Starting your own business is one thing.

Being able to celebrate your first year in business is quite the other thing.

It’s no secret that most start-ups will fail. With the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) highlighting a failure rate around 90%.

When it comes to new business survival, experience can be a great teacher.

Take time to learn how other successful entrepreneurs survived, then went on to build very successful businesses.

Experience can be great teacher for your own start-up success. Get valuable insights, get inspired from reading books on the entrepreneurial experience, including S. Truett Cathay, Founder  Chick-fil-A, Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, Guy Kawasaki, Co-Founder, Garage Technology Ventures, early Apple executive and prominent author, Sam Walton, Founder, Walmart, and Howard Schultz, Starbucks.

Plus, check out the many helpful, YouTube videos on Elon Musk, Founder Tesla and SpaceX.

You would be also wise to go online and learn about Fred Smith, Founder FedEx.

Learn how he avoided the start-up graveyard, then went on to build a $90 billion dollar company, with 560,000 employees worldwide.

Regardless of what kind of business you start, there are a number of things that applies to entrepreneurs, 365 days a year.

During a good, bad, or whatever economy.

Here are 10 quick tips that can help you reach that magical milestone, your first year in business anniversary:

1. START LEARNING & LOVING MARKETING

It’s a fact. Entrepreneurs need to let potential clients/customers know that their company exists. And is open for business.

But how are you going to find them, especially when you have limited or zero traditional marketing dollars?

A great, effective method of getting the word out inexpensively?

Publicity.

Start pursuing free publicity, right from day one and don’t stop.  Position yourself as an absolute expert in your field.

Do this through speaking events, getting articles published, appearing on radio or television, social media efforts etc.

Note-I wish someone would have given me this advice, when I started The Courage Group in 2001.

2. START LEARNING & LOVING SALES

It’s a fact. Entrepreneurs need to be signing up paying clients/customers.

Please don’t underestimate the role and importance of sales. This is a daily, must to-do, no exceptions.

The role of sales will never diminish in terms of importantance, no matter the size of your company. How To Become a Rainmaker  whether it is your first year in business or 25th year in business, revenue still matters.

You can’t count the beans, unless you have some beans to count. If you don’t have sales skills, get someone that does to help you. But even if sales is not your thing, or background, you should still dive in.

Start learning, and improving your sales skills through experience, day by day. You won’t regret it. How to Win Friends & Influence People.  

3. START LIVING WITHIN OR BELOW YOUR MEANS

Now would be a great time to downscale your lifestyle and reduce your monthly expenditures.

Money will not grow on trees during your first year in business, and beyond. And will constantly be in short supply.

Don’t try to “Keep up with the Joneses.” Don’t try to live the same way you once did, when you worked full-time for someone else.

With the steady  paycheck, the nice vacations, the new cars, and the good times etc.

This is an important one.

One that I personally had to learn the hard way. Use your money saved towards the new business.

A good quote from Jeff Bezos, Founder, Amazon, “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

When Amazon started in 1994, Jeff Bezos drove his packages to the post office, with his 1987 Chevy Blazer. Made in America.

4. START FOCUSING & AVOIDING DISTRACTIONS

Entrepreneurs can easily lose their focus.

Caused by a number of things, including financial matters, health and family concerns, and owner’s isolation syndrome. Just to name a few.

For first year survival and beyond, you need to keep your eye on the ball, at all times.

Ask yourself this question daily; am I marketing, selling, and working with clients today?

If not, you are wasting your time.

Remember, the clock is ticking on new business failure.

Keep reminding yourself daily why you became an entrepreneur in the first place. Start-up and Survive.    

5. START OFFERING MORE VALUE

Now days, it’s tough for any business, regardless of size, to successfully compete and win new business.

The days of signing up new clients or customers with ease, are long gone. With COVID-19, previous recessions, the fierce competition, (especially online) have all made it very difficult to close the sale.

These days you need to fight “tooth and nail” to get more new customers.

Breaking News: The reasons really don’t matter. What matters most is generating revenue, continuing to pay the bills, grow the business.

And stay out of the business failure graveyard.

What will help? Three words? Offer more value.

Try this strategy on for size, always give people more value for their hard earned money. Show More Value, or Lose the Sale.

6. START STAYING POSITIVE & CONFIDENT, ALWAYS!

It can be hard to stay chipper all the time, especially during slow periods.

Not to mention during a pandemic. But clients/customers still prefer buying from someone who is friendly, knowledgeable and confident.

Knowing that buying their services or products will help them.

New entrepreneurs need to visualize success at all times, not failure.

By visualizing success, your actions will become more confident.

Remember, your new business will be a marathon, not a sprint. Said Steve Jobs, Founder, Apple, “If you look closely, most overnight successes took a very long time.”

When tough times, show up, (and they will) try listening some Beethoven.

Despite being totally deaf, Beethoven composed some of the world’s most beautiful, optimistic, and inspiring music.

I know listening to Beethoven has helped me several times come up with solutions to problems and many challenges.

7. START BEING THE BEST AT WHAT YOU DO

Regardless of what you sell or make, always strive to be the best.

Providing consistent and outstanding customer quality, exceptional service to your customers/clients matters. Why?

New business survival and growth. Want a great example of one very determined entrepreneur, who committed to quality right at day one, and to this day?  Fredrick W. Smith, FedEx. https://bit.ly/3os3Kew

Need another inspiring entrepreneur story? Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin. Said Branson; There’s no reason for second best.  In the end, if you create the best, the best will always succeed.”  Losing My Virginity: How I Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way https://amzn.to/3s81Ima

Said Elon Musk, Founder Tesla and SpaceX, “If a company does not provide a great product or service, it should not exist.”

8. START BUILDING YOUR TESTIMONIALS

A great, necessary way of attracting, signing up new clients/customers, yesterday, today, and tomorrow? Showcase your testimonials from satisfied clients/customers. These will be a mandatory component of your sales tool kit and sales cycle.

Put them on your website, put them on your Google Business Profile page. https://www.google.com/business/Trust matters now more than even, when it comes to people giving up their hard earned money.

9. START EXECUTING DAILY, DON’T STOP!

Remember, the clock is ticking daily towards new business failure.

Use your daily hours wisely. Entrepreneurship is still all about doing vs. talking. Said Michael Dell, Founder, Dell, “Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not.” More helpful thoughts: “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” Steve Jobs, Founder, Apple. Good advice.

Another example of continuous execution? S. Tuett Cathy, Founder, Chick-fil-A. His first day’s sales? $58.20. Now, $13.7 billion system-wide sales in 2020. How Did You Do It, Truett? https://amzn.to/32RUc6a

10. SEE #’S 1,2, AND 9 AGAIN!

BONUS TIPFor new business survival and growth, a very helpful book: The Art of the Start 2.0.

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