Startup Survival: 4 Tips for Getting Through the Crucial First Year

by Inc.

FDR famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear, itself.” But he wasn’t launching a startup.

Let’s face it: few things have the potential to be more terrifying and nerve racking than your startup’s first year. The fear of both personal and financial failure can be constant and very real. But it doesn’t have to be that way, writes Penelope Trunk, founder of three VC-funded startups. In a guest post for Inc. she provides first-year entrepreneurs with four ways to “make those worries less prevalent so you can focus on the real task at hand, which is building a company from the ground up.”

With a plethora of factors beyond their control, it’s crucial for startup founders to focus on the few things they can determine, Trunk advises, including choosing the right location that enables you to cut down on expenses and save as much money as possible. Not every startup needs to be located in Silicon Valley, especially when the goal should first be to figure out what you’re doing. You should also try not to count on anything outside of your own control — that includes not counting on funding. Making it on your own is incredibly tough, but it also says a lot, and it will pay off in the long run. “The truth is that the first year is a sort of hazing period,” Trunk writes. “If you can get through that, then investors will believe you can get through a lot.”

For more on surviving your startup’s first year, read the full post here.

Related Content from OpenView:

There is arguably no time that is more important and formative to a startup’s future success than the first year. Once you hit “go” it’s going to be off to the races, so it’s important to do as much planning and preparation ahead of time as possible. That includes choosing the right strategy and approach. One approach that’s been getting a lot of attention is the lean startup methodology. Read this interview with Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, the find out whether it’s the right strategy for you. And for insight into what you need to prepare for on the legal side of things, read this post from the OpenView Blog.