How New Businesses Fail in the First Year

Starting your business can simultaneously be the most exciting and the most nerve-wracking time in your life. Of course, seeing a personal dream come to fruition is a big accomplishment and should be celebrated! However, the first year is the most fragile year of your fledgling business and that fact should never be taken for granted. Through our own experience and our interviews with other successful entrepreneurs, we have uncovered a few ways your new business can fail in the first year. Join us, and read on:

Questionable Business Ideas

Picture this; you’re so excited about your potential new business idea because it’s something no one else has come up with and you believe it’s going to revolutionize your industry. You can’t wait to start sharing this with people, so you start by discussing it with your friends. You organize a get-together and with great conviction, passion and energy deliver your idea to them over dinner… only to receive a table full of blank stares. We’re talking crickets – no response, other than maybe one or two, “Oh”s or “That’s interesting”s.

In our experience, this response could most certainly indicate that this idea needs a little more research before it’s ready to be built into a business. We often ask ourselves when we come up with new ideas that seem simple – If it were so easy to make this happen, why isn’t anyone doing it yet?  A smart practice is to test ideas on a smaller scale before investing too much – by discussing with friends, family and co-workers, or other industry professionals. Conducting a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) is also a good way to assess your idea’s potential.

Lack of Financing

“Money makes the world go ‘round” isn’t just a corny turn of phrase; it’s also an accurate depiction of the life of a small business owner. The more money you have, or can get access to, the more likely you are to succeed. As mentioned in our previous blog 5 Commonly Unexpected Challenges of New Business Owners, there are many ways to secure investment capital for your business, however, we want you to know about some of the more basic options that weren’t already laid out for you there. Think about pitching the idea of investment to family or friends or investigate a line of credit with your bank. You also have a great resource here in Bay Street Diary – and we’d love to discuss all the potential ways you can grow your business with us.

Poor Planning

Let us guess – you had the idea, the passion, and the drive to sell your idea to the world, but you’re not the most confident in your planning skills. Are we close? We thought so, and we can tell you that you’re certainly not alone. The passion and creativity that commonly drive new business ideas aren’t always accompanied by the advanced organization and planning skills by nature. In our first blog, The Essential Small Business Checklist, we provide a great outline of important things to consider – a detailed business plan being the very first item on the list. Check out that article for more information on what you need to create a great business plan as well as some other amazing wisdom. We also encourage you to reach out to us directly through our connect page here and have a conversation with our team about how we can work together!


When you’re starting your own business, there’s a lot more work and a lot more commitment than is typically required in a 9 to 5 desk job. You as the business owner are responsible for paying all the bills, day-to-day operations, managing the budget, acquiring inventory, caring for your customers and everything else under the sun (even buying staples – you might not think about them until you really need them!). When you have no experience in managing all the aspects of a business, it can get confusing, overwhelming and disheartening.

Breaking into the world of entrepreneurship requires much more than just passion and commitment; a new business owner needs the wherewithal to know when they require support, the ability to see past their pride to ask for it, and the resources to get it! Our sole purpose at Bay Street Diary is to be a fully equipped system of support and mentorship for new business owners. We have an extensive array of knowledge and experience that is all just a conversation away!


Think back to November 2019 – could you have imagined that our economy would be in the state that it’s currently in today? As we are all sequestered away in our homes currently, we’ve been over-exposed to the news stories on Covid-19 and the billions of dollars being lost due to the outbreak. We are seeing businesses that cannot make quick changes to their current practices start to close their doors. The interesting part is we are also seeing business owners make some amazing discoveries on how to adapt their business to the current economic climate!

Retail stores that only sold via brick-and-mortar moved to 100% e-commerce, and businesses offering in-person classes moved to webinars and group chats online. We have to say we’re impressed with the ingenuity this seems to be unleashing. It’s certainly made us appreciate how important creative, outside-the-box thinking is in the world of business today.

While predicting the future isn’t an option, the ability to be flexible and adaptable is becoming more and more necessary in our world of constant change.

At Bay Street Diary we want to make sure you, as a new business owner, are aware that the potential for failure is very real in the first year of business. However, if you arm yourself with knowledge, support, and the right level of expectation, you can course-correct quickly and keep afloat. Our vast supply of resources could be just the life-raft you need to help make your business thrive. Reach out to us today and let’s get to work!


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