The economic climate is becoming much less hostile for new businesses to flourish, as we have began to rebuild and repair from the recession. Although this may be the case, running a successful business is an extremely difficult task, and requires lots of patience and wisdom. Surprisingly, 80% of new businesses fail within the first two years of beginning, so in order to surpass this and become the top 20% in a saturated business market, there are steps you have to follow. Here is a simple guide to help you on your way to business success within the first two years…
Do what you know – know what you do:
The first rule of business is that knowledge is power. In order to gain the respect of potential customers or clients, you must be an expert in your field. Be sure that before you begin a business, you are a master of the field, and that the knowledge of whichever industry you have chosen, is ingrained into the fibre of your every being. If you show any sign of uncertainty, then you will appear to be out of your depth and will instantly lose credibility.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make, is starting a new business with the sole purpose of making money. If there is no passion, no real understanding or knowledge of your respective field, then you will fair to gain the respect you require in order to be successful.
Keep record of every expense:
Keeping track of all of your finances and expenses is important, as when you first start out, your wallet is your lifeblood. Every single business meeting, salary, lunch and purchase needs to be recorded and well documented. If you begin this system early on in your business, then it is sure to become second nature and will benefit you greatly in the long run.
As with anything, you must strive to live within your means when you are starting out, never take financial advice lightly and make sure that you spend your company budget wisely. A great rule to follow is to make your decisions based on the figures and data you collect every month, as opposed to making decisions based on hunches or new ideas. If you follow the trends, then you will be able to see where your success is coming from, and from there decide where it is going.
Hire people you can trust:
Employees are the gears that will drive your employees to success. It’s important to have full trust and faith in the people to welcome into your business. Their success are your company’s success, and their failures are your company’s failures.
The hiring process is the perfect place to gage the aspirations, motivations and work ethics of the person you are seeking to hire. However tempting making a quick hire during a busy time may be, it’s important to enforce the lengthy interview process in order to get the best quality of person for your business.
If you familiarise yourself with your employees strengths and weaknesses early on, then you will be able to delegate tasks effectively. If you hire with confidence, then you shouldn’t have to micromanage your employees, which will make for a healthier and more successful work environment. Try not to fall into the trap of micromanaging your employees, as this can greatly de-motivate your employees and make the business place a much less motivated place to be.
Never resist change:
Markets and business climates are constantly changing, so as a business owner, it’s important to adapt and change with them. If you want to be successful, then you must be receptive to change. Never marry yourself to your business plan, as it can have the similar result as a captain sinking with his ship. In order to be successful and remain relevant, you must educate yourself on what the clients are interested in and also what is happening in the market.
Consumer demand, client requirements, technology, whole markets and the economy can be the different factors that can impact or completely change the requirements of your business plan, so you need to have your ear to the ground at all times and be sure to be open to change,
Location, location, location:
How important is location? You may ask. Location can seem like one of the most important factors when starting a new business, but this depends on the market you are entering into. For example, if you are opening a bar or a restaurant, location and the establishment itself can be extremely important, because you need to be able to be found, and liked. But if you are working in an office environment, it’s important to weigh up all of your options, and consider factors such as cost and maintenance. Remember, again your wallet is your business’s life blood and should be used wisely!
Consider the risks:
When starting out, it’s important to familiarise yourself with company health and safety, and live by the regulations. This will prevent any accidents from happening which result in legal cases.
Your new mantra should now be “keep the workplace safe” and should always be at the forefront of your priorities. For example, if you have a creaky, uneven floorboard, or live wires exposed anywhere in your building, then fix them, tidy them away, put up warning signs… essentially just deal with the problem head on.
One of the most important, yet most overlooked factors that you need to consider as a business owner is indoor air quality. Studies have shown that poor indoor air quality can actually be more detrimental to the health of your employees than outdoor pollution. So it’s important to ensure that you have the correct ventilation system in place to replenish fresh air and oxygen.
A business is an extremely taxing and temperamental feat, so it’s important to attain as much knowledge and understanding of your market, your employees and the clients you want to work with, throughout the process. This will help you to become better as a professional, and will more importantly help your business to flourish.