Is Your Company Achieving What It Should After Its First Year
Starting a business is like venturing into the woods. You’re never quite sure how things will turn out on the other side. That’s why your first year is like an experiment. You’ll hit roadblocks, make mistakes, question your ideas, and learn a lot. Thus, you shouldn’t expect to achieve everything in your first year or get discouraged if your startup isn’t profitable yet.
Of course, it’ll take money to float your business through the ebbs and flows of the sales cycles in your first year and beyond. Camino Financial offers flexible business loans to ensure that no business is left behind.
So what should you achieve in the first year?
7 business goals to hit in your first year
Perfect your business models
First-year into business, you should understand the best model that will work for your business, understand the supply chain, and unique needs in your industry. Studying business models in your vertical is great, but don’t fear to be original.
For instance, you may start as a B2C. A few months down the line, you realize that businesses like yours struggle to find suppliers. That’s a gap that needs to be filled. Can you change it into a B2B model? Or maybe, you realize that you can start renting instead of selling.
Perfect your product
Startups get started with a minimum viable product. It’s a simplified version of your product that contains the basic elements of the final product. The aim is to test the market, get early feedback and gauge your product’s or service’s likeability
After the first year, you should have the final product with all the distinguishing features that make it stand out from similar products in the market. Take customer feedback and integrate their needs and wants into the final products.
At times, the positive and negative customer feedback you get may point you to an entirely new business path and open new doors you never thought existed.
Manage your startup’s cash flow
A few businesses become an overnight success. Most of them don’t break even in the first year, leave alone making a profit. The most important thing is to nail your startup’s cash flow within the first year. At least, you should be able to pay bills, cover payroll, maintain stock levels, and support daily business operations.
Your cash flow statement should be able to tell how much cash flow you need to float your business until it breaks even, and where money needs to be invested to maintain business growth and avoid death traps. It may mean using personal savings, or taking out capital working loans from reputable fintech lenders.
Nail your market and customer profile
The junk hip of failed businesses is full of startups that ignore the market and customer concerns. Invest time and resources to understand the market and your client base. You should be able to forecast business potential in your industry and how you expect to grow going forward.
Use surveys, interviews, and customer feedback to understand your customer needs and create in-depth buyer personas. That’s what will guide you in decision-making and help you offer products and services that solve your customer pain points. Don’t celebrate your first anniversary without that knowledge.
Have the right team
Your team is the most important asset your company has. Focus on building the best team and cultivating the right corporate culture to prepare your business for future growth in the first year. Invest in employee training, tools, and motivation programs to equip your team and make sure that every team player is well invested in achieving business goals and aspirations.
With 80% of customers discovering businesses online and 54% of social media users using social media to research new products, you can’t afford to go through your first year without an online presence. Invest in a professional business website and establish a strong social media presence. If you do, you’ll be missing an opportunity to build brand awareness and spread the word about your startup.
Partner with the right lenders
The bottom line is, it takes money to float a startup to profitability. Lack of financing is the top reason why most startups tank in the first year. You should know where to turn if you need cash quickly by the end of your first year in business.
It’s where fintech lenders like Camino Financial come in. Unlike banks, fintech lenders have a simple application process and offer faster funding.
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