The first year of a startup shouldn’t be seen as make or break. So many startups just look at the prize in the distance, and begin the wacky races like sprint to the finish.
Just look at Dick Dastardly. Always plying for the shortcut, but never winning the race. Maybe had he spent more time becoming a better driver, and less of the cheap tricks, he might have won a race. Your startup journey should be viewed in a similar fashion.
Take the proper route, and take it slow. Year one is playtime. The first year of your startup is the best, and possibly only time, to really just learn the skills needed to make your business a lasting success. You need to build solid foundations on which to grow on. Business-specific skills aside, there are 3 skill sets you must learn in the first year of your startup to increase your chances of winning that race to the grand prize of success.
Learning self promotion (and finding work).
Unfortunately, the race to the prize of success features more than one contestant, and it is hella’ competitive. Step forward the first essential skill that should use your first year to develop.
The ability to big yourself up, and talk your business.
This does take work, and lots of practise. Promoting yourself, and your startup, requires many tactics; promotional items such as business cards, using all social media avenues, networking, building a website, relying on some positive word of mouth, and a healthy dose of fortune. Use your first year to find out what works for you. Take time to work on your branding, and find what avenues gain you the best audience and engagement.
With social media, sign up to your accounts and learn how they work. There is more to it than it seems. Make sure the photography is of high standard, and start to work out which hashtags, times of day and styles of post are bringing in the positive feedback.