The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that around 20% of small businesses fail within the first year alone, and less than 1/3 of small businesses make it to their first ten years. This, despite the growing number of resources for small business owners, proves that keeping your enterprise afloat might be easier said than done.
While finding the path to success is different for everyone, there are certain things you can do to ensure that your company has a better shot at longevity. Here are just a few fundamental elements that will help you and your company stay on top.
Vision and Mission
While it might not seem that important compared to the nitty gritty of daily operations, establishing a vision and mission for your company is absolutely critical.
CircleUp founder Ryan Caldbeck explains that a company’s vision can help motivate employees and team members to work towards a shared success.
Your vision and mission are like the guiding posts of your business; without it, you’re more likely to be aimless and uncertain about future steps. Outlining your vision and mission isn’t just about hypotheticals; it’s also about creating a long-term strategy that can help refine your company’s purpose and set it apart.
Learning to clearly budget for your business might be a given, but its importance can’t be overstated. You should be aiming for long term sustainability, and that’s impossible without a properly managed budget.
SBC has outlined a number of reasons why budgeting is so important for small businesses, including payroll, rent and utilities, loans, advertising, and more.
By carefully planning and constructing your budget, you’ll be able to more adequately prepare for pitfalls along the way, as well as make strategic decisions about the expansion and development of your company.
Another thing small businesses will need to learn to do is to network properly. Establishing a relevant network is key to strengthening ties among businesses and generating new leads.
Sites like LinkedIn provide great opportunities for small businesses to establish and leverage their networks.
Networking can also be done at trade shows, in local small business fairs, or even at places like bars and restaurants. Making use of both online and face-to-face meetings can help you nurture connections, which could eventually lead to thousands of dollars of revenue per year.
Finally, one of the biggest things a small businesses will need in order to continue operations is a solid marketing plan. We’ve previously talked about the importance of marketing in our article ‘How Marketing Can Help Tech Start-Ups Survive‘. Your marketing plan will need to be carefully considered, at the very least taking into account your budget, product, market, and relevant trends and techniques.
Full service marketing provider Triadex Services recommends employing a variety of marketing tactics, integrating offline and online methods for full adaptability and scope. Establishing the proper balance among all your methods will enable you to create relevant and effective campaigns that will generate more leads and engagement.