Starting your own business is incredibly exciting. You’re finally getting to realise one of your dreams, and you’re taking your career into your own hands.
However, this passion and excitement isn’t enough to keep you afloat. While 91 percent of small businesses succeed in their first year, only 40 percent are around after five years, according to this study.
So, what can you do to make sure that you’re one of the 40 percent that survives long term? There are a number of ways you can ensure your success – including streamlining your business effectively, which we explored in detail here.
Have long term goals
If the reason behind you starting your own business was because you didn’t want to work nine to five, you may face a few problems.
You should start a business because there’s a genuine need for your services – not because you’re fed up of working for someone else.
Before venturing into the world small businesses and startups, do your market research. Discover what people want and how they want to see it happen. Don’t just assume that because you think people will need or want it, that they will.
Have a constant stream of new business
Don’t rest on your laurels once you’ve got enough customers to make a profit. Keep on hunting out and propositioning new clients.
If sales isn’t your strong point, it might be worth looking at sales training specialists to help you out. You should try to ensure that all of your work is dividing equally across a range of clients.
It can be dangerous to have a huge chunk of your income coming from the same place – imagine if they went under or started using a competitor?
Have a strict budget
Overspending is easy to do. You want to furnish your office – whether that’s at home or rented – and you want to deck yourself out with the latest technology.
However, that’s not always necessary depending on what sort of business you’re starting. Take a close look at your spending, and see where you can cut it down.
Technology is vital, but you might not need brand new stuff. And if you do, shop around so you can find the best deals.
If you’re renting office space and it’s only you, that’s a massive overhead that you could do without. Set up camp in your dining room until you’re making enough money and have enough employees to warrant working elsewhere.
Have a look at grants and loans
Being a small business will open up the possibility of different grants and loans from the government. If you think you’ll need a loan to get started, look at what the government can give you before you go to your bank.
This list is a good place to start. If you’ve done your research, you’ve created a solid business plan, and you think that you’re likely to succeed – then go for it.
Sometimes you just need a helping hand to get off on the best foot possible. And if you can take out a loan or grant, it’s better than using your precious savings.
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