Starting a small business is hard. Starting and creating a successful small business is even harder. “According to the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy’s 2018 Frequently Asked Questions,” while roughly 80% of businesses survive the first year, only about 33% survive to year ten. There are obviously many reasons for this stat, but the biggest is the failure of entrepreneurs to plan for the long term. As a business owner that has made it to year 8 (I have no clue how lol), the one constant is that there is no constant as a business owner.
A recent Forbes article gave some great advice as to a few key metrics you will want to look at as you begin or grow your business. I can attest to seeing all of them at one point during my time as a business owner and agree that you must take heed to the advice as you go down your entrepreneur path.
- Know your market: While you may think you have a great idea, make sure that your new product or service is something your market needs AND is willing to pay for. Not
all needs are worth paying for and not all things worth paying for are a need.
- Capital: It takes money to make money, and if a business doesn’t have enough money to cover its operating costs it will not success. Whether through investment of sales a company needs to budget correctly and if not, will end soon.
- Competition: Make sure you understand your market, and that includes competition. Take heed to where the market is heading and what your competition is planning in the long and short term. Otherwise, they may be leaving you behind.
- Pricing: Pretty simple but also very important. Make sure your pricing covers your costs…ALL of your costs. And make sure it’s not too much to where your customers are not willing to pay for it.
- The Team: Sometimes, you’ve entered the right market with the right product, but you don’t have the right team to pull of your amazing idea. It’s sad but true. Take an honest look around you and make the decision if your current team can get it done in terms of servicing your customers and growing your product.