How to Survive the First Year as a Startup

The most difficult period for each startup is the first year. Since most new businesses fail at the very start, reaching this milestone is an important event and quite a challenging task. This is understandable, since the future of your company depends on the foundations, i.e. the infrastructure and customers, that you have in place after one year of operation.
So, what are the problems that most startup owners face at this stage and what are the tips for overcoming some of the most frequent issues?

Creating a healthy environment
Even if you work alone, but especially if you have other colleagues, creating a healthy environment is one of the most important things. The atmosphere at work is one of the key contributors to excellent performance, but it is also known as a cause of many unnecessary problems and a lot of tension between people.

It comes as no surprise that we can read in almost every magazine how great it is to work at a particular company and very few of those texts, if any, mention the salary. Instead, they focus on who great and relaxing, yet productive the atmosphere is. If you manage to create an environment that people will be happy to join, you’ve avoided a potentially big problem in the future.

Don’t neglect your personal life
No person is a source of limitless energy, which means you should really be careful how you distribute it between your private and professional life. Just like negative stuff from one aspect can easily be reflected in the other, the boost you get in either your private or professional life is likely to improve the atmosphere in the other.

Striking the work-life balance has been the topic of many discussions and research, which confirms its importance. The conclusion is that a successful person has to pay enough attention and devote enough time to both aspects, so try to avoid the trap of spending many unnecessary hours at work just because you feel you should be there. Otherwise, you might lose something even more important.

Choosing right people
Another crucial aspect is to find the right people to help you make it through the first year and set solid foundations for future development. You need colleagues who understand what you’re trying to achieve and that they might be required to put in a bit more effort than normally, since they’re trying to build a company from scratch.

Naturally, you’ll make mistakes when hiring and don’t expect that every hiring decision you make is spot on. What you need to do, though, is react quickly if you see that someone is not delivering what they’ve agreed to.


Financial matters are important in every stage of company’s life, but never more so than in the first year. That’s the period when your income is most uncertain, which may create insecurity among everyone involved. This insecurity usually quickly turns into serious doubt which ultimately erodes all trust.

In order to prevent that problem, you might want to look at the loan arrangements offered by local banks, or if you need a quick help, turn to OnDeck where you can get financial assistance with much less fuss.
Strive for excellence
No matter how effective your advertising campaign is and how many people you manage to attract, you won’t be able to last very long if the quality of your offer is not great. Make no compromise when it comes to quality, since you’re bound to regret it at some point. Word-of-mouth is the most effective and inexpensive advertising tool, but it is also potentially the most dangerous threat.

Also, don’t ever think you’re done learning and improving and that you don’t need to make your offer even better. If you start acting like that, it’s only a matter of time before your competitors catch up with you.

Surviving the first year is a daunting task and there’s a lot of work involved. Sometimes you’re doing everything right, but the things are not working out like you’ve planned and you hope for a lucky break, which never comes. Keeping your faith in the project and watching out for these major issues is crucial if you want to set up your company on sound and solid foundations. The reward is most certainly worth the effort.

Lead a healthy life
The fact that you’ll probably have to work longer hours than ever, doesn’t necessarily mean you should give up on trying to lead a healthy life. It’s vital that you eat regularly and right, that you get enough sleep and, finally, that you remain physically active as much as possible. It will be more challenging, but not impossible.

What could be expected is that if your fail to pay sufficient attention to any of the important aspects of your health, you can most definitely expect your business to suffer. Now, when you take into account the fact that your company is new and that you’re under a lot of stress, the importance of leading a healthy life just becomes bigger.

Without your being in the best state of mind and body your new fledging business will suffer and lack the management insight needed for success.  So take a few days and go fishing (or camping or hiking); enjoy being away from the stress and strain of operations and administration.  Gather the outdoor wear and fishing gear you got with the Groupon coupon for a 35% off discount from Bass Pro Shops.   Load your vehicle and head for the nearest lake or seashore to enjoy the sound of birds and surf, or the splash as your boat heads out onto the lake.  Feel the breeze on your face while casting your line in the water.


Get support
No matter how strong you think you are, there will be moments when you’ll need help from other people. Those people might be your colleagues, friends of family members, depending on the type of crisis you’re having. Make sure you’re not too proud or busy to ask for their help, since it will not only take some of the burden off your shoulders, but they will all feel that they’ve helped someone and contributed to a greater cause.

The same applies to professional help when it comes to business. Instead of taking time to learn something and end up uncertain what to do, it’s much wiser to hire an expert in their respective field and have the problem sorted out immediately. You’ll be both saving your energy and time and providing your business with a quick and effective solution to a problem that could have otherwise escalated to the point that it causes much more damage.

Raul Harman’s  is a IT consultant and a writer who has a lot of experience about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. IoT and the world of mobile devices have been his focus in the previous years. Raul is a passionate runner and adventure seeker. Every spare moment he loves to spend in nature. He is a regular contributor on Technivorz and BizzmarkBlog

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