The undisputed fact of entrepreneurship is that most businesses fail. Success is rare, but it isn’t impossible. When you start a business, you have to know that most companies fail. But what are the reasons companies go out of business?
To be fair, failing in business is the only way to move forward. When you look at the history of successful businesses, you will find that failure is part of their past.
If you are dead serious about building a successful business consider the following reasons companies succeed:
Success starts with a vision. Your vision for a company which creates a product or a service is the beginning of your journey to create a successful business. A visionary leader knows why she is in business. She may not always know the next step, but she is thinking about the business every waking hour, focusing on moving the company forward. She might be busy putting out fires today, but she is strategic about the long-term goals of the company.
Everyone has an idea for a business. That’s the easy part. Successful companies are masters and transforming ideas into action items. Taking action is the first step toward business success.
For most businesses, especially early on, money is always tight. Set a strict budget and stick to it. Keep your expenses low. Never use credit for vanity projects such as office remodels. Keeping your costs low is a competitive advantage.
Business is about competition. Your competitors want to steal your customers. They want you out of business. One less competitor means an easier life for your competitors. Successful entrepreneurs know that speed to market is key to success. The faster you roll out your service, the more time you have to sell it. Work hard to work quickly to reach your market first.
If you can sell, you are on your way to building a successful company. If you want to start a business and you are serious about success, you have to have a sales focus. You have to be the first and best salesperson in your business.
You are only as powerful as the sum of your network. Build a network of people who can help you build a better business. Reach out to fellow entrepreneurs, potential clients and referral partners, influencers, and mentors. Successful entrepreneurs have powerful networks behind them.
Focus on profitability from the early days of your business. You may not have a profitable business right away, but you should always know your profit margins. Understand what margins you must maintain to be able to continue to grow your business.
As you build a business, there will be times when no one will believe that you can succeed. Customers might doubt you, your friends might doubt you, your spouse might doubt you, but you have to persevere. You have to push forward and keep believing in yourself and your business, even when nobody else does.
Every day in business is an opportunity to learn. When you make a mistake, you are learning. When you guess right, you are learning. The key aspect of learning is to do it fast. Be aware of what is happening in your business. Assess the situation, note what you have learned, and move forward using your new experience.
Many businesses can’t succeed without investors. Successful entrepreneurs not only know how to attract investors, but they also know how to attract the right investors. When you seek out an investor you aren’t only looking for dollars, you also searching for a business partner and mentorship.
One of the easiest things about business is to give up. There will be countless times when walking away from your business sounds like a great idea. You might be running low on cash, or there could be a recession, someone could sue you. If you are going to succeed, you have to stay committed.
There are countless ways to waste time. Successful entrepreneurs know how to stay productive. Understand that staying busy has nothing to do with being productive. You could spend a whole day learning about technology to help you improve a service, or you could spend twenty minutes on the topic, learn enough to take the next step and move on to the next project.
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