Have you been dreaming about opening your own business? A lot of small business owners can get wrapped up in the wonderful idea of owning their own business, without properly preparing themselves and their company for the rocky road ahead. Since many small business owners aren’t taking the proper steps to ensure success, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently found that, “about half of all new establishments survive five years or more and about one-third survive 10 years or more. As one would expect, the probability of survival increases with a firm’s age.”
Do not let your small business become part of this statistic. Luckily there are things you can do to ensure your doors will still be open five years down the road. Take a look at what you should consider if you are thinking about starting a company or are in the process of doing so.
Why reinvent the wheel? If you haven’t started your small business yet, consider taking over an already established company. The startup of a new business can sometimes take several bumpy years- with success not guaranteed. If there is an opportunity to purchase an established brand, it may be worth it and cost the same in the long run.
To be successful, you must stand out in the crowd. If there are several similar companies close by, it will be difficult to maintain long term success. Therefore, you must evaluate what the market already has and what it does not. Make sure your brand is different if you want to be in business for the long run.
Constant communication and networking are key to a thriving business. Identify your core customer group and how you can communicate with them best. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are excellent tools to reach new and existing clients. Make sure you also put processes in place to ask for referrals. Studies have found that an individual is 60% more likely to purchase a product or service if they see another person using it. Also, don’t forget to tap into your local media and Chamber of Commerce to build relationships and gain visibility for your company every opportunity you can.
Have a Plan
Your vision is your foundation. Starting a small business can be tough, however if you fuel your vision with perseverance, you won’t need to look for good luck symbols to survive. Make sure you do your due diligence and come up with a concrete business plan. How you will market your brand is a key element of your plan. Research other business models in your industry and see what works and what does not. There is no reason to start from scratch when there are excellent examples already out there. Just keep in mind that things may not go exactly as planned, which is why it is important to also be flexible and adapt your plan as you go.
Starting a small business can be risky, however with great risk comes great reward. if you can implement these tips, your business will be off to a great start.