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July 8, 2019
Everyone starts their business thinking it’s going somewhere.
Nobody wants to fail.
But in reality, 90% of start-ups collapse.
Want to be part of the 10%? Then make sure you follow these three essential keys to business success:
You should never start a business without a well thought out strategy.
A business strategy helps you define who you are, what you plan to do, and how you’re going to get there.
It doesn’t have to be a 500-page document. In fact, you should keep it as short as possible to ensure it remains concise and actionable. (The longer it is, the less likely you’ll achieve it.)
Here are a few things to look at when creating your strategy:
Many business owners skip this step, but it’s probably the most important. Think about the foundations of your business — who are you, why are you starting your business and why does it matter?
- Your Purpose: What drives you to do what you do?
- Your Vision: Where do you see your business in the future?
- Your Values: What matters to your business? What are the qualities you look for in customers and staff?
B. Sales and Marketing
Before you start selling your products and services, you need to think about how you’re going to market them. Who are you targeting? Spend some time thinking about your ideal customer. (The more you can understand about them, the more effectively you will be able to sell to them.)
A cashflow forecast is essential if you’re going to make your business work financially. Think realistically about your financial targets — and work with an accountant to ensure your business runs efficiently (and legally!).
D. Short, Medium and Long-Term Goals
The final part of your strategy should focus on setting short, medium and long-term goals. For startups, the following timescales are recommended:
- Short-term goals — things you will achieve in the next month.
- Medium-term goals — things you will achieve in the next six months.
- Long-term goals — things you will achieve in the next year.
Anything beyond that should form part of your vision.
Setting goals in this way helps you focus on the immediate future; ensuring your startup gets off to the best possible start.
Consumers are increasingly demanding brands become more socially and environmentally conscious.
For example, recent research shows that 66% of consumers say they’re willing to pay a higher price for sustainable goods and services.
This means that you should embed sustainability into your business model — right from the start. Things like:
- Picking an renewably-sourced electric supply for your office.
- Choosing an office with abundant natural light (This will save you energy.)
- Recycling all paper and packaging used by your company.
- Replacing single-use cups with mugs and glasses.
- Offering remote working for staff. (This will reduce the need for commuting.)
As you can see from the above examples, sustainability doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
And when you make your customers aware of your genuine green credentials, you’ll almost certainly see a benefit to your bottom line.
Growing a business takes time.
Which is why you shouldn’t expect big results overnight.
Even Amazon didn’t start making a profit until seven years after it began trading. (It’s hard to believe, isn’t it?)
So pace yourself and set realistic goals that will help you climb the ladder of success.
By taking one small step at a time, you can create a business that will support you and your family for years to come. But you must be willing to work for it consistently over a number of years.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” said Lao Tzu.
So take that first step right now — and begin turning your business dream into reality.
Craig J Todd – Freelance writer with a passion for tech, trends and simplicity.
Connect with Craig on Twitter.