by Steven Wendt, Internet Marketing Manager at UV Cards
Statistically speaking, small businesses with one or more employees have a 44 percent survival rate. This means that 56 percent of small businesses fail, no matter how amazing their product or how prepared they thought they were.
This is an alarming number, and considering the time and money that goes into start-up, it’s certainly worth the extra effort to make sure all your bases are covered and you don’t become one of the 56 percent. In order to protect your investment and your livelihood, consider the following commonly overlooked needs for the startup phase of your business.
No matter the size of your business or how much you think you know what you’re doing, you need a business plan. A business plan will help you keep your business on the right track, and it will also help you to know your customers. It’s important to understand who you’re marketing to. Also, you need to fully understand the projected demand for your product and a reasonable price range for startup and beyond. If you don’t have a realistic idea of what you’re going to need to put in, before you can get money out, you might find yourself in trouble.
Speaking of putting into your company, you need to be realistic about startup costs before beginning your venture. Many companies start with a hopeful idea of low start-up costs, low maintenance and nothing but dollar signs in the future. However, reality is often very different. There are many unforeseen expenses that can sneak up on you if you aren’t prepared. In order for your business to grow, you will need to be able to provide the necessary resources your business will need. Be prepared.
Don’t Forget the Customer
It’s easy for a small business owner to get tunnel vision with only the business end of their new project in sight. However, it’s important to make time for your customers in between market projections and patting yourself on the back. Never forget the most important asset to your company, because once you do, your great idea and promising statistics won’t mean a thing. Take the time to find out what your customers want, how they feel about your product, how you could improve and how they think. This extra work will only bring positive results.
Oh Business, Where Art Thou?
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a good, solid business is location. You can offer the most amazing product to hit the market, but if people can’t find it, you’ll be out of luck. Location is everything, and there are steps you need to take to make sure you make the most of it. Make sure you’re accessible and in an area that will benefit your business.
Be Ready to Grow
Once you’ve got a solid business plan, adequate start-up capital, a prime location and happy customers, your business will have nowhere to go but up. As crazy as it may seem, business growth can be a bad thing if you aren’t prepared. Not only will the demand for your product grow, but you will need more space, employees, resources, inventory and a plan to implement all these extras. If you aren’t able to transition to the next phase when demand increases, your business will self-destruct.
Nobody wants to be part of the 56 percent. Luckily, there’s a whole group of businesses that make it past the scary start-up phase and go on to do wonderfully. Preparation and knowledge can mean the difference between failure and success, so take the extra steps to make sure your business is ready. You’ll be glad you did.
Steven Wendt is the Internet Marketing Manager at UV Cards, a leader in the printing and business cards industry. He enjoys providing tips about networking and creating professional business cards.