Knowledge in any business, particularly knowledge about how to plan and run your business, makes the difference between success and failure, saysNeil Petch.Achieving success rules the mind of all business owners and entrepreneurs while setting up their companies. As a company formations specialist, every day I come across ambitious individuals who hope they have what it takes, and definitely a brilliant idea, to build a thriving company.
But contrary to popular belief, hoping and sheer will are not enough to take an idea – no matter how great – off the ground! In reality, you need to review the fundamentals of your business in a realistic, dispassionate manner to ensure your business is truly on a growth track.
There is no ‘one-formula-fits-all’ for business success, but I can tell you that the main reason businesses of all sizes – and especially the small ones – fail in less than two years is not because of the lack of capital or opportunity, it is the lack of knowledge and adequate planning. There’s no two ways about it.
Knowledge in any business, particularly knowledge about how to plan and run your business, makes the difference between success and failure.
So, my advice to all those thinking about starting out a new venture: don’t go into business without getting the basics right. Be ready to take a long, hard look at the fundamentals behind your business and take the time to plan. Need some cues? Start with the checklist below:
Know the market
How big, in terms of share or potential financial gain, is the current market for your product or service? Is it a new or a mature market? Are there any factors impacting your industry favourably or unfavourably at the moment or in the near future? Who are your clients? Who is your competition and what are they doing? Is price or service the key differentiator in this market?
A lot of these questions can be answered with desktop research, and the answers to these types of questions will give you a big advantage in getting an understanding of the opportunities within the marketplace, the demand for your product or service, and, importantly, they will validate – or not – the assumptions you made initially.
Know the clients
Ask all the questions you can think of about your potential clients. This knowledge will give you additional insight into how your own process and service should be structured. It will help you tailor your product or service offering the best possible fit. It will also inform the way you communicate with your clients.
Know your goal
Goals are central to everything we do! Unfortunately, they are also easy to lose sight of… So, take a minute and jot down what your goals are. Once you have that clarity, you start by mapping out step by step what you need to be doing to achieve them.
Every business is different.You may have no problem in generating enquiries for your products or services, but you may be reluctant to take on new clients because you feel you are already struggling to allocate the time you currently have.
You may be looking to attract new clients in a particular sector and your marketing strategy needs to be revised. Well, whatever your issue is, it’s important to know that when setting a goal, you must always look at your business as a whole, not one aspect in isolation.
Know your abilities
Once your key goals are set, you need to maintain your focus and steer yourself and your business in that direction. Map out your course, and ensure that each day you’re taking a step in that direction. It takes enormous work and discipline to keep that level of commitment, when every day may feel like a struggle.
Small businesses have advantages over large companies when it comes to customer relationship, knowledge and speed. You are closer to your customers, understand their needs better than themselves and you’re fast in responding and providing the services and solutions they need.
But that’s just the obvious… Once you got the fundamentals right, it’s time to get innovative and create a bigger advantage for your business. Think BIG. Bigger than your ‘big’ business idea. There’s no room for complacency on the way to success!