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It’s a sad fact that over 90 per cent of small businesses fail within the first two years, and the primary reason for the majority of these is because of a failure to plan correctly. The key to launching a successful new business is in the initial proposal stages and eventual execution.  

You may decide not to tackle every element of the business yourself in the early stages and utilising the services of professionals such as IT outsourcing companies can really help to get you up and running.

There are a huge number of various considerations when starting a small business, and overlooking just one small area could make the difference between success and failure. There is a well known saying: ‘failure to plan means planning to fail’ and this is never more true than when starting a business.

Here are just five of the key ingredients required for starting a successful business:   

Start Small

So many business owners try to run before they can walk, and trying to launch a global enterprise in an untested market could be fatal. It’s always better to start small and local in order to test your business plan actually works, in fact the key to success for most entrepreneurs is learning to jump between thinking big but taking small manageable steps to get them there.

Building a business is a marathon, not a sprint, and not everything needs to be done immediately. Keep a running ‘to do’ list ordered by priority. Stress and burnout are common ailments of the failed businessman – make sure this isn’t you.

Vision, Values and Aims

In order to truly drive your business forward you should have a clear vision accompanied by a set of values and objectives. If you can demonstrate the unique principles that your business will live and die by, how you get there becomes immediately obvious.

Your vision, value and aims immediately makes business decisions easier – if they don’t help you achieve your vision, or comply with your values or aims then it’s not the right decision for your business. This can be applied to everything from recruitment decisions to how you talk to your customers.

Develop a Brand

Your brand should be closely linked to your vision and values, and will certainly help to develop your brand voice.  

Your brand definition describes what you offer, why you offer it, why it is different to everyone else, what benefits your customers will gain and what promises you make to your customers.

Occasionally you will need to re-align your brand and change how it is presented in order to keep it relevant to the market in which it lives. It’s important not to change any key aspects, just the packaging it’s presented in.

Get Your Pricing Right

Getting your pricing right is the quickest and easiest way to make a profit. Many start up businesses work out a ‘cost’ figure for the product or service they are selling and add a modest mark up which becomes their profit.  

Invest some serious thought to your pricing methodology at a very early stage and remember to consider: What the product or service is worth to customers, why it costs to produce your product or provide your service, and what your competitors charge.

Marketing for Success

Marketing and advertising means so much more than just creating a flyer and placing an advertisement in the local paper. The world has now gone digital and you’ll need to have a strong online presence if you want to compete.  

If IT isn’t one of your strengths then consider employing a professional web developer and search engine optimisation firm to help you out.