No one said it would be easy. Even in the best of times, starting a new business can be risky business. However, despite a volatile economy and job market, more and more people have ventured out into the entrepreneurial world.
We have all seen reports that suggest 50% – 75% of new businesses fail within the first three years. Why do so many fail?
- Limited resources – time, people, capital and expertise.
- Lack of focus and planning.
- No formal sales and marketing system.
These are a few of the primary reasons most new business starts fail to make it. So, what can you do differently to tilt the odds of success in your favor and build a profitable and sustainable new business?
There are no absolutes, but there are some fundamental things you should do as a new business owner to make it easier to achieve your goals:
- Network and be visible. Emphasize quality vs. quantity. Focus your networking efforts on brand awareness, building relationships and new business referrals.
- Have a dynamic game plan. Your integrated business, marketing and exit plans should be fluid and address all areas that are required to build a sustainable business.
- Be conservative. Set realistic and attainable goals. Don’t get too far out in front of your headlights in your quest for profits. Have sufficient cash on hand to cover 12-18 months.
- Find a mentor. Learn from the experiences of others. Trial and error is an expensive way to build a profitable business that will withstand the test of time.
- Establish client-supplier-partner relationships. These more strategic business alliances can help you address market, revenue and expense objectives, and are integral to success.
- Get help. Don’t spread resources so thin that you fail to reach critical milestone targets and goals. Outsource where appropriate so you can focus on the things you do best.
- Be consistent and persistent. Keep doing what is working until it stops working. Avoid the penchant for the “new and improved”. Focus on continuous improvement.
- Conduct routine audits. Establish key performance metrics to chart your progress and inspect what you expect. Make course corrections where necessary to stay on track.
The first three years are the start-up and survival stages for most new businesses. Placing additional emphasis on the highlighted areas above will make it easier for you to overcome the challenges and risks associated with a new business venture, while preparing for growth and prosperity in future years.
Best wishes for your continued success. Please feel free to contact me if I can help you “achieve the results to move beyond your vision.”
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2013 John Carroll