According to a recent article in The Times 100, a third of new businesses fail in the first three years. This means that it is more difficult than ever to establish your business, so you’ll need to have a very solid plan in place demonstrating how you’re going to make money. Before you go into business, however, have a read of our essential guide to maximising your chances of being successful.
1. A Flexible Strategy
Having a detailed business plan is one of the most fundamental aspects of any business. If you need help writing one you could check out this helpful guide. Having a plan, however, does not mean that you should stick to it in all eventualities.
Sometimes, being flexible and adaptable is extremely necessary, and if your market makes a rapid change in a new direction, you should follow it. Being responsive in this way will also make sure that you stay ahead of your competition who may be more focussed on sticking to their fixed, unbending strategies than pursuing new business opportunities.
2. Knowing How to Grow
Once you’ve taken on a few clients, you may need to expand your operation to deliver what you’ve promised. Having hired your new employees, you might then be in a better position to expand into new markets.
But beware – there will be growing pains; every business has to go through the process. You will make mistakes early on. To ease the pain you need to manage your business growth.
The key to managing growth is balance. Over-hiring could lead to your employees being superfluous. Reversely, taking on too much work could lead to you under-delivering which could mean losing your clients. Ultimately, either one of these problems could be fatal for your business, so the best advice to subscribe to is to grow slowly.
3. Specialised Skills and Multitasking
Multitasking is another excellent way of reducing costs and lowering the risk of business failure. To do this, you could give members of your team specialist roles, meaning you will have to outsource fewer tasks.
As an example, instead of hiring a PAT tester, you could simply send one of your employees on a PAT testing course. The courses are as short as a single day and include equipment tutorials, as well as the opportunity to learn about fuse rating calculations and the health and safety techniques required for the job. All you will need to invest in is the course itself and some testing equipments, which can be purchased from somewhere like PASS. Indeed, having a specialist within your own team can only be beneficial.
4. Find Mentors and Advisors
This is probably the most important tips of all, simply because many entrepreneurs tend to take their “I want to do this on my own” passion a bit too far.
Starting your own business doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. To minimise the possibilities of failure (which is very high, by the way) you need help. The best source of been-there-done-that knowledge is mentors and advisors.
Mentors can give you some guides on how to navigate your startup ship through the stormy sea; advisors can give you the right tools to keeping your ship afloat.
Angel investors and serial entrepreneurs are two of the best sources for survival guides. Accountants and lawyers are two of the better sources for expert advice on how to make your business run like a well-oiled machine.
Survivability should be your focus. A new business is often shaky and prone to making mistakes. No worries – what you need to do is looking for ways to minimise the collateral damages and learn from your mistakes.