Opening a business can be a very challenging endeavor, but keeping it open is even harder. It’s estimated that nearly one out of every five new businesses will shut down within their first two years.
That number will more than double by five years from the opening date. The first few years are absolutely essential to determining whether a business will fail or succeed. It’s important to keep this harsh reality in mind as you continue to build your business.
You will have to work very hard every day in order to keep your business from becoming another statistic.
Know The Facts About Starting a Business
Making the decision to start your own business will permanently influence the rest of your life. It’s a monumental decision that will require a lot of courage and determination in order to follow through.
There are so many potential events that will impact how successful your business is and there are plenty that you won’t be able to control. Luck will play a very important role in whether or not your business succeeds, but it’s far from the only factor.
There are plenty of things that you will control that can increase the chances of your business being a success. While there is no sure-fire plan for starting and operating a successful business, these are a few tips that might be able to help you get the ground and running.
Organization Is Crucial
There is no successful business model that encourages chaos in any way. Getting your business organized is probably the most important step early on. You might think that you can remember important information and tasks, but you shouldn’t leave anything to chance. Every day you should be creating a new to-do list of tasks that need to be completed. If you are unable to accomplish a task then it should be the first item on the next day’s list.
Store And File Everything
Every business will include mountains of paperwork, receipts, and records. It’s highly important that you file each and every memo associated with your business either physically or virtually. When it comes to your business, there is no such thing as “insignificant.”
You should be able to quickly look up the exact amount of revenue and expenditures that your business is accruing. Knowing where you stand financially will help determine the most important moves that you will need to make in order to help your business to grow.
Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
Just about every move that you will make as a business operator will have some degree of risk involved. There is no such thing as a “sure thing”, but that doesn’t mean that you should take crazy risks.
To succeed as a business, you need to take risks. The idea is to make sure that they are calculated risks instead of random choices. Try to establish what the potential worst-case scenario would be should the risk backfire.
One financial risk is using valuable operating dollars for advertising. You invest in ad creation and placement hoping that those ads perform well. However, you won’t know until you do it, so there's a risk in spending on advertising. However, the reward is exponential if the advertisements work.
Regardless of the potential rewards, if the possible downside is too severe then you shouldn’t take the chance.
It can take a very long time in order to build a successful and sustainable business. There will most likely include plenty of setbacks and failed goals along the way as well. Nothing worthwhile is built or achieved easily and business is no different.
Remember to be patient and stay focused on your dream of operating a successful business. It’s natural to feel discouraged and stressed out from time to time, but remember that the next day is another opportunity to improve your business and keep it on track toward success.
Maintain Quality Customer Service
There will be a lot of cold and emotionless numbers involved with running a business, but don’t forget about the heart of the company: The customer.
While lowering expenses and maximizing profits is a major part of running a successful business, none of that will matter without customers. Implementing and maintaining a high level of customer service plays an extremely important role in determining the success of a business.
Providing a high level of customer service involves implementing tools allowing you to make customer service easy. For instance, a customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps you remember details and intricacies of your customer interactions. This means your customer is treated as a welcome friend instead of another stranger.
Know Your Competitors
Speaking of competition, it’s important to learn as much about your competitors as you can. You should always assume that your competitor is doing a better job than you and try to improve in order to beat them.
For example, you should always be aware of how much your competition is charging for a similar product or service. The price of the product (along with the perception of the price) is one of the most important factors that a customer will weigh when considering making a purchase. Depending on what your competition is charging, you might be overcharging and losing potential customers.
Alternatively, you might be underpricing your product and not only losing money but appearing like the “knock off” version. When a customer has multiple options for a product or service, that’s cool for them, but you have to help them to decide that your business is the best choice for them.
You can also learn from the mistakes and successes of your competitors. Studying and learning from the competition can be a great way to help you to make sense of the types of decisions that are the best for the future of your company.
Marketing Is Key
You might not even realize it, but you’re exposed to over 4,000 advertisements every day. There is a reason why companies spend billions of dollars to display their name on anything that they can. A customer is much more likely to choose your business if they have heard of you previously so make sure that your name is getting out there.
You will want to keep your marketing budget within reason as your business continues to grow. While there is no reason to purchase a Super Bowl commercial just yet, you should definitely be advertising your business locally in order to help it thrive.
Start with fliers if you’re a small business, move to targeted social media ads, radio ads, and local television commercials if you’re a midsize to enterprise level business. As your business continues to grow, your marketing should expand and grow right alongside it.
Keep Your Passion In Check
Passion is a very important part of building and maintaining a business, but too much of it can cause downfall. If you’ve gone through the trouble of building up a business then you clearly care very much about your work.
It’s important to keep that passion in check and make sure that your decisions are based on facts and data instead of feelings and emotions. You should always take the time to thoroughly consider your next move and never rush into anything.
Listen to the advice of the people in your life and carefully think about what’s best for your business. It may take some time, but finding a balance between your passion and wisdom can be very helpful to keep your business growing safely.
Starting and operating a micro business can be very difficult, but following a few of these tips should help you to stay on track toward success. There are so many things that you can’t control that will affect your business.
That is why it’s so important to control the things that you can. Start building a strong business foundation with a business phone number, contact management too, and marketing tools all in one app. Download Dialed now or visit us for more information.
Top 6 Reasons New Businesses Fail | www.investopedia.com
How Customers Perceive a Price Is as Important as the Price Itself | hbr.org