Eight out of 10 new businesses fail within the first eighteen months, according to the latest available data from Forbes. The vast majority of them flounder because of financial reasons — running out of money or inability to get financing. You can avoid many of the pitfalls of typical business owners by taking a comprehensive look at your business in advance. Whether you’re selling products or services to businesses or directly to consumers, here are seven tips that can help ensure your success as an entrepreneur.
Know Your Target Market
Successful businesses usually have specific markets or groups of people they target. One way to target is by demographics. For example, if you’re selling high-end clothing items for women, you might target those who are 35 and older who earn at least $75,000 per year. While you define your target market, keep track of competitors who service that segment.
Manage Your Expenditures
Know what your expenses are before you start your business. If you are selling products, account for production, shipping, advertising, and labor. Labor is typically the largest expense for those who employ workers. Creating paystubs online is smart and safe and helps keep track of your expenses. Online resources provide a great way to learn more about making paystubs that fit your style when starting a business. One way to save on these labor expenses is to find a company to manage your payroll process, including distributing paystubs and paychecks.
Write a Business Plan
Outline all the functional areas of your company in your business plan. Three or four pages should suffice. Some essential elements of a business plan include: objectives, strategies, financing, sales, and marketing -according to Entrepreneur.
Use Social Media
One way to save on marketing costs is to use social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Offer interesting tips related to your business on social media, and then provide a solution for solving a problem. Casually mention your business and website as an alternative instead of shoving product down peoples’ throats.
Hire the Right Employees
A huge key to your growth strategy is hiring the right employees. They must have the educational background and experience necessary to implement your strategies. Use headhunters who are experienced in placing talented employees.
Get your employees up to speed on your business and delegate. That’s the only way you can free up more time to sell, which is the cornerstone of your company.
Operate With Integrity
Honesty is always the best policy. Don’t cheat your customers. Give them what they want and more. Create a fair reimbursement or refund policy.
If you follow these basic principles, you have a great chance of growing your business and achieving lifelong success as an entrepreneur.