Starting a business is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance to make it in the world of entrepreneurship, and the first year is undoubtedly the most difficult. In order to make your first year in business a little bit easier, we have put together a guide to help you navigate these waters. 
These tips will help you create a strong foundation and set your enterprise up for success for years to come. 

#1 - Create a Business Plan (Preferably with Professional Help) 

If you are going to start a business, it’s important that you create a plan. A solid business plan is the foundation of any successful enterprise, so make sure your efforts begin here. 
However, if it's your first time starting a business or you're entering a new industry, it can feel impossible to know where to start. 
This it's why it's worth investing in the advice of a professional accountant or financial advisor to help you create a realistic and achievable business plan. With their help, you can identify the areas of your business that are most at risk and put preventative measures in place to minimise potential damage. 
It's best to work with someone who specialises in your particular industry or business model because they will have the resources and knowledge to help you plan for potential risks in your particular sector. 
They can create comprehensive financial projections that take into account market trends and provide a realistic outlook of what your first year in business could look like. This is critical because it allows you to anticipate challenges before they happen, giving you a leg up in the industry. 

#2 - Be Productive, Not Busy 

When you're running your own enterprise, it's easy to feel like every minute of the day should be spent working on business development. 
However, sometimes being busy doesn't mean that you are productive with your time. In fact, overworking yourself can quickly lead to burnout and lower productivity in the long run. To avoid this, make sure you have a schedule and stick to it. 
While that may sound obvious, we often get caught up in the momentum of work and lose track of time. Having a daily schedule will help you stay on task by holding yourself accountable for completing tasks within specific parameters of time, allowing you to get more done with less effort. 
It's also important to outsource lower value tasks as soon as you're able to do so. This will free up more of your time to focus on the high-priority activities that are crucial to the success of your business. 

#3 - Reinvest in Your Business 

One of the main reasons businesses fail in their first year is a lack of capital. 
When you're starting out, it's important to reinvest any profits back into your business in order to fuel its growth. This could include hiring new staff, expanding your product offering, or investing in marketing initiatives. 
If you don't have the capital to invest in the growth of your business, you can apply for a small business loan. These loans are designed specifically for startups and small businesses like yours who need extra money to get their businesses off the ground. 
However, if you take this path it's important that you do so with caution as taking on debt puts added risk and pressure on your business. You must carefully weigh the costs of taking out a loan against the benefits it will bring you and determine if it’s truly a wise move at this stage in your enterprise’s life cycle. 
An accountant can help you weigh the pros and cons of taking out a loan to finance your business growth. They can also help you choose the right loan product by comparing features and benefits from different lenders and even negotiate better terms on your behalf. In addition to this, they will help you prepare all necessary documents and financial statements to maximise your chances of being approved. 

Final Thoughts 

Starting a business can be difficult, but with the right advice and planning you can increase your chances of success. In this article, we have highlighted three tips to help you survive your first year in business. Firstly, it is important to work with an advisor who specialises in your industry or business model as they will have the resources and knowledge to help you plan for potential risks. Secondly, make sure you are productive, not busy by sticking to a schedule and outsourcing lower value tasks. Finally, reinvest any profits back into your business in order to fuel its growth. These tips should give you a good starting point for building a successful enterprise. 
Written by: 
Nicola J Sorrell - Effective Accounting 
Founder | Xero Champion | IR35 Expert 
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