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4 ways to help your business survive its first year

From business plans to cyber security, there is plenty you can do to boost your chances of business success

Taking the plunge and starting your own business is never an easy decision to make, so anyone who has managed to get even that far deserves both respect and recognition. However, the next key challenge is ensuring that your business manages to reach success, rather than fizzling out before it’s really found its feet.

The first year is crucial to this. As both an exciting and scary time for any business, the first year is when your business is most fragile, meaning it can be taken down by a variety of variables including high expenses and things not going to plan. So if you can get through your first year, there is no reason why your business shouldn’t be able to reach new heights, build momentum and reach success.

To help you reach this point, the expert team at Syntax IT Support London put together this list of 4 ways to give your business the best chance of getting through that all-important year one.

Take another look at your business plan

When you start your own business, one of the initial challenges you’ll face is creating your own business plan. For many small business owners, this is a daunting and confusing task that inevitably leads to a not-too-detailed end product. Therefore, it’s important to set aside a decent chunk of time to look back over your business plan and see whether it needs improving.

Without a plan to reference and look back on, you won’t be able to correctly determine how close or far you are from achieving your goals, and how on-track your progress is. You may not even have a clear idea of what those goals are, so a comprehensive business plan to refer to is key.

Keep your employees motivated

Remember, your employees don’t necessarily have the same loyalty to your business as you do, so if things aren’t going well there is nothing to stop them finding work elsewhere. The first year of a business can be hard on employees who want to see the results of their hard work straight away, so it’s important that you keep them motivated.

If things take a while to gain traction in your first twelve months, reinforce your company culture and enact measures to show your employees that you value their efforts and care about them. This could be something as simple as treating them to a lunch or letting them leave an hour earlier to start the weekend after a particularly long week. These simple acts of kindness won’t go unnoticed, and will help keep your employees on side until the rewards of your efforts start rolling in.

Boost your cyber security

Online security is a key aspect of any modern business, as so much of our communication and documentation is done online. However, with online work comes the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches. This can be disastrous and extremely costly, so it’s important to make sure your cyber security is up to date. Strong passwords, encrypted files and using secure cloud-based software are all simple measures which will significantly reduce the risk of your business falling victim to a hacking attack. You should also brief your employees on online security by making sure they know about common threats like phishing emails and spam sites.

Cut any unnecessary expenses

One of the most common mistakes new businesses make in their first year is spending a lot of money early on and assuming they’ll be able to make it back up without issue. However, this isn’t always the case, so it’s best to be cautious and save spending wherever possible. This could mean something as simple as going paperless or furnishing your office with second-hand items.