It is an unfortunate fact that most businesses fail within the first 6 months. There are reasons for this.
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Some of those reasons include lack of capital, no staying power, and the proper systems are nonexistent. By the end of the 6th month, the business owner is faced with the decision to fold the business.
There are, however, some things that you can do in the first six months to keep the business in operation. You do have a lot to do within the first six months. For instance, there are systems that need to be set up to ensure sound business practices and consistency. You also need to secure yourself financially.
Here is a month-by-month breakdown of what you need to do within the first 6 months to ensure your business runs smoothly:
- 1st month - a small number of employees. Don't hire more than you will need or you will lose a lot of your capital in wages. When you notice business picking up and your employees becoming busy, hire another part time person. Only build on to your staff based on your business needs. Do what you can on your own to try and keep the payroll to a minimum for a while.
- You also need to explore affordable marketing. The Internet is a great place to start because you have social networking websites that allow you target your geographic area. Be sure to print business cards as well.
- Also, make sure you have a grand opening celebration. This will use some of your capital, but will get the attention of those whose attention you need in order to be a success.
- 2nd month – If you did not do so in the first month, assign a business manager. This person can be an assistant to you. They will act in your stead when you are gone.
- Once you have the money to do so, create a business website if you have not already. If you do not have the money yet, this is something you can do later.
Continue your marketing tasks.
- 3rd month – If you have not had to yet, take an inventory and order more. The goal is to get to the point where you have to order inventory on a monthly basis and then a bi-weekly to weekly basis.
- It is now that you want to evaluate your existing business marketing strategy and see if it is truly working. If so, you want to keep it. However, you also want to implement a new strategy at this time. If your income allows you to, try print advertising, buy ad space in sports programs, and
- Evaluate how your staff is handling the work load and hire someone else if you need to. You also need to reevaluate your
- Fourth month – If you have made the profit, look into printing brochures or create a catalog where customers can order your products. You may even want to release a monthly newsletter that highlights new products that have come in and offers discounts.
- Fifth month – Again, you want to evaluate how your staff is doing. Identify any lack of organization and fix it. By this point, you will need to make sure your staff is remaining motivated.
- Sixth month – Now that you have six months of business income under your belt, now is the time you can apply for the business credit card. The business credit card is going to help your income flow only when you need it. You don't want to use it when you don't need it because you want to have that available credit to help you when you do need it.
By following these tips, you can survive the first 6 months of your startup business and it can survive many of the pitfalls that occur.