How to Survive Your First Year in Business

In a piece appearing in The Sydney Morning Herald, entrepreneur Mark Harbottle offers tips to help startups avoid some common mistakes.  His first suggestion?  Set up the right business structure within the first 12 months.  “It can get hard and expensive to change down the track,” he writes.

Harbottle’s other tips:

1) Be open to change —  Let your customers guide you.  Figure out the one or two things they really care about, then focus your time and energy on those things.

2) Be pound wise, penny foolish — “It’s OK to spend on small things that could make a difference to your business over time,” he writes. “Buy lunch for your top customer, or a mentor to pick their brains.  Sweat the big expenses, not the small ones.”

3) Focus on cash — Always know how much you have in the bank.  Try to keep a buffer of at least a month or two of cash during your first year.

4) Pace yourself — Don’t forget to look after yourself, especially if you plan to be in business for the long term.

You can find Mark Harbottle’s full article here.

About Lynne Strang

I'm a freelance writer who helps organizations and individuals meet their marketing and communications goals. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." To learn more, please visit my website:
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, Careers, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Success. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to How to Survive Your First Year in Business

  1. As a business woman being on the market a little bit over a year now – I really appreciate this post with very useful and interesting tips. Funny we know them but we tend not to put them in reality…
    Thank you

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