With few new UK businesses surviving to reach their second birthday, we asked followers of @StartUpDonut, @MarketingDonut, @TaxDonut, @LawDonut and @ITDonut on Twitter and members of our Facebook network for their advice about how to make it through your first two years in business…
@JudithMorgan: Head down. Hard work. Plough on.
@JigsawCare: Support of family. Thick skin, hard work, endurance and remaining excited/positive that your service can have positive impact.
@rachelperry01: Networking & marketing. Not expecting customers to flood to you just because you're open for business...
@hcnewhouse: #Cashflow – without a doubt IMO. If you don't have cash everything dries up.
@CrtivCornerCafe: Determination. Commitment. Help. Hard work. All clichéd, but all true.
@EmmaWalker01: Strong back bone, it's really hard. And lonely. But you got to just keep going at it.
@Rileyandcoltd: Key to survival = cashflow, flexibility, stamina, understanding the market, including competitors, USP.
@enhance_me: Good customer care, if you can build up a customer base prior to launch even better! Have key goals, too!
@CharlieMoos: Sticking to your original idea. Biggest problem when I first started was I would do anything anyone asked – it nearly killed me!
@AgnesCserhati: Cashflow, determination, resilience, support by coach/mentor, ability to identify/focus on priorities and sense of humour.
@Change4Life_UK: Having great passion for what you do, and being successful at it, generates word of mouth and many referrals.
@nicholabates: A great network of other entrepreneurs around you. Good to have like-minded people to share your successes & failures with.
@HeathersNet: Decide your target buyer & go 4 it. Master your cashflow and network, network, network. Have enough money put by for ur 1st yr.
@jmbratley: Key to survival: business plan; control costs; accurate & up-to-date accounting records; self-believe; determination.
Debbie Oldham (self-employed at TanTastic): Consistent methods and working hard 24/7.
Yiannis Gedeon: Don’t get disappointed by mistakes. You’ll make lots. It is normal and it will pay off in the long run.
Cat Moyle: Give yourself a day off every now and even though there is a temptation not to (space helps creativity), look after yourself (without you there is no business), be prepared to question but never compromise your values (they are what make you and your business you-nique). Smile as much as possible.
SuperTollFree: Make sure you put yourself and your company out there. If people don't know who you are, you won't be able to grow. Especially in your first year, it's important to build up even a small set of loyal clients.
Sian Lenegan (managing director at Sixth Story): It's all about clarity... defining why you do what you do, what you do and linking that to your customers' pain. If you can clearly articulate what you do in your brand communications it'll make for a strong foundation. Also invest in your brand identity – it's showing your attitude and claiming your stake in the world, it shows people how you value yourself, so take it seriously!
Antonia Chitty (director at ACEInspire): Persistence – don't give up, because you'll face many hurdles. Be prepared with a good support network, both practical and emotional, to help you leap over each one.
Mandy Hemingway: Wine.