A business typically starts with a lightbulb moment. You come up with a great idea that you feel will transform lives. And even though your idea may be brilliant, building a booming business is never easy. Actually, it’s easier to fail than succeed. Research shows that 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, and 65% fail during the first 10 years.
As the saying goes, “If you don't plan, you plan to fail.” Many new entrepreneurs underestimate the work required to run a startup until it turns a profit. They are greatly disappointed to discover that customers aren’t rushing to buy their products. But building a successful business doesn’t happen overnight. Here’s how to survive your first year in business.
Don’t Focus on Perfection
Some businesses fail because they simply don’t have customers for their product or service. Before you launch your business, identify your target customers and find out if they are interested in your product. You can collect information through market surveys and questionnaires.
Also, don’t focus too much on creating the perfect product or service before launching. You will only waste your time and hinder your momentum. Instead of thinking, "Once I get this piece right, then I will …" Instead, think, "Can I generate enough interest to move forward with my idea?" Locate your customers first, then fine-tune your product from there.
Get Enough Funding
One of the reasons new businesses fail is a lack of capital or funding. Funding is essential because some businesses require a large startup sum that individuals don’t have. These funds can kick-start a business idea. Without funding, entrepreneurs can’t test their concepts in the real world. Funding is also needed to invest in assets that are necessary for business operations.
Consider getting small business loans to pay for short-term and long-term expenses. Secured loans like fast title loans can keep your business afloat even when the economy is suffering. The money can help you to quickly grab opportunities that come your way, like investing in new products and services.
Believe in Your Business
Elon Musk once said that he would rather die than not realize his dream. Many successful entrepreneurs went above and beyond when building their businesses. They worked all night, slept in their offices, and ate only fast food because they were so driven to work on their businesses. While these aren't healthy habits, they show the commitment every entrepreneur needs to have.
Successful entrepreneurs have an insane work ethic and an unshakeable faith. They believe in their ideas. They know it's going to work and do all they can to make it work. Quitting is easy if you don't believe in what you're doing. But top entrepreneurs never think of throwing in the towel.
The first year of entrepreneurship is the hardest. It’s lonely, disappointing, and frustrating. But can you emerge from the first year of entrepreneurship unscathed? Yes, you can. Emulate successful entrepreneurs, and success will surely come.