Starting a small business and ensuring its survival is not an easy task. But don’t despair. There are techniques to improve the odds of your business succeeding, and almost all of them involve applying proven methods that are easy to learn.
It all boils down to doing the right thing, when it’s needed. By applying sound fundamentals, you greatly increase your chances of success.
Here are 7 steps to put your new business on the path to success.
1. Proceed methodically. Don’t take excessive risks.
In a recent study, titled Portrait of the Predatory Businessman , Michel Villette and Catherine Vuillermot argue that, contrary to popular myth, highly successful business owners such as Ted Turner, Sam Walton and Bernard Arnault have no not as great a propensity to take risks as one might think.
These famous business owners behave more like predatory animals, moving slowly and carefully, minimizing risk and striking at strategic moments when the odds are on their side.
2. Plan effectively
Every effort you put into planning exponentially multiplies your success at the execution stage.
Successful business owners write down specific goals. These people devote considerable effort to key tasks such as researching their target market, defining marketing strategies and compiling cash flow forecasts. They also make useful contacts within their industry.
3. Define an effective value proposition
It may sound complicated, but it’s just about making sure your products or services are more appealing to customers than your competition.
Successful business owners know that no matter how good their offer, customers will be attracted only that offer has a clear comparative advantage.
4. Surround yourself with the right people
Even if this person excels in a particular field, it is rare for an entrepreneur to be a specialist in everything (sales, accounting, operations, law, etc.). Talented business owners know how to surround themselves with effective teams to get the results they want.
5. Plan the financing
Successful business owners do the legwork ahead of time to ensure they have access to the necessary financing . Investors, partners and potential lending institutions are much better able to support a business when they are provided with detailed plans from the outset.
6. Find sources of help
Federal, provincial and municipal governments and agencies offer a range of resources to help business owners start their new business.
Moreover, more and more incubators and accelerators are specializing in business start-ups. These organizations are very useful for business owners who want to develop their business network and work in a collaborative space.
You should also check your chamber of commerce, economic development centers or business leaders’ associations. Many of these individuals have mentorship programs that match new business leaders with experienced leaders.
7. Think long term
When entrepreneurs start a business, their efforts naturally focus on the first few weeks or months. However, in many industries, supply cycles can be much longer.
For example, someone who develops new software in the first year will then have to spend considerable time marketing it. By “thinking long term,” business owners can ensure they have sufficient resources to put their business on solid footing.