New businesses are starting up each and every day, yet the mortality rate of small businesses is still 60%. With more people turning to entrepreneurship in the economic downturn, either through an unexpected chance due to redundancy, or because they see an opportunity in the downturn, trying to increase the success of small businesses is more pertinent than ever.
Whilst nothing can guarantee business success, there are steps that small business owners can take that will not only help their businesses to succeed, but that will also make the fall less damaging should a business fail.
It may sound pessimistic to talk of business failure, and wherever possible we must look at the ways to maintain business success, however most of the ways to ensure businesses succeed also help should the worst happen and a business should fail.
I cannot stress enough the importance of bootstrapping, which means only using the funds available within your business to grow it. There are circumstances that mean that bootstrapping your business is difficult, such as when it is necessary to buy stock and equipment. To avoid being left with surplus stock, always ensure that you have necessary orders in place before ordering significant amounts of stock; spending a significant amount of money on unnecessary stock is a road to disaster for many small businesses.
Use marketing techniques such as social media marketing, and search engine optimization, to promote your business online. Whilst these efforts may take time, and research, it is possible to do these things yourself, for nothing. If, however, your time is precious and you aren’t confident of your ability, outsourcing these business functions is a great option for a growing business.
Make sure that your business accounts are kept up to date. While this might sound like a simple point, it never fails to amaze me how many businesses are caught out because of unexpected tax bills. It is really simple to keep on top of your finances; if you are competent bookkeeper then simple bookkeeping or accounting software is all you need, but if you are unsure, then outsourcing these business functions could save you a nasty surprise.
Offer fantastic customer service, and more and more people will come back to your business and tell others about it. This can be done for free and is the best way possible to grow and maintain your business. Fantastic customer service costs nothing, and can make, or break, your business.
There are no secrets to business success, no matter what anyone may say. What there are, however, are fundamental basics that can help keep your business on track.