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The first year of owning a start-up business is always a rocky road. Unexpected problems and obstacles spring up from nowhere making success and profit seem further and further away. It is a well-known statistic in the business world that four out of five start-ups end in failure before the end of their first year. So the first year for a start-up is the crucial one: it is the decider to whether it will continue or not.

This fact scares a lot of start-up owners; however there are ways you can decrease the chances of your start-up failing in the first year. One of these ways is to get involved in a networking event. Here are the reasons why any start-up owner should get their business a stand at a networking event within the first year of business.

To check out the competition – Networking events are the best place to do this. You will have a stand amongst a number of other businesses in the same market as yours. This gives you a great opportunity to suss out who your rivals are and what they are doing. This is beneficial as if you figure out who your competitors are and what they are doing, it puts you in a fantastic position to get an edge over them. This is because you can see what they aren’t doing and then make sure that your start-up addresses whatever they are missing, giving you a unique niche in whatever market you are in

To gain some more knowledge – Being present at a networking event puts you in a great position to seek some advice from people within your industry. You have the opportunity to ask questions to the experts in your industry. From the answers they give you can learn some really great information, maybe about what they would recommend doing or things you should stay well clear from. Knowledge is everything for a start up as it allows you to not make the same mistakes that other start-ups did, ultimately making your chances of success much greater. The number of failed start-ups wishing they had gotten more industry tips and trends is too high.

To make great contacts – At a networking event you will be surrounded by many other businesses, many being start-ups like yours. You can speak with the owners of them and establish some well needed connections. You will be surprised at how many businesses will be willing to help you on your way. These support networks will form a solid foundation of people you can rely on for what could be many years to come.

Another great thing about making contacts is that the possibility of a joint venture. If you met a start-up owner whose businesses is doing something similar or would complement yours, then it could be great idea. This is because travelling the bumpy road of the first year of a start-up would be much easier with a companion.

To become more positive – Getting involved in a network event could greatly improve you self-confidence and self-esteem, which during the first year of a start-up can become extremely damaged. You will always be worrying about whether the decisions you make are right when you hit a tough patch. Networking events are great for restoring confidence. When other people tell you that they like your idea and the direction you are going it can be a real confidence boost. If you are thinking positive at all times, the first year will be much easier than you think.

To have some fun – Yes, the first year can be tough. But if you’re not enjoying yourself is it really worth it? Having a bit of fun is extremely important. If you are not enjoying yourself and are under a lot of stress, the decisions you make may not be your best. If you’re having fun and enjoying what you’re doing your chances of failure will be minimal.

Having a start-up is an exciting time as the possibilities are endless, and the amount your business could change is extraordinary. Getting involved in a network event could really help the journey your start-up takes in its first year. Just brace yourself and enjoy every minute.

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This guest post is by Endre Rex-Kiss, an event management specialist and social media expert. He is freelance writer and blogger in topics ranging from inbound marketing to green energy. He represents Ellen Michaels Presents, a Los Angeles based event management company. You can follow his rants on Twitter.