Every 30 days, more than half a million new businesses launch. Yet within a decade, all but an estimated 4 per cent of those new startups will have closed their doors. Still, want to start a business?
Why is this? What sets that slim 4 per cent of startup companies apart from the rest? Most importantly, what can you do to be sure you are still standing, surviving and thriving, a decade from now?
Step 1: Start a Business Small
Learning how to start a business is exciting. There is absolutely no arguing this fact. But it can be so exciting that your eyes get bigger than your wallet. Nothing but the best of the best will do for your startup.
This may translate to mean taking out more credit than you need or can easily pay back. It may mean failing to track receivables to be sure you have sufficient cash flow coming in to meet your monthly obligations. It might show up as dropping far too much of your startup cash on a single item, such as a complicated, multi-page website when a simple site would do just fine.
Smart start-ups conserve available cash, knowing that pennies saved now can pile up into dollars to invest in business growth later.
Step 2: Follow Your Business Plan
A business plan is basically like a roadmap for your startup. When you get lost, you can consult your business plan to pick up the trail again. When you have a new opportunity, you can look at your plan for guidance about when and how to address it.
Even a poor business plan is better than having no business plan at all because at least you have tried to sketch out how your start-up will respond to different business scenarios. You have at least demonstrated that you take your own business goals seriously enough to take the time to create a plan for how to achieve those goals.
As a bonus, investors and creditors will be more inclined to work with you if you can show that you have a solid business model in place.
Step 3: Choose a Great Brand Name
If you have ever noticed the small symbols behind many of the best-known brand names, you may have wondered what they are for and how they got there. Those symbols stand for copyright and trademark protection. In other words, the brand is protecting its unique brand name and its exclusive right to use that brand name to market its products or services.
This is critical because, to customers and prospects, your brand name IS your company’s products or services. If they don’t know you, they will look first to your brand reputation to decide if they want to purchase from you or another company.
The key when choosing a brand name for your start-up is to find something unique that can’t be easily confused with any other brand out there. Make your brand name short, memorable, easy to pronounce, catchy and clearly yours