According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Business Employment Dynamics, entrepreneurs have about a 50% of starting a new business and having that business survive five years.
I was just asked to come up with three recommendations for people who are looking to start a small business, and thought I’d share them here as well to help those of you thinking about starting a new business to meet and beat that five-year mark.
1. Look for a market opportunity that’s underserved today, or one that is ripe for disruption. Do some initial market research to understand what customers really want and aren’t getting, then focus on solving for these needs in a better and/or more innovative way. And keep soliciting feedback with each iteration to refresh and tune your offering as customer needs evolve.
2. Create a business plan. A lot of entrepreneurs start their business without taking the time to think through the details. When you put the pen to paper–or finger to keyboard–it forces you to access everything from your company description to the market opportunity to financials in a more thoughtful way. There are many templates out there, here’s a resource from the SBA: https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan.
3. Use cloud business solutions designed just for small businesses to automate and streamline operations right off the bat. Using spreadsheets, email and other solutions to run your business will get very cumbersome very fast. Instead, start-up with cloud solutions designed specifically to help you manage key areas of the business–from accounting to marketing and sales to customer service–to save yourself from the pain of migrating from later. Look for solutions integrate easily with each other–this will also save you from repetitive data entry and give you a clearer view of your business.
Of course, there are many other things you’ll want to consider as you prepare to take the big step to becoming a small business owner. If you’ve already taken this leap, please share your top tips here!
©SMB Group 2018