Tagged: Small business

Former CEO of Elevate Venture Stephen Hourigan Discusses the Most Common Problems Small Businesses Face in their First Year

It is common knowledge that starting a new business is a risky venture, but one that may prove incredibly rewarding both personally and financially. According to SBA estimates, more than 627,000 new businesses are started each year in the United States. Statistically, only 25% of these new businesses will make it past 15 years, with over 25% failing in the first two years. Stephen Hourigan, Elevate Ventures’ former CEO and current CEO of Drug-Free Therapeutics, has spent over 20 years helping build revenue and create long-lasting business strategies. Today, Stephen Hourigan of Elevate Ventures will discuss the most common problems small businesses face during their first 12 months and the best ways to solve these problems and build a thriving business. 

Successful Marketing Operations

Throughout his career, Steven Hourigan has often found that many new businesses rush into marketing campaigns without taking the time to create the foundation for successful marketing operations. This can easily be solved by businesses focusing their resources on finding their target audience and not wasting efforts on advertising to people outside this demographic. In order to optimize resources and increase the likelihood of a successful marketing campaign, new businesses must learn what’s important to their target customers. Once a business has obtained this information, it can save thousands of dollars and be able to more clearly create a strategy to connect with their customers in the future. 


Perhaps the most common problem for small businesses in the first 12 months of operation is revenue. Without an established customer base or client list, many new companies can struggle to make a profit. In order to more effectively build revenue, Stephen Hourigan recommends: 

Purchasing Leads: A common practice for many new businesses is to purchase leads. While this is an essential first step to build a client base, purchasing a list from a company that has not done its proper research could lead to a lost budget. For this reason, it is crucial to find a reputable company to supply leads. 

Online Presence: Creating a landing page may be an obvious first step, but it can help to funnel audiences to services or products and help establish clients within the first few weeks of operations.