“Businesses with fewer than 20 employees have only a 37%
chance of surviving four years (of business) and only a 9% chance of surviving 10 years.” Restaurants only have a 20% chance of surviving 2 years.
Of these failed business, only 10% of them close
involuntarily due to bankruptcy and the remaining 90% close because the business was not successful, did not provide the level of income desired or was too much work for the operators efforts.
No magic solutions will guarantee a business success. However, the
following items will definitely help more than hinder your efforts of achieving business success.
Development of a business plan
Ask around and you’ll find varying views as there are businesses. As the 16th President of the US proclaimed “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
A business plan serves as your guide or road map for your business. Can you do business without having a plan? Of course you can, BUT things are a bit more organized and clear when there is a plan in place. Additionally, if you will seek outside funding (bank loans, investors) your chances are greatly increased if your potential investors have some concrete source showing the businesses potential.
Obtaining accurate financial information about the business in a timely manner
The financial condition of your business is critical not only to you but it also provides investors and creditors with insight as to where their money went.
Analyzing your financial accounts enables you to compare your performance against previous years and serves as your barometer of success.
Profile of target customer
You need to define your target market, who’s going to purchase your product and services. Consider who your target market is:
- females or males
- regional areas
- education or interest
- average income
- social class
- attitudes & beliefs
Here’s a sample from our Gloria NewWebsite persona: Gloria gets what it means to love customers. She has been using Facebook as a means of showcasing her talents and communicating with her clients. But now that her business is growing she realizes that the platform is limiting and she’s missing out on a demographic who wants her services but are not using social media.
Though this is a basic portrait of our customer Gloria, it still lets us know that she has had some meaningful success and wants to transition or extend to a platform with more robust features and capability for total control. She is prepared to use the services we offer, however can she afford those services and does she fit the other elements of our customer profile? This is where a customer profile is valuable.
Profile of competition
Knowing who your competitors are, their offering, marketing strategies, etc. will provide you with greater knowledge on how to deliver greater value to your customers and define your niche.
Go into business for the right reasons
Put simply, know your WHY! Why do you want to start your own business? What benefit will it bring you? Do you want freedom or do you want more money? Do you crave pride of ownership? Are you trying to get away from a terrible boss?
Just answering these basic questions HONESTLY can save you a lifetime of misery and regret.
Network with other business owners in similar industries
Networking with other businesses and business owners is a key to success. Some business professionals call it strategic networking while others call it social networking, either way you slice it, networking with other business owners is a positive way to connect and gain prominence in your respective industry.
These are but a drop in the bucket of solutions that can improve small business success. The beauty of the entrepreneurial journey is the unlimited variables that can lead to success. Enjoy the ride.