Starting up a new business can be an exciting time. You may have had an idea for a while that you’ve been itching to bring to life, and now’s your chance. In the UK, there are approximately 1,844 new start-up companies every day, with 42% of businesses surviving more than 5 years.
The key to this success is to have a solid start. As exciting as it can be to kick-off your new business and get your first customers through the door, it’s essential not to rush but to have a solid plan in place to ground your success from the beginning.
So, what can you do to ensure your business’s longevity? Here’s some simple steps to get you started on the right foot.
Have a strong mission
Before you go any further, make sure your business has a strong purpose. What problem or gap in the market are you solving? It’s important to get this really clear as many businesses as possible that fail is often trying to be too many things for too many different target markets.
With so much competition in the market now, it’s vital that you have a niche, stick to it and strengthen your offering in that niche as you progress. There’s always an opportunity to expand into other areas once you’ve made a name for yourself, but for now, it’s vital to keep your focus narrow.
Don’t underestimate the cost of starting up a business
One of the biggest challenges of starting up a new business is the cost involved. This doesn’t mean that if you don’t have enough funds then your business is over before it’s begun. There are plenty of options for securing funding for your business, however, you need to keep a track of every financial detail from the get-go.
Organizing your costs and outgoings will enable you to clearly see how your business is doing and where you may run into financial difficulty. It is often best to utilize technological tools and templates to do this to reduce human error and keep track on a larger scale. There is a range of tools that can help with bookkeeping, tracking deposit slips, managing tax, and much more, which are well worth utilizing.
Have a business plan in place
Your business plan is the backbone of your venture and outlines everything from your mission statement to your KPI’s, goals for achieving success, growth plan, and more. It’s essential to have this drafted from the get-go as many financial lenders and business investors will want to see this document before they get behind your business.
What’s more, if you’re planning on having employees then they’re going to need to believe in your business too. To do this, you are going to need to evidence a strategic plan on how you will start up your business and how you plan on making it sustainable.
Think of it as your blueprint for success.
Determine your audience
Companies that are the most successful provide one vital service to a select group of people, they don’t try to please everyone. For your business to grow, you’ll need to be sure of your product or solution and have thoroughly mapped the personas that your business is targeting.
Once you’ve mapped out your customer personas, it will be much easier to create a solid sales and marketing strategy that works. Consider the type of business you have, e.g., B2B or B2C, and ensure you are using the correct platforms and channels to reach these people.
After all, you may have a fantastic business but if no one knows about it then it’s no good.
Overall, while over half of new businesses don’t make it past the first five years of their adventure, the above steps are critical in ensuring your business is viable and sustainable.