Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Google.
Starting your own business is hard work—there’s no denying that. It’s a huge undertaking, which is probably why half of all businesses that open their doors will be forced to close them within five years.
If you’re starting a new business—and you wish to avoid becoming part of that statistic—consider the following five tips that’ll increase the chances your company is in it for the long haul:
1. Have a vision.
Where do you expect your company will be in three years? If you’re not sure, you’ve got to ask yourself that question prior to opening your doors for business. Remember, most successful companies don’t get to where they are as a result of an entrepreneur throwing a bunch of ideas at a wall to see what sticks. Rather, effective business owners have crystal-clear visions of what they expect their organizations to accomplish and in what timeframe. Having a clearly defined vision will make it easier for you and your team to realize your objectives.
2. Hire the right people.
It’s critical that new small business owners never underestimate the importance of hiring the right people right off the bat. After all, most new businesses aren’t usually rife with resources. You don’t want to waste time, energy and money filling positions with workers who won’t last more than a few months. To increase your likelihood of hiring the right people, look for candidates who, beyond being qualified for the position, seem to be on board with your company’s mission and values, too. Also consider new approaches to hiring. For example, if you’re hiring a copywriter, why not ask that person to whip up a sample blog post?
3. Don’t do too much at once.
Your mind may run a mile a minute, but that doesn’t mean that every idea and initiative you devise needs to be pursued immediately. It’s imperative for new businesses to maintain a laser-like focus on that which they do best instead of spreading out their energies across multiple unproven endeavors. That way, you can increase the chances your business will be healthy in the future. If you spread your operations too thin too quickly, you risk alienating your loyal customers—which likely means you wouldn’t get the opportunity to launch new products and services down the road.
4. Manage your cash flow.
To succeed in today’s business world, companies need access to cash—it’s as simple as that. Without money on hand, businesses may have a hard time finding the cash they need to pay their bills. And worse yet, they are unable to respond to new opportunities that may emerge at any time. If you’re starting a new business, it’s essential that you proactively manage your cash flow. To do that, you may want to maintain statements of cash flow that will help you predict where your business will stand financially in a few months’ time. If it appears that cash flow problems may be in your company’s future, you can use a service like Fundbox to advance payments on outstanding invoices.
5. Modernize your approach.
Today, business doesn’t take place solely between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. And increasingly, work isn’t done within the confines of an office. To be successful—and also attract and retain the right employees—you may want to consider “unconventional” (i.e., modern) approaches to business. For example, instead of leasing office space (startups pay an average of $6,100 a year on rent), you may want to consider letting your employees work from home or looking into coworking spaces. Additionally, you’ll want to leverage the power of cloud computing, so your workers can do their jobs from any connected device—no matter where they happen to be. It’s an easy way to boost productivity while reducing expenses.
Imagining, building and growing a new business is hard work. But there’s no sense in making it any more difficult than is necessary. The good news is that, by doing your due diligence and researching what you need to be successful, it becomes measurably easier.