Though starting a small business can be a profitable and rewarding alternative to traditional employment, 80% of new businesses fail within the first 5 years, and most within 2 years. Why? The majority of businesses fail due to poor management. Taking the time to prepare before jumping into business ownership is essential to creating a well-run and successful enterprise.
There are numerous ways to lower entrepreneurial risks and equip for business management, including:
- Gaining industry experience
- Researching potential competition and market trends
- Developing a thorough business plan
- Getting finances and credit in order
- Basing decisions on facts, not emotions
- Developing strong management skills
- Ensuring adequate funding before launching
- Using community resources
Starting a business takes passion, independence, confidence, and perhaps most importantly, a clear vision. Quantifiable goals, coupled with a strategy that connects those goals with the enterprise’s vision, will go far in ensuring success.
A business plan is a helpful way to get goals, strategy and vision on paper, marking a road-map to success. Business plans serve to:
- Focus ideas
- Formulate a blueprint for management
- Quantify specific business objectives
- Measure progress and overall performance
- Make a new business attractive to lenders and investors
Networking also decreases the risks of starting a business:
- Contacts within the same industry provide valuable manufacturing and customer knowledge
- Contacts within other industries offer fresh perspectives and out-of-the-box ideas
Numerous free and low-cost community resources are available to help aspiring entrepreneurs achieve their dreams:
- Mi Casa Resource Center provides free business counseling and technology training, as well as low-cost business classes.
- The IDA, a matched savings accounts program run by United Way, matches participants’ savings four to one to help start or grow a small business.
- Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute provides entrepreneurs with learning, lending, and coaching.
- Check out the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website for more information about starting a business and other community resources.
It is vital to avoid rushing into starting a business. Learn as much as possible from as many as possible before taking the plunge of business ownership. Ample thought about what the new business will represent, do, and achieve will allow messaging to be clear and consistent, whether in print material, online or in-person. The more a business owner understands their business, the easier it will be to sell to customers and potential investors.
photo credit to www.liveitforward.com