More than 600,000 small businesses open in the U.S. each year, but not all are successful. The thought and planning you put at the beginning of your journey can have a lot to do with the success or failure of your enterprise.
If you’re worried about how best to start your business, this is a valid concern. According to the Small Business Administration, just over half (51%) of small businesses last past the five-year mark. So, what are some of the things you can do to increase your chances of success? Here is a good road map for starting a business.
1. Consider Your Goals
You might have a particular business in mind as well as the type of success you’d like to achieve, but it’s important to put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, when it comes to your goals. Everything should be carefully laid out in a business plan that outlines what your business will do, how it is going to be funded, and what it hopes to achieve in terms of revenue in the short, medium, and long term.
2. Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
When you set the goals for your business, there’s nothing wrong with reaching a bit. Maybe you’ll need to learn some new skills to be successful or hire someone that can fill a particular need.
For each goal that you plan to achieve, outline the steps to get to the finish line. Do you need to enroll in some courses? Start building a huge social media following? Create a solid business credit profile to get financing? As a business, you’ll learn that achievement comes with careful planning and execution.
3. Understand the Big Picture
It will also be helpful to understand how your business and its goals will impact customers, the community, your employees, and even your personal life. Selling a ton of products or services is fantastic, but if you are hurting someone else, or yourself, at the same time, this is something you need to examine. Speak with industry experts, colleagues, and people you trust about these issues as you move forward with your plans.
4. Be Ready to Seize Opportunities
Having a plan in place is well and good, but you must also be a bit nimble if you want to achieve success. This means that you should be ready and willing to seize unexpected opportunities that help you achieve your goals or shift direction to do something even more advantageous. Consider all of the businesses that quickly pivoted in the face of COVID-19 and that are now enjoying renewed success.
5. Acknowledge Your Successes
Many entrepreneurs are incredibly driven to the point that they achieve one goal, cross it off the list, and then move on to the next one. This might produce results but consider a different approach. Take some time to acknowledge and reflect on your successes. Consider what went right and where you can improve as you move to the next stage of your plan. And, take a moment or two to celebrate and thank your team for their efforts.
Part of small business success is having a strong handle on your finances. At Orcutt & Company, we provide comprehensive accounting services, including bookkeeping, payroll, tax, and business planning, to small business clients. Contact our office today to learn more about how we can help you plan your next venture or support your current one to achieve its goals.