Surviving The Early Days Of Starting A Business

At Blandy’s Wine Lodge, Funchal, Madeira

The initial phase of a startup is often the most stressful. It’s a time when your business is still fragile and where every mistake can be a fatal error. There’s no market interest for your brand yet, so no customers flocking to your brick-and-mortar or eCommerce store nor are there any venture capitalists or angel investors knocking on your doors to back you up. Surviving the early days, however, is key to staying in the game long enough to reach your break-even point and start making money. Here are six tips that will help keep your startup in the running:

Get a Good Co-Founder

Statistically speaking, businesses have a higher probability of surviving their early days if they have a good co-founder on board. Startups with a balanced team, mainly one founder focusing on the technical side and another focusing on the business side, are bound to raise at least 30 percent more capital. In addition, they have almost three times faster user growth and almost 20 percent less likely to scale too early, which almost always eventually leads to a catastrophic failure.

Use Your Fundraising Time Wisely

While essential, fundraising can be a huge productivity zapper. Aside from raising capital for your startup operations, your secondary objective should be to absorb as much information as you can. When you host a fundraising campaign, focus on talking with investors and building a relationship with them. Investors and venture capitalists don’t like suck-ups and those who are just interested in talking to them to get to their money. They want people they can trust. Once you establish rapport with investors, the capital and connections will start pouring in.

Prepare For the Temporary Failures

If you look at any startup scene, you’ll notice that many of the startup founders and teams are impressively smart and competitive. They’ve thought about every aspect of their business and the market surrounding it, down to the most minute detail. As you think about it, you’ll realize that it’s not a matter of who is smart and who isn’t. It’s a matter of who can ride out the storm. Expect to encounter countless scenarios of failure and rejection from customers and investors. Being persistent means taking the hits and getting back up to fight another day. The longer you stay standing, the more opportunities for success you’ll get.

Hire the Right People

The early days of your business is when cash is limited. You don’t want to be paying salary plus benefits on people who you don’t need yet or at all. Every business is only as good as the people operating behind the curtains. When hiring, prioritize who you bring into the workplace. Sit down with your co-founder and start hiring people who can help you create and refine products/services, build and market a brand, and manage cash flow. Roles to prioritize include accountant, product manager, and software engineers to manage your digital footprint.

Focus on Surviving, Not Scaling

Most business owners and entrepreneurs attempt to grow and scale their enterprise faster than they should. Scaling your business is a strategy that requires the right timing. Scale too quickly and you’ll end up distributing your limited resources too thin while scaling too late could lead to relatively slow growth. Make sure to focus on surviving and creating a sustainable business model first.


Survival in the business sense essentially takes the same level of effort and the same key factors as you would while trying to survive out in the real world. Carefully planning and preparing, learning and doing your research, and asking the help of other people who have the expertise and connections are all effective moves to stay in the race.

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How to Explode Your Business Growth With 2018’s Hottest Trends

By MJ Plaster

Traders live and die by the trend. “The trend is your friend,” they say. Amateur traders who become emotionally attached to a stock hang on too long, just as stubborn business owners hang on to something “they’ve always done” instead of reading the tea leaves and adjusting to meet emerging business conditions.

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What Your Business Can Learn From The Holidays

The holidays are a magical season. Retailers often see more sales in November and December than any other months. Sometimes they see more sales in those two months than in all the other months in the year combined!

Yet you should never direct your efforts to those two months and forget the other 10 months out of the year. Your business thrives during those months because you have put in all that extra effort. It’s important to try to direct some of that effort to your business throughout the year.

The holidays can also show you a lot about your business. In fact, you can learn a lot about your business based on what goes on during the two holiday months. If your business plan has holes, they will grow to the size of beach balls during the holidays. Find out some tips and tricks that you can employ all year to ensure your business stays fruitful even in the slower seasons.

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How To Decide If That Big Purchase Is Worth It

It’s normal to feel some trepidation before you make a big purchase. On the one hand, you’re excited about purchasing a product or experience that you’ve had your eye on, but on the other, you may wonder if this is how you should be spending your hard-earned money. Everyone gets a bit nervous about wasting money, and that feeling is magnified when it would be hundreds or thousands of dollars.

You don’t need to agonize over those big purchases, though. These simple tips will help you figure out if you should go through with a purchase or save your money. Continue reading

2018 Resolutions Every Small Business Should Make

For most people, New Year’s resolutions go something like this: lose weight, quit smoking, wake up earlier, finally use that gym membership I keep paying for, be more kind, donate to a charity…

For small business owners, though, New Year’s resolutions often revolve around their finances, profits and bottom line. Here are a few resolutions to consider making now so that you can turn 2018 into the best year ever. Continue reading

Grace Under Pressure: How to Zap the Holiday Crazies

By MJ Plaster

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” right? Not necessarily. For many people, it’s second only to election season on the crazy scale. Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, there’s precious little time between work, professional functions, shopping, decorating, attending parties and hosting family-and-friend get togethers. The week before Christmas starts the “full-on crazy” period.

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6 Tips For Getting Debt Under Control In 2018

If you have outstanding debt, you may feel like you’re drowning some days. Getting out of debt is an excellent plan for the new year. Here are a few ways that you can take back control of your financial life.

1. Prioritize your debt by interest rate.

The higher your interest rate, the more you’re going to pay overall. Prioritize your debt by interest rate, not by the amount you have to repay. A lower bill now could end up higher than your highest bill if it has an outrageous interest rate. This is also a good time to take complete stock of all of your debt and to get a realistic of view of exactly how much you owe. Continue reading

Sexual Harassment: Mediasplaining vs. Fact


By MJ Plaster

As the list of outted perverts grows, it makes you wonder if it would be easier to create a list of people who don’t sexually harass or inappropriately touch people over whom they have power. At the same time, it seems that men are in danger of having their every glance and utterance cataloged to prove harassment. It doesn’t help that everything has become a microaggression.

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Early 2018 Tax Tips For Small Businesses

With only a countable number of days remaining to wrap up the year 2017, small businesses are getting everything needed to file tax of the ending year. As you approach January of the year 2018, ensure that you have all the documents pertaining transactions of your business for the year 2017.

But even before you reach out to your accountant, there are a number of tips that you need to familiarize yourself with. Stay tuned here to find the tips on what you should do or just understand as you approach January 2018.  Continue reading

Four Tips For Giving Great Gifts Without Breaking The Bank

As the holidays roll around we all start to look for ways to cut corners and save as much of our hard earned money as possible. The good news is that it is absolutely possible (and even easy) to save money without sacrificing any holiday joys! Let’s take a look at some effective ways to have a truly memorable holiday season without breaking the bank. Continue reading