A modest, but often realistic and common objective for a start up business to pursue in the short to medium term. The first year or so in the life of a business can be difficult for any one or a number of the following reasons: Limited customer awareness – it takes time to build up a customer base; high investment in fixed assets and stock; creditors (including suppliers) treating the new entrepreneur with greater suspicion than established businesses; lack of experience; competition from established firms; unexpected costs. Failure rate is high for new start up firms and, therefore, surviving the first 12 months or so might be regarded by some entrepreneurs as a successful first year.