How to Survive and Thrive in Your First 90 Days

Our friends at Disruptivos offer a mix of inspirational and educational tips to get you through the first 3 months of business.

All-in-one Swiss army knife with hand.
Portrait of Gavin

Posted by Gavin

• 4 min read

Congrats! You've launched! So, what's next? The first 3 months are crucial for the future success of your business. At last count, 79 % of small businesses make it through their first year.

With that in mind, we reached out to Mailchimp Partner, Disruptivos, to create a guide. Based in Málaga, Spain, the marketing agency focuses on launching and growing businesses. They were kind of enough to let us borrow the brain of María Ortiz, who specializes in customer relationship management (CRM), email, and content.

María gave us an inspiring mix of educational tips and tools for the ideal survival kit, including narrowing your focus, setting realistic milestones, and taking time for self-care.

Timeline illustrating Day 1 - Day 30 of starting a business.

Day 1 — Day 30

Focus

"During the first month, the best thing you can include in the survival kit is a high dose of patience and calm. This period of time is going to be very stressful, in which many and unexpected problems will arise. Just breathe, open your eyes and ears, and try to pay attention to all the new things that are happening around your business and your life."

Tools

"Hopefully, you have opened the doors of your business with the right tools to achieve your primary conversion goal. Any tool that can provide you your first customer: a phone, a friend, a flyer, an online ad, a billboard. Get whatever is at your reach to get your first customer."

Milestones

"For the first 15 days to a month your goals should not be very ambitious. You will be in a 'trial period' so don't be too hard on yourself if things don't go as expected.

Get your first customers, learn about their needs, know how you can help them. Find out if your product, market, and pricing strategy is related to the real world. Get your first taste of real business customer relations.

We recommend you be very attentive. You should write down every incident, every step that your first customers have taken, what difficulties they've encountered. Make a list with the information about how they got to you, what they liked most and least about you. You can create profiles of your real customers and visitors and compare them with what you expected before opening."

Self-Care Tip

"These first days are usually very stressful. They are full of emotions and it will be difficult for you to disconnect. These days it's not bad to be a little more nervous than normal. Try not to check the statistics or the cash register all the time. Eat well, and take a long walk to oxygenate your mind before going to bed."

Timeline illustrating Day 31 - Day 60 of starting a business.

Day 31 — Day 60

Focus

"At this point your focus should be on knowing your very first clients very well. Keep their contact details. This will help you to reach similar audiences with marketing actions."

Tools

  • CRM: "Where you can have all the data of your contacts registered, their purchases details, etc. With this information you can do a follow-up and work on loyalty actions."
  • Analytics: "Measure and analyze what is happening on your website or e-commerce store in the event that your business is online."
  • ROI caculator: "Measure expenses for your marketing efforts and check that these are profitable."

Milestones

"Depending on recurrence, you should start to think about retention of your first customers. If your cycle is longer, then put your eye on creating more leads and sales, but watch your cost per aquisition (CPA) by testing different channels and measuring it properly."

Self-Care Tip

"It is very important to stay disconnected a few hours a day. Go to the gym, go out with your friends, spend time with your family."

Timeline illustrating Day 61 - Day 90 of starting a business.

Day 61— Day 90

Focus

"Now that you have some traction, can you renegotiate your provider's rates? Can you focus on any product or service lines better than others? Have you found any new opportunities that you weren't expecting? Write all your ‘now that your business is real’ ideas down and save some time to think about what can be improved with all that you're learning by now. And, don't forget to promote your business!"

Tools

"Try to automate all the tasks that you can find that are repetitive by using automation marketing tools. Develop your skills and try to go solo while you can’t afford growing your team. Mailchimp can help you with this very smoothly."

Milestones

"Can you validate your pricing strategy? Are you finding your customers in the right channels? Are you getting enough feedback from them? Ask yourself some questions and let the customers and their data tell their story."

Self-Care Tip

"Disable your mobile notifications when you're out of the office. This will help you disconnect and give yourself some free mental space to digest all your ideas and data. Adding good rest and exercise will help those concepts get settled and mixed, and new ideas will come."