We have already looked at the figures and know that there is a high failure rate for new businesses.
Let’s take a look at what sets a successful business apart from the failures. We have dealt with all of these issues at length in other modules, so I will just summarise here.
The right business and owner
The reason for starting the business has to be solid. If you do it so that you don’t have to be responsible to a manager, and can take life easy, fit things in around your work, this is not likely to be a successful business.
But you have a better chance of success if you have a great product that you are sure will be in demand in the marketplace, are passionate about your idea and the business, have the right attitude, and the health and stamina to push on when things get tough. It also helps if you are skilled at managing people and situations, particularly if you are going to be in contact with clients, and eventually manage a team.
If you are expecting clients to visit your premises, the old adage of “location, location, location” still holds. Easy access, parking and the impression the business creates are all critical.
We have touched on this already in this module. Cash is king, you must have sufficient, or your business will fail.
Expansion needs to be managed and controlled or problems will ensue. Customers will be let down; poor decisions will be made.
Whether your business is transacted online or not, you must have an excellent website and online marketing, and a social media presence. People automatically check the website before they contact you.
Planning and research
Researching the market, and writing a strong business plan, will help to protect your business at the outset. Then you will need to develop a strategic plan, and work to it.
Many business failures are attributed to a poor management team. If there is only you, then you are the management team.As we have discussed, it is unlikely that the business owner is expert at everything. So, you must recognise where you need professional help, and get it.
When the business becomes established. the leader must have vison and the management team must be experienced. A strong cohesive team with the correct structure is crucial to a successful business. The system and processes must be well thought out and operate effectively
Operational Support Systems must be in place that deliver effective performance, track and report results, supplying management with the information they need to manage effectively.
I hope that this has been useful. Clearly, we have revisited topics already covered. But we have looked at them in a slightly different way, from the perspective of a small business owner.
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