition and how your product or service will make investors money. And to maximise your chances, you need professional help creating a pitch deck presentation. 

For example, a pitch deck design expert can ensure your product presentations are more successful. You can also back your presentation with research to be more compelling. It will require professional assistance, but it is worth the investment. 

3. Keep Track Of Your Money 

Another aspect of the business that will require professional help is bookkeeping and accounting. Keeping track of your finances is essential to ensuring a company is solvent. If you don't know how much you are spending as a business, then you don't know if your business is profitable or not. It is not as simple as recording sales and expenses. You might miss various details, like government fees and payroll. Your business must avoid fines and unnecessary taxes to stay profitable.

Hire a professional accounting service to help ensure that your books are correct. An experienced CPA will ensure that you have a good idea of your company's financial status to make the right business decisions. Hire or speak with a knowledgeable CFO as well if possible.

4. Listen To Your Customers 

For business longevity, you also need to focus on your customers. Good customer service is not only ensuring that they are happy with your product. It would help if you also listened to what they want through surveys, feedback forms, and business reviews. We have one mouth and two ears for a reason, so act accordingly as a business owner. Active listening will allow you to have better chances of fixing mistakes and retaining them. Retaining existing customers is a lot more profitable than acquiring new ones.

Their suggestions would also allow you to appeal to more customers. Having a happy set of clients will also benefit you since their word-of-mouth can lead to more business. Referrals are pure gold for small businesses and startups. Turn your satisfied customers into brand ambassadors.

People will also learn how you treat your customers and might try their chances with your business. Aim for better customer engagement so you can have a solid revenue stream. While you are trying to ensure your business survives in the short-term, you also want it to thrive in the long-term.

Final Thoughts On Startup Survival Success

There are many challenges facing businesses and new obstacles pop up every month or quarter. Overcoming these roadblocks is the ultimate goal for startups and companies in all industries. With the help of the tips above, you should be able to ensure your business survives the next few years. 

Work hard, and you will have a profitable company that will stand the test of time. If you do the bare minimum and hope for the best, your business may not last 3 months in this market.

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