It takes a lot of energy to start a new business, and it’s a bit like riding a roller coaster that keeps going and going. You don’t want it to stop, but you definitely want the ride to smooth out.
Every new business owner wants to succeed, but the truth is that almost half of new businesses don’t make it past five years. So setting yourself up for success in the early stages is critical to your business’s long-term success.
It’s one thing to have a great business idea and something else entirely to execute it with a plan. So follow these dos and don’ts to improve your chance for success.
Create a solid business plan, as failing to do so is one of the biggest reasons that businesses fail. A business plan outlines the nature of your business and how you will operate.
Developing a business plan isn’t just writing down your hopes, dreams, and ideas. It takes solid planning and research.
Pay attention to details when you develop your business plan. Thoroughness in developing your business plan is critical to your success.
Once you have a plan developed, follow it, and don’t veer too far off course. Of course, you need to be flexible, but your business plan needs to be your guiding light.
Don’t neglect to protect your business.
Failing to identify and manage your risks will cost you money. In addition, when you don’t plan for the surprises and accidents that will happen, you needlessly put your business in harm’s way.
Set yourself up for success by getting insurance for your business. You pay a set monthly amount for coverage, often much less than you think.
Protect your business with general liability, commercial liability, and worker’s compensation. It’s simple to purchase business insurance online. Your industry, the number of employees, and the scope of operations will determine how much you pay.
Make sure your business plan includes risk mitigation, and keep your peace of mind intact with a business insurance package tailored to your specific needs.
A fun business idea is only profitable if there is a market for it, and the only way to find out if there is a market is to do market research.
Spend time studying businesses like yours in your area. It would be a waste of your hard work to start a business in a market saturated with your product.
Use surveys, interviews, focus groups, and customer observation when you do your market research so that you get the big picture.
Don’t try to do market research by yourself. It takes a team of people to do proper market research.
Get help from friends, or hire a few people to assist you. Market research is the best place to spend your money before you start your business because if the market isn’t there, your business won’t succeed.
At the top of the reasons that businesses fail is financing. Inadequate funding to start or keep a business running is a leading cause of business failure.
Know what it takes to operate your business day-to-day. What are the working capital requirements? How much cash flow do you need? How will it affect your business if you have to add another employee?
Don’t just look at expenses. You also have to keep your finger on the pulse of your revenue. You must match how much it costs to create a product with how much revenue it brings in.
Make sure you start your business with adequate funding. Don’t wait until you’re struggling to stay afloat before you ask for additional financing. It might be too late by then.
Marketing is the actions you take to create awareness about your business. Marketing can be anything from signs to websites. You need to get the word out about your business.
In some industries, word of mouth is an excellent way to get new customers, but that’s not always the case.
Make sure you have an advertising and marketing budget. Include marketing in your business plan. It doesn’t happen by accident.
Don’t ignore the need for an internet presence, even if your business isn’t primarily online. Every store can benefit from a Facebook page or TikTok account, which costs nothing but the time you put into it.
These days, more people are finding businesses online. So be there to greet them.
Staying relevant is vital in today’s business world. You have to keep bringing solutions to your customers to solve their problems.
Don’t be too rigid. If your business can solve people’s problems outside your original business plan, and people want to pay you, consider it!
Be careful to keep your business from expanding too fast. Many companies fail after an expansion because they don’t treat it as what it is: a new business venture. Instead, go back to the drawing board and rewrite your business plan.
Stay focused and positive. You’re in this for the long haul. You’ve got this.