Most entrepreneurs are well aware of the statistics when starting a new company. The statistics can seem rather disarming as you look at them, with only 56% of start-ups making it to the fifth year and only 40% of start-ups being profitable. In fact, money is the leading cause for failure, with 82% having to fold their business thanks to cash flow issues.
It’s easy to get scared off by these statistics and second guess your decision to start your own business, but here’s the thing, when you go about things in a well-planned, organized, highly-researched way and have contingency plans in place, you can end up with a very successful and profitable business on your hands.
So, what is the secret formula to success? Unfortunately, there isn’t one clear answer, rather it is taking a bunch of tips and advice into consideration and determining which apply to your venture. To help get you on your way, here’s a look at six surprising ways you can increase the odds of success for your start-up business.
Your Idea Needs to Be in Demand
First things first, while this may sound like a simple tip, it’s sometimes easy to lose track of it. When you have what you believe is a great idea, it’s normal to get attached to it, which can then skew your objectivity. A great idea is only that if there is demand in the marketplace for it.
As an entrepreneur, you need to look at the market in a logical manner, determine if there is a place for your product or service, and if not, then you need to be open to making changes and tweaks. A great idea that nobody wants nor has a real place in the market will only prove to be an uphill battle that you will likely end up losing. It’s okay to want to be unique and revolutionary, but within reason.
Understand That You Will Need to Go All In
It’s also important to come to terms with what will be needed and expected from you. As an entrepreneur, you will be the one who has to drive the business forward, which means you need to be ready to go all in. This means long hours, plenty of hard work, little to no profits for what may be months and even years, and lots of dedication on your end. At the end of the day, you need to have passion for your idea and believe that it will be a success.
Ensure You Are Ready to Manage Employees
While there is plenty of focus on the financial end of things, product research, and researching the competition, you have to think of your own skills and experience too. Because you are the business owner, you will be the one managing the employees – at least at first. As your business grows and expands, you will maybe want to bring in senior management at that point so you don’t have to be so hands-on when it comes to employee relations.
Now, just because you have a great idea for a business, doesn’t mean you are ready to manage employees. Being a great boss means understanding what it takes to motivate people, lead them by example, and create a workplace where communication thrives and everyone feels appreciated in their job. This is how you’ll be able to get the absolute best in terms of productivity out of your employees.
This is exactly why it can be helpful for you to look into courses that can make you a more efficient manager. Take ethics training courses as an example. When you invest in an ethics training program, you will be educating yourself on policies and procedures that you may not have been familiar with, but will certainly help. Ethics training courses will make it possible for you to move on and make the very best decisions for your company, always keeping proper ethics in mind.
The Employees You Hire Matter
Once you are at the point where it’s time to start hiring on staff, this is a pivotal part of the process. It’s quite normal to want to cut costs and thereby hire people without much training or experience, but remember, the employees will literally dictate the success of your business – this isn’t the area you want to cut corners on.
Look for employees that can bring something to the table – whether that is training, qualifications, experience, contacts, or anything else that basically elevates your business. Your employees should be seen as an investment in the success of your business, so making a smart investment makes good sense.
You will also want to limit the amount of turnover you experience in the company, as this will only cost you in the end. High turnover rates mean more money spent, lost productivity, and a hit to the quality of work in the workplace. In order to retain your top talent, they need to be paid competitive wages, be treated with professionalism and respect, and they need to feel valued and know they are part of the bigger picture.
Communication is a Cornerstone of Success
Another tip is to work on your communication skills, which means speaking and listening. You will need open and clear lines of communication with your vendors, staff, partners, and clients/customers. This is how you will build respect and start to create a positive brand image. It also shows that you have integrity, which isn’t always easy to find.
Set Short- and Long-Term Goals
When you create your initial business plan, you will also want to be sure you are setting both short and long-term goals. It’s fine to have your eye on the ‘right now’, and what is currently happening in the business, but short-term and long-term goals are what will act as the blueprint and help you forge your way to success. These goals will motivate you, keep you on track, and will act as indicators when changes are needed.
This also means that you should be tracking all your progress and failures so that you will be able to react accordingly before things can go too far off the rails.
It’s a Long and In-Depth Recipe to Success
When all is said and done, creating a successful start-up is no simple task, and unfortunately there is no one-size fits all blueprint to follow. Instead, it’s a matter of taking all kinds of tips and advice into consideration, and understanding the company’s strengths and weaknesses. Accept that there will be challenges and pitfalls, and learn from them so you won’t repeat them.