The resources are out there to make starting a business more doable than ever before. However, there’s a difference between starting a business and building a truly successful one.
According to data cited by Fundera, about one in five small businesses will go under within their first year. By the fifth year, approximately half of all small businesses will fail. Some of the reasons for failure include running out of money, getting outperformed by competitors, lacking business goals, or making mistakes on pricing and product offerings.
There’s a massive amount of potential for entrepreneurs to launch strong businesses nowadays, but it takes a solid foundation, plus lots of planning and agility to make it work.
Here are some tips for how to go about building a successful business.
Set Aside Time to Organize
It’s easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of demands ever-present in modern life. But sacrificing organization will only put your company at risk of letting things slip through the cracks.
Set aside a manageable chunk of time every day to update a running to-do list and think about what you need to achieve tomorrow to stay on top of the responsibilities most beneficial to your company’s operations. Properly file all paperwork during this time to make things like taxes, creating your business plan, and banking easier whenever the time comes.
Spending even 10 minutes per day with your mind laser-focused on an organization can prevent hours of hassle down the line — and lost revenue, to boot.
Make Strong Business Relationships a Priority
No person exists in a vacuum. No person is an island. There are so many iterations of this sentiment in popular culture because it speaks to the fundamental fact humans are social creatures. We need each other to learn, grow and thrive.
Here are a few tips from Yahoo Small Business on relationship building, one of the keys to a successful business:
- Rather than thinking of it as networking, think of it as building genuine lasting relationships. Think of these relationships in terms of quality rather than quantity, as the idea of speed networking implies.
- Build relationships online and in real life. Even a visit to a local restaurant, a sporting event or a community celebration is an opportunity to get to know the people around you and forge that connection.
- Make sure you’re contributing genuine value to each relationship as well as to each customer.
- Take advantage of your social strengths. Even if you’re not naturally the center of attention in the room, you can still listen well and proactively reach out to everyone you meet to strengthen the relationship.
- Think about relationships in terms of connection rather than about cut-and-dry business benefits. This mindset will get you a lot farther.
Create a Sound Business Plan
Investing time upfront to put together a strong business plan can help you kill a few birds with one stone: Namely securing the funding you need to thrive and clearly defining your company’s performance goals and branding before you start making other decisions.
If you’re not sure where to start creating a solid business plan, try filling out one of the many templates available online. As you work through this template, you’ll be forced to reckon with important questions about the nature of your business, where it’s been, and where it’s going. Skipping this step can be very detrimental, especially when it comes to trying to get a loan or an investment for your company.
Three key components to building a successful business are an organization, relationships, and your written business plan.