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How To Survive Year One: Part Two

Jun 30, 2016 | Operating Your Company

How To Survive Year One: Part TwoDon’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.” – Drew Houston, Dropbox founder + CEO

On Tuesday we discussed how to avoid some pitfalls during the all-important first year of your company’s life.

Though the numbers aren’t always in the favor of the new small business owner, you can still make some great achievements. Rather than just prevent problems, here are some tips to help you thrive during these critical and exciting 12 months.

Draft a Business Plan

Take a seat and write it down. No matter your best method of writing — alone, with a partner, long-hand, talking into a recorder and transcribing, whatever suits you best — just get the ideas down into a legible, simple-as-possible plan. It should be like giving directions to someone who does not have a GPS.

Make a note of the problem your business can solve, whose lives you’ll enrich, and some realistic timelines.

Establish A Marketing Plan

You should also budget for your businesses’ marketing plan. This includes:

  • your web site
  • managing social media
  • public relations
  • advertising (yes, sometimes you have to spend money to make it)

Depending on your company’s size and available finances, you could hire a person solely dedicated to to all this. Or you could outsource to a marketing firm. Cost could be a factor, so know your needs and what campaigns you might want to launch and assess if it’s better to coordinated internally, externally, or both.

Reviewing all this is time well spent because it is an indicator of how you’ll connect with potential clients.

Target Different Markets

As part of your strategy you can also consider targeting other markets. See if there are other markets that could also serve you well. This goes hand-in-hand with the idea of taking your product/service/business “to another level.” You might find gaps in other markets that could provide new opportunities.

Monitor Performance and Adjust Accordingly

However you measure your success — whether by dollars, clientele or insertion orders — always plan to refine your processes based on the results. If you’re only reactive, you may not respond to a problem fast enough and new opportunities could go by the wayside. Always seek to improve in all facets of business and life. Keep thinking positively, but install some failsafes.

These are just some of the ways to help you succeed in the formative year of your business and we may explore some more next month. Contact Brinen & Associates to discuss how these tips can help your company.

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July weekend!


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I formerly worked as a satellite employee from my home state of New Jersey. I ended my employment with my former employer in 2016. In 2018, I was sued by my former employer for $1.1 million in Illinois State Court. I was referred to Brinen & Associates, LLC by a friend who is a client of the firm. Brinen & Associates, LLC came highly recommended. I contacted Joshua Brinen and then had a consultation at his office with his colleague Mark White. Together, Messrs. Brinen and White explained my options...

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