Tips to survive your first year in business | BDC.ca

Step 5–Your new company's first year

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For many businesses, the first year of operation can be very tumultuous. But planning ahead, reaching out to obtain the resources you need and surrounding yourself with the right people can ease some of those growing pains.

Here’s advice you can follow to have a successful first year in business.

Grow your business

Day-to-day operations will take up a great deal of your time as you start your business. But as the owner of a small business, you also have to manage your company's growth. This means learning key skills that make your business stand out from the pack.

Prepare to hire employees

As your company grows, you may need to hire employees. You can visit BDC’s Employees page for an introduction to recruiting and managing employees.

Focus on customer services

A 2015 BDC survey of growing companies in Canada found that nearly all of them (99%) mentioned that having a good grasp of client needs and satisfying them was a decisive factor in ensuring their business’s growth. Serving your clients well and adapting your products and services to their needs is a proven way to increase your sales to existing clients and attract new ones.

Perfect your Internet strategy

Now that you have a business, creating a great website should be one of your main priorities, if you haven’t done so already.

Here are some tools that can help you explore Internet marketing and e-commerce.

Start Networking

Networking is an essential part of success for entrepreneurs. Networking provides an excellent opportunity to get away from your daily routine, to meet other dynamic young professionals and even lay the groundwork for partnering on a future project.

  • Read BDC’s article “6 strategies for improving your business networking skills” to make the most of your networking opportunities.
  • Contact your local chamber(s) of commerce. Your municipality may have a list of local business associations on its website.
  • Also think about contacting the local branch of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses, Futurpreneur and other organization to find out about interesting events happening close to you.
  • Visit industry trade shows and conference to meet other entrepreneurs and experts in your field.
  • Have you getting a mentor? BDC has a Business Coaching program that could be right for you. Futurpreneur Canada also has an excellent mentoring program for young entrepreneurs.

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