Becoming a successful entrepreneur is very challenging. Not everyone has the chops to build a brand from the ground up. Although millions of new businesses are created every year in the United States, about half of them will no longer exist after five years. Even those that make it past this timeframe may not be as successful as their owners wished.
While market conditions and a bit of good fortune play a role in whether or not a new brand will succeed, these businesses tend to fail because the owner is underprepared or overwhelmed. Perhaps they started their company before conducting enough research about the audience and the competition.
Putting systems in place that can put your company in a good position is the key to long-term growth. Let’s discuss a few ways to set your new business up for success the right way.
Create a Business Plan
A business plan is a formal document that lays out the state of the company, its objectives, its research, and how it will achieve those objectives. Many entrepreneurs may not have a formalized plan written down somewhere. Rather, it is a general idea kept in their heads. Lacking a formal business plan is one of the most common mistakes that new business owners make. This document can help you secure funding, get everyone on the same page if you have a team, and provide direction for your decision-making. Take the time to create this document and research the basic template for a business plan.
Figure Out Your Bookkeeping Strategy
Running a business is all about numbers. Expenses like taxes, insurance, operating costs, production, supply chain costs, and more need to be tracked accurately so you can measure them against revenue from sales. For one person, this can be an overwhelming task, especially if you have a ton of other responsibilities to work on. Planning a bookkeeping strategy will help you keep track of your financials accurately and efficiently. It might mean working with an accounting software program, hiring an accountant, or working with an outside firm. Either way, this task will be necessary, so you should try to lighten the load.
Consider Enterprise Resource Planning
When you are running a business, you have a finite amount of resources. Those resources could include tech tools, people, money, time, a building, or anything else that is used to operate the company. Managing all these resources is important, but doing so manually can be nearly impossible. This is why enterprise resource planning software, or ERP, is a must-have. This type of tool is a sort of all-in-one program that unifies the many operations of your company, making them easier to manage in one place. Everything from financials to supply chain management to order fulfillment can be managed with an ERP, and resources like getgsi.com can help you adopt and use this type of platform for your new business to make life easier.
Invest in Product Development
Whatever you are selling to people is your product. It may be a physical good that you create or a service you perform. The challenge is selling that product to an audience in a competitive industry. They might already have a solution that your product addresses that they pay for, and you have to convince them that your product is better. Investing in product development is a necessity for new businesses. What you sell needs to be well-researched and must provide value to the customer. Creating the best product or service possible is your best chance of breaking into the market and securing a customer base.
Set Up Customer Relationship Systems
The relationship you have with your customers can make or break the company. A positive relationship means more sales and audience goodwill. A negative relationship will drain your customer base and put you at risk of losing revenue. You need a system in place to manage customer relationships so that audience members feel understood and heard. A CRM tool can make a big difference in this initiative, making it easier to track customer data, share it with your team, and cater to specific customers with your services. A strong customer service initiative is also critical to maintaining the relationship with the audience.
Never Be Afraid to Seek Knowledge
No business owner starts with all the knowledge they need to manage a company. There is a steep learning curve no matter the size of your business or what industry it is in. As the leader of this brand, you must keep an open mind and be willing to learn from others who know more than you do. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from other, more experienced entrepreneurs. Attend trade shows and extend your network to access a greater record of knowledge from other business leaders. Their ideas and advice could be a huge boon to the prospects of your new brand.