Everyone wants a piece of the American Dream and for many, that means starting a business and being their own boss! Unfortunately, the statistics for new businesses aren’t very optimistic as 80% of all businesses fail. In order for your company to be part of that 20% here are five things a business – especially a new business – can do to beat the odds.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan acts as the roadmap of the business. It details out things like the ideal group of customers who use the business, the exact products and/or services the business offers to customers, the strengths and weaknesses of the business, their values, and what goals they want to achieve.
Make a plan of action! Even if you are on day 1 of your business journey, you are a business owner! Figure out your business’s goals, values and ideal customers! There are a lot of resources online to help you make a business plan, but if you need a little one on one help you can contact an organization in your area that focuses on assisting small businesses.
Secure Enough Capital
I am not a financial expert, but I have spoken with them on several occasions. Securing working capital from your bank or an organization that helps small businesses with their development is a game-changer. Also, I highly recommend hiring a financial planner or other financial experts to help you make a plan of action for your income and expenses for both your business and personal life.
Honestly, the number one reason most businesses fail within the first five years is that they run out of money. You need to figure out what your personal and business expense are so can secure enough. Don’t just guess!
Do Market Research
First off, market research will help you figure out if your planned business venture has an audience at all. Do people really want and/or need what you are proposing to sell. If there is an audience for your product or service, market research will help you figure out who that perfect fit audience is going to be. It allows you to not only identify them but learn what their pain points are and how they speak, so you can adequately talk to them.
An easy and low-cost way to get your market research done is to take advantage of the internet. Use social media groups to find your audience and talk to them about what they feel they need help with and what type of solution for this problem they want to see. If you have a little extra capital and want to do it a different way you can contact an agency that specializes in market research and have them help you.
Make Sure They Have All the Right Permits
Take the time to find out what permits you need. Call your local city or county offices to find out what permits you will need for the type of business you want to open, ask them how you get them and also make sure you find out if you need a permit for each city you plan to do business in!
True story, I had no idea that I needed a business license for each city I was planning to conduct sales in. I thought I only needed one for the city where my base of operations was going to be. Things went along smoothly like this for five years. I thought I’d done all the right things. You can imagine my surprise when I get a phone call from the business license division for a neighboring city and told me that I needed a business license for their city. I had to pay fees and fines dating back to the start of business five years prior. It was a very expensive lesson.
I got lucky and was able to correct the situation in 1 day with a visit to City Hall, but for some, not securing the correct permits can mean that they are shut down and losing revenue while they are getting those permits.
Learn how to Network
While it’s totally possible to grow and maintain a successful business with no traditional networking, it’s not very fun and it cuts off possible sources of new customers.
Networking with other business owners both inside and outside your industry allows you to learn new things that can help you serve your customers better, get to your goals faster, and allows businesses that are compatible with yours to refer you more customers. There are a lot of ways to network and no one way is best.
To network outside of your industry, you can network with your local chamber of commerce, with a category exclusive group or with an industry group for your business’ ideal client. You can also network online and really put the “social” into social media. To network inside your industry try joining industry groups or if broken into subgroups or specialties join one that complements what you do (for example, a company that manufacturers hair care products joining a group for salon stylists)
These are five great ways to set yourself up for success! If you haven’t yet done these things. That is okay you can always correct course.
As always, you can contact me if you have a design, branding, or visual marketing question. I’m always happy to help!