When you read that 80% of small business startups fail within the first 18 months, it does not sound encouraging, does it? If you’re one of the coveted 20% that’s still in business after 18 months, you’re probably doing a number of things right, including the five reasons small business startups succeed listed below.
In the post “Five Reasons 8 Out of 10 Business Fail,” which I found delightful to read, Eric T. Wagner gave detailed reasons why businesses fail. Using, Mr. Wagner’s post as my foundation, I’ll be highlighting the ‘5 Reasons Small Business Startups Succeed’ so that you can do an audit immediately and correct any deficiencies.
- Have Meaningful Dialogue with Customers: “Your customer holds the key to your success deep in their pain, behavior, dreams, values and the jobs they are trying to accomplish.” From concept to implementation, it’s important to enroll your customer and get their input. Since he/she is the one using your service or product, then it makes perfect sense to get feedback. Connect with them on the platform of their choice to continue the conversation.
- Have a Unique Value Proposition: Just about every viable niche is crowded. It’s your UVP or USP (Unique Selling Proposition) that will set you apart. It takes time, but it will be time well spent to identify the unique qualities of your product or service.
- Communicate your Unique Value Clearly and Concisely: It’s not enough to identify your unique value proposition. You must be able to articulate this in a clear, concise way to your potential and current customers. Really listen to your customers and speak to them in the language or style that they understand and relate to. Be clear, concise, and compelling.
- Avoid Self-Sabotage: It’s important to recognize that as a business owner you must be in control. Often people start a business but they’ve not yet adopted the mindset of a CEO; they still have the mindset of an employee. Recognize from the outset that this involves a leadership role in which making astute and well-though out decisions will be factors that affect your success or lack thereof. While others can assist, you are the ultimate decision-maker. Where necessary, spend some time in personal development to enhance any skills you may already have. If this is an area that could lead to self-sabotage, take action without delay. There are numerous sources for learning available online and offline. Choose the best. Model those who are where you want to be and learn from them. Good leaders will share their successes and failures. Learn from their failures so you avoid making the same mistakes.
- Identify a Profitable Business Model with Multiple Streams of Income: Before you invest in a start-up, it’s important to do indepth research to find out if your business will fill a need in the marketplace. Then combine that with point #2 to make your business standout.
In the original article, the author discusses how Zappos’ founders did their market research creatively before investing lots of money. Too many times small business owners start a business because they ‘like that idea’ or see that others are doing it, but ignore doing personal research. Remember that only portions of any business is available to you. There are many other factors involved beyond what we can see so, avoid doing what seems popular without doing your own research.
Once you’ve completed your research, move decisively and quickly on to implementation.
By incorporating and implementing these 5 methods in your business, you can be among the 20% of small business startups that succeed.
What other strategies and tips would you recommend to small business startups so they remain viable?
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