Are you serious about starting a business, but you’re afraid you won’t experience success? Don’t worry, this is an incredibly common fear.
We’ve all heard the grim statistics. Only about a third of small businesses survive until their tenth year. But there are measures you can take that will ensure that your business is among these lucky few.
Consider Your Risks
One of the main reasons that small businesses fail is that there’s no market for their products. In order to avoid that scenario for your company, research and analyze the market to determine whether or not your new business will be profitable.
Choose your company’s location carefully as well. For example, if you’re planning to have a brick-and-mortar storefront, consider the local consumer base. You might find that the local market shows little interest in your product or service at prices that will allow you to earn a profit. If that’s the case, you’ll need to be creative, perhaps by coming up with a new way to present your product or service. Or you’ll need to accept the fact that your passion will just be your hobby.
Be Willing to Take Professional Advice
One of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is assuming they already have all the answers. Never hesitate to learn from others who have traveled this road before you. You may fear otherwise, but the fact is that a mentor is not necessarily your competitor. Take advantage of the services of a seasoned business coach, for example, someone who can help you to sort through the thorny problems of business ownership that only another entrepreneur can understand.
Learn to combine the power of expert advice with your own determination. In this way, success will be much more likely to find you. Benefit from someone else’s point of view to add to your knowledge about the best way to run your business.
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Exceed Your Customers’ Expectations
Some business owners assume that they can simply register their business using a company formation agent, and that everything will run perfectly from there. However, nothing could be further from the truth. If there’s one cardinal rule, it is that nothing ever goes as smoothly as expected.
You might find yourself dealing with defective products, delivery delays, and unhappy customers. Some of your customers might even give your business terrible online reviews. If you do happen to receive a negative online review, address it promptly and courteously, on the same online forum where it was posted.
Better yet, ward off such problems in the first place by providing only superior products and services. Fully test your products before putting them on the market, and you’ll have far fewer unhappy customers to begin with. Having an organized system in place is also key. Many industries like real estate companies use CRM systems (see this Follow Up Boss post) to ensure their customer engagement runs smoothly.
Learn from Your Mistakes
A small business fueled by passion will go far. However, even the most passionate of business owners is sure to make his or her share of mistakes.
As Oscar Wilde once said, “Experience is the name we give our mistakes.” In other words, the only way to gain experience is to make a few mistakes. However, as we mentioned earlier, don’t be afraid to seek out wise counsel, and avoid as many mistakes as you can.
And when you do make a mistake, own up to it. Make things right with everyone concerned as soon as you can.
Focus Your Attention
Starting a business is hard work. In fact, you can probably count on working long days, often late into the night and bright and early the very next morning. However, the sacrifices you make for your business will all be worthwhile once success finds its way to your door.
Make sure your working hours are truly effective ones by focusing strictly on your business when you are working on your business. In other words, tune out distractions. Diligently get your work done and make progress toward your goals.
Manage Your Own Expectations
Naturally, you want your business to get off to a good start. You want to make a lot of sales. You want your business to remain steady and consistent. And you expect your employees to provide the best possible service so that all of your customers will be happy.
However, in the hustle and bustle of the business world, such idyllic scenarios are rarely the case. Some businesses—even those who eventually find success—get off to a rocky start. Others fail to make a profit in their first few years. Some businesses make sales in spurts but fail to find consistency, at least at first.
So don’t expect perfection. Do expect that working smart and working hard will eventually lead you toward the satisfaction and success that you have every right to expect.
Don’t Give up Before Success Has a Chance to Find You
Have you heard Napoleon Hill’s story of the gold miner who quit digging when he was only three feet away from a rich vein of gold ore? Don’t be like that hapless miner!
The unfortunate truth is that it can take years for a business to become profitable. Your job is to persevere until that day. This can be especially true for businesses that have large amounts of overhead and carrying costs. That’s because as the profits come in, the money goes back out just to keep the business afloat. If this is the case for your business, you might grow weary of the work. This might lead you to question whether or not to stay in business.
While it is always in an entrepreneur’s best interest to know when to call it quits, don’t make the mistake of giving up too soon.
Passion, hard work, and perseverance will lay a sturdy foundation for your business. All you have to do is keep going through the tough times, so that you can be ready and waiting when success finally finds you.