Small business secrets...

7 tips on surviving your first year of business trading

Posted by Amina Addow on May 26, 2020 2:19:27 PM
Amina Addow
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It's no secret that the hardest year of business trading is usually the first. In fact, 90% of businesses tend to fail. We've compiled tips to help you navigate this and on what to prioritise to ensure you have enough funds, resources and partners to help you through it.

1.Choose the right business entity

You've got a great business idea, you've done your market research. It's time to consider the legal structure of your business. There are various business legal structures determining how much tax your business have to pay and cashflow forecast. Make sure your business is in the right entity by reading CompaniesHouse post.

2. Write a cohesive business plan

A business plan should include the specifics around the target audience, how you're going to cater to them as a business and a description of products or services your business will offer. Competitor and marketing analysis is also important to get to know your industry.

Plans inevitably change as your business progresses but having a strategy in place still means you can look back and measure what you've achieved against milestones.

3. Build your support network - both personal and professional

While the logistics side of running a business is important such as profit and employees so is having a support network. Make sure that you are mixing professionally with other industry leaders and creating partnerships to support your business. For personal this can be your family, friends or partner to take the strain out of running a business.

4. Create a brand

During your first year of business, establishing a brand identity is a must. And it goes way beyond having a nice logo - although this is a good place to start! Your brand is what your customers will think of when they see your name, and when they consider your products or services. It’s can also mean the difference between your customer choosing your business over one of your competitors.

5. Manage your expenses

When it comes to managing expenses, the first year can certainly be a roller coaster as you experience ‘good’ and ‘bad’ months. There are likely to be all sorts of expenses coming out of your account, people to pay and incoming payments to stay on top of. With the added task of setting processes up for all of this, cash flow and credit management can often take a hit.

6. Keep costs low

Saving money where you can and keeping costs low is a good habit to get into early on. Instead of cutting corners and compromising on the important things, make a list of things that you can cut back on or don’t need right away. Some ways to cut costs could be to employ staff on a job-to-job basis, hire interns, or rent out expensive equipment for one-off jobs.

Final thoughts

There's a lot to consider and prioritise when running a small business. The above points are an overview of how to ensure that your company is able to survive the first year of trading. 

Whatever industry your business is in, it's important to future-proof your operations and communications. Investing in cloud phones can lower costs, give greater flexibility and give your business a head-start before the ISDN switch-off.

To see how VoIP can have a place in your small business speak to a trusted expert on 0203 697 4166.

Topics: Small business tips, Latest

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