Business survival should be one of our first goals when starting a business, even though we may have our rose-coloured glasses on and dreaming of success. As mentioned in previous posts, business success is not the norm, it is the exception. We start our business dreaming of how our business, our solution to a problem will be a runaway success story. Customers will flock to our offer and we will be run off our feet.
Rarely, does this happen. Often it’s a slow burn, often its about the tough yards. It’s about having discipline, desire and dedication. That forms the foundation for your business and keeps you going in the tough times. To increase your chances of survival, experience tells us there are a number of key things you can do. The list can be daunting and requires again those three key traits of discipline, desire and dedication.
To increase your chance of business survival, having these five things will help your journey.
- Have a plan. The number 1 thing you can do is to have a plan. A plan is your roadmap and keeps you aligned to where it is you want to go. A plan is foundational and aspirational, it outlines the steps forward to the place you’re going. Get a business plan.
- Have operating cash available and be disciplined in how you spend it. A wise man once told me, whatever you think it will cost, double it. Cashflow is critical for many starting businesses, and the lack of cash inhibits business, It forces us into poor decisions, taking on the wrong clients and brings with it a body language that reeks of desperation. Cash reserve is important, you and your business need it.
- Get educated. This is a two-fold. Educate yourself on the requirements of business needs. I have seen too many small business owners pay over the odds for non-performing websites, marketing, consulting and advertising. Educate yourself to get a base understanding so when dealing with experts and non-experts alike, that will help you gain clarity around your needs and the expected costs.
- Know who you are, and take the time to articulate it. Doing this helps you attract your right customer and shy away from the bad ones, (it almost always ends in pain) Once dealing with clients and customers, keep asking for feedback. Helping you understand the reason why people chose your service, helps you drive your marketing message. Being authentic is incredibly important.
- Continually review your plan and your progress. A plan is important, and reviewing it is more so. Being flexible enough to adjust and amend based on your learnings from operating the business. That’s important.
This list isn’t exhaustive. There are more available, It doesn’t touch on marketing or legislative or regulatory aspects. It works with mindset and its about having a process that incorporates discipline, desire and dedication.
Remember business survival isn’t a given. Sometimes it even comes after success. Think of fidget spinners. Many new businesses have created success with these gadgets, but will they ultimately survive. If you’re looking to create a business that survives, contact us at Think and Grow Business, where we will be honoured to work alongside you to grow your business.