Only one in three start-up businesses survive ten years or longer. As an entrepreneur, this rate may seem intimidating. However, you can increase your odds for success by avoiding the mistakes of those who walked the path before you.
After reviewing the mistakes of failed businesses, I’ve created this list of eight steps to help you go from a new start-up to a thriving and successful organization.
Entrepreneurs – Take These 8 Steps for Start-up Success
The steps I’ve outlined below do not have to be completed in any specific order. I do recommend creating your business plan (number two) before launching, but many of the other steps will require your ongoing attention.
(1) Solve a problem.
When starting a new business, you must address a need in the market. It can be a void where you see an opportunity, or you may have a differentiator that helps you to stand out as the best amongst competitors.
(2) Create a solid business plan.
Realistic business plans are critical for start-ups. Use accurate and recent data when forming your business vision and goals, marketing budgets, sales forecasts, potential pitfalls and solutions, hiring needs, and other components.
(3) Set up a business entity.
Of all the choices you make as an entrepreneur is the type of legal structure you select for your company. The type of business entity you choose will depend on primary factors. (1) Liability, (2) Taxation, and (3) Record Keeping requirements. There are 4 most common forms of business entities. When making the decision it is best to consult a professional for legal advice.
- Sole Proprietorship –must common, but could have most in personal liability.
- Partnership –involves two or more people or organizations who agree to share in profits or losses of a business. Benefits and Liabilities are usually passed through the partnership to the partners.
- Corporation –a legal entity that is created to conduct the business. This entity is separate from the those who founded it.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) –Is gaining popularity primarily because it allows owners to take advantage of the benefits of both corporation and partnership forms of business. Owners are often shielded from personal liability in the business.
(4) Be flexible.
Open yourself to the suggestions and feedback you receive from customers. If the market isn’t responding as you hoped it would, you may need to pivot from your original business plan.
(5) Establish your credibility.
Build your reputation as an expert in your industry. You can do this by holding events (online or in-person), sharing content online, and contributing to conversations where your expertise will shine while maintaining the intention of helping.
(6) Hire the right people.
Seek help when you need it. Proper management of the business is necessary for survival. If you’re not well-versed in accounting, selling, or managing employees – outsource it. Make sure the people you enlist mesh with your company culture, and have the drive and mindset for your company to prosper.
(7) Make formal agreements.
Protect yourself and your customers from costly legal battles by getting signed contracts. You may think you can trust people, but it’s always best to have that extra layer of protection.
(8) Err on the side of caution.
Test and go through any iterations to your product or website before launching. When it comes to scaling and growth, go slow and steady. Seven out of ten start-ups scale prematurely according to a report by Startup Genome.
Sustain Your Future as an Entrepreneur
Sales is the cornerstone for any new business. Could you or your team benefit from sales coaching? Do you need help with your start-up business? Contact me to schedule a 20-minute phone call explore how sales coaching can help make your life as an entrepreneur a little simpler. There is no obligation. Let me help you to drive more revenue and take your start-up to the next level. Jack Belford, Certified Business Performance Coach