Small businesses can be a mystery. Sometimes the unlikeliest companies succeed, while others that seemed like a “slam dunk” close their doors within the first year. While there’s no miracle formula to determine small business success, there are some blunders many entrepreneurs make that handicap their chance for success:
Failing to plan
Most business owners start out with at least a flimsy plan for outside funding, but that’s not enough. To give your business a chance to succeed, your business plan must be strategic, robust and focused on future growth – not just the here and now.
Lack of funds is the primary reason most businesses fail. It’s easy to underestimate costs and overestimate revenue, which is why it’s so important to start out with a thoughtful business plan. If you’re not financially savvy, consider consulting with an expert to help you appropriately estimate how much cash you’ll need. Members of SCORE, supported by the Small Business Administration, are trained counselors, advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners.
No matter how capable, skilled and intelligent you are, you can’t operate your business independently. Every business owner needs outside help in sales, marketing, finance and managing, to name a few. Be sure to seek out the help you need to give your business a solid foundation.
Believe it or not, your location can make or break your business. When considering where you’d like your business to be, consider proximity to other businesses, convenience, parking, taxes, traffic and transportation. Be sure that you’re selecting a location that will give your business the best chance to succeed.
No matter what precautions you take, it’s important to remember there’s no guaranteed approach to small business success. But take heart: If you start with a well-crafted mission, a strategic direction and a careful plan, you’re well on your way to a strong business.
Note: “Fresh Ideas” are published each week by Countybank and its family of financial service companies. With financial centers in Greenville and Greenwood, Countybank has a team of highly engaged professionals ready to bring a full scope of financial solutions designed to help families and business owners reach their goals.