According to recent estimations, just under 50% of startup business’ fail in their first year and almost 95% fail within the first 5 years. These are staggering numbers and figures that will give concern to anybody who is looking to create their own small business. The reasons for failure are wide and varied but more often than not it is that the startups lose focus on the important keys to success that a business should always keep in mind. If you are looking to become the next Mark Zuckerburg, Charles Phillips or Jeff Bezos as a successful CEO of your own business then here are some rules you should stick to in order to stay on track for success.
Keeping Costs Down
Regardless of how much capital you have when starting out, keeping running costs to a minimum will be crucial in the early years of your business. In order to run your business at low cost you may need to take drastic and creative steps, many successful enterprises have been built from bedrooms and living rooms rather than plush offices and taking a salary will likely be something to address at a later date. There will of course be times when you will need to invest or buy items for your business but you should approach this with meticulous scrutiny and search for the best value that you can get.
Customer Focus is Key
Whether your business is focussed on sales or services the single most important item that you should be considering is your customer. It may sound simple but far too often businesses become obsessed with growth and status and lose sight of the single most important aspect in business, the clients. The ‘build it and they will come’ notion simply doesn’t work, you must provide value for your customers and constantly work hard to relate with them. The keys to working with your customers will be constantly staying up to date with trends and patterns for your target market, maintain excellent communication with your customers and more importantly make sure that you are delivering a quality product.
Keep Growth in Mind
Whilst starting out it is important to remember that you will be a little fish in a very big pond and you will not be slaying any giants just yet. With this being said, many startup ventures fail because they do not dream big enough nor consider a plan for growth. Your goal as a small business should be to improve and grow year on year. Implementing a 5 year and 10 year plan can help you stay on track. Seek advice when creating these plans, if you are overly ambitious and fail to meet your goals then this can damage confidence, if you are pessimistic with your plans then it could lead to complacency. Having a realistic plan for growth built on research from those who have achieved similar growth will keep you inspired and prepared for the coming years and ultimately your success.
Many business ventures fail because they try too hard and overcomplicate their business model or their products. The key to your first years will be simplicity, in your product choices, in your decision making and in how you run the business on the whole. The important thing to remember at the beginning of your business venture is not to run before you can walk, make a great product, target your customers and give them great service and value, once you have successfully done this then you can start looking to add extra features to your products or business model.