Did you know that less than one-third of small businesses ever make it to phase two of their life cycle?
On paper, those can be pretty sobering numbers if you’re just starting to make your dream a reality. The good news is, there are very specific reasons why 70% of small businesses fail — and we’ve got the tips you need to avoid the pitfalls that many companies run into.
Ready to prepare yourself for expansion? Arm yourself with these expert tips.
1. Be consistent, and don’t micromanage.
As you grow, your business will change. The one thing that should always stay the same, however, is your quality. By building on a strong foundation of service, you’re creating an unwavering precedent that you can build your next steps on. Just be mindful of being a control freak — if you’re delegating tasks correctly, and trust the team you’re working with, your employees will be empowered to continue your legacy of quality throughout their workflow.
2. Never stop improving.
At no point will you have learned everything, so keep the communication channels open (especially with your employees and clients) to ensure that your business keeps evolving. If you’re dealing with a problem, a lot of times the solution is within your very own team. And if you ask how things can get better, your employees are going to love the opportunity to provide the feedback you need.
3. Find mentors that have been in your shoes.
Every saga needs a Gandalf — someone who will guide the hero through their journey. For your entrepreneurial adventure, you need the same thing: a person to bounce ideas off of, to push you to meet your challenges head-on, and someone who can give honest feedback when you need it most. So find advisors that you can trust, who will hold you accountable, and most importantly, keep you in check as you navigate your business. The extra hand will be invaluable.
4. Take care of your money.
There’s nothing worse than a new company who doesn’t keep records of their cash flow — in fact, it’s one of the main reasons small businesses fail. Apart from not know your own account balance, being behind on your books can create a lot of other problems: overdue bills, tax audits, overdrawn accounts, and more. A bookkeeper may seem like a non-essential when you’re running a tight ship, but here at Acuity, we think there are a lot of benefits to having a bookkeeper for your small business. More than anything, it will give you the peace of mind of knowing that the accounts are taken care of. If you want to learn more about finding the right bookkeeper for your business, we can help.
5. Learn how to accept setbacks.
We’ve all heard it: Failure is a great teacher. But what does that mean for your small business? It means it’s really okay to experience setbacks, and that businesses who do it often are some of the healthiest out there. Giving yourself the freedom to screw up from time to time will also open up the gates of inspiration and innovation, and help take your strategies to the next level. And every company can benefit from that!
Your small business is in a good place. After all, you’ve got it started in the right direction. With these tips — and a little TLC — you can be prepared for whatever is next.