Some may say the most difficult thing is to start your business. But in reality, the most challenging thing is to make it last. In fact, as of 2021, 20% of all startups failed within a year, half within the first 5 years, and 65% within 10 years. So, how can you make sure your company is one of those that last?
First of all, you need to have a clear understanding of what you want your business to achieve and what your core values are. Once you have that figured out, you need to put together a solid business plan that will help you map out a path to success. But even with the best-laid plans, things can still go wrong. That’s why it’s important to know how to identify single points of failure and have a solid business continuity and crisis management strategy in place.
Below, we will focus on these and other crucial strategies that will help you stabilize and grow your business:
Clearly Define Your Goals and Values
The first step to building a successful business is to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve and what your core values are. These will be the foundation upon which you build your company and make all future decisions. Without a strong foundation, it will be very difficult to make your business last.
Some questions you should ask yourself to help define your goals and values include:
- What need does my product or service fill?
- What are my long-term goals for my business?
- What are my company’s core values?
- How can I ensure that my product or service is superior to my competitors?
Once you have a good understanding of your goals and values, you can begin to put together a solid business plan.
Create a Solid Business Plan
A business plan is a crucial document that will help you map out a path to success. It should include your company’s mission and vision, as well as your goals and objectives. Furthermore, your business plan has to detail your marketing and sales strategy, operations and management structure, and financial projections.
Creating a comprehensive business plan can be a daunting task, but there are plenty of resources available to help you. The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a number of helpful templates and guides that can get you started. Once you have a draft of your business plan, you should consult it with a professional to get feedback and make sure you’re on the right track.
Develop Crisis Management and Business Continuity Strategies
Even the best-laid plans can go awry, which is why it’s important to have solid crisis management and business continuity strategies created with the help of BCMS in place. This will help you identify potential risks and prepare for how to respond if something does go wrong.
Some things you should consider when developing your strategy include:
- What are the most likely risks or disasters my business could face?
- What are my critical business functions, and how would they be affected if one or more of them were disrupted?
- What are my plans for communicating with employees, customers, and other stakeholders in the event of a crisis?
- What are my plans for maintaining operations during and after a crisis?
By having a well-thought-out plan, you can minimize the impact of a crisis on your business and increase the chances of quickly recovering.
Implement Sound Financial Management Practices
Proper financial management is essential for any business, but it is especially important for small businesses. Sound financial practices will help you make the most of your limited resources and make smart decisions about where to allocate them.
To help ensure sound financial management include, you need to:
- Keep careful track of your income and expenses.
- Make sure you have sufficient cash reserves to cover unexpected costs.
- Invest in accounting and bookkeeping software to automate financial record-keeping.
- Stay up to date on changes in tax laws and make sure you are complying with all applicable regulations.
- Work with a professional accountant or bookkeeper to ensure your financial records are accurate and up to date.
By following these tips, you can help ensure your business is on solid financial footing.
Build and Improve Your Online Presence
In today’s digital world, it’s essential to have a strong online presence. This is how potential customers will find you and learn about your product or service. What’s more, a strong online presence can help you build credibility and trust with your target audience.
So, start by building a professional website that’s easy to navigate and provides visitors with the information they’re looking for. Make sure to include clear calls to action and contact information. Additionally, you should create social media accounts and use them regularly to promote your business and engage with potential customers.
Then, you can turn your attention to SEO (search engine optimization). This will help ensure your website and social media content appear near the top of search results, making it more likely that people will see and click on it. Finally, you should consider running online ads to further increase your reach.
Hire the Right People and Invest in Their Training
One of the most important keys to success is hiring the right people. They should have the skills and experience needed to do their job well, but they should also be a good fit for your company’s culture. How can you ensure this? The best way is to take the time to thoroughly screen candidates and then conduct in-person interviews.
Once you’ve hired the right people, it’s crucial to invest in their training. They will not only become better at their job, but they will also be more likely to stay with your company long-term. And well-trained employees will certainly improve your company’s overall performance.
There is no surefire formula for success, but there are certain strategies that can help you stabilize and grow your business.
By clearly defining your goals and values, creating a solid business plan, implementing sound financial management practices, and developing crisis management and business continuity strategies, you can give your business the best chance of success.
No one ever said running a business was easy, but by taking the time to put together a solid foundation, you can increase your chances of weathering any storms that come your way. And it will be all worth it when you see your business thrive.