Starting a business is easy, but making a success of it is not. In the United States, small businesses make up more than 99% of all businesses. Failure rate is high among them, which necessitates the need to follow the tips below:
The biggest hurdle faced by budding entrepreneurs is battling with negative self-image. The entrepreneurial landscape is very competitive.The competition drains entrepreneurs out of self-esteem. Coping up with failure is often difficult for them.
Though it’s unfair to generalize an entire demographic group, millennials, who make up the largest percentage of wannabe entrepreneurs, are often criticized for being laidback. They lack patience and fear negative outcomes. They often easily give up.
Brushing up the self-image requires identifying the causes of failure, so as to minimize the odds of failure in the future. Many Silicon Valley’s CEOs had botched business ventures tagged with their names. They later admitted that those failures led them to bigger success.
Hiring a business consultant
Startuppers often shy away from hiring an experienced business consultant. By doing that, they risk the future of the business. Hiring a business consultant comes with a laundry-list of benefits. Some of these benefits are:
- Realistic advice: A competent business consultant will give you advice that are easily implementable. He’ll put you on the right path to help you achieve your goals, while at the same time keep you grounded.
- Alternative ROI calculation method: Chances are that you are following an outdated ROI measurement method. A business consultant knows various ways to calculate ROI. His ROI estimation methods would be more scientific than yours.
- 360° legal counseling: This is a critical aspect of hiring a business consultant. Legal nitty-gritty and associated jargons are often hard to understand, which is why, business owners visit lawyers. Hiring a business consultant eliminates the need to hire a lawyer separately.
Small business owners often think hiring a business consultant is optional. It’s not. Expert advice are always useful and business consultants offer such advice.
The business vertical is dynamic. Each day, an old trend is replaced by a new trend. Unless a business improves its existing skills, it’s hard for it to survive and grow amid the competition.
Even if a business operates in the B2B niche, it still doesn’t have the luxury to keep its web presence limited to desktop devices, assuming handheld devices are for the end-consumers. In 2014, more than 60% B2B customers accessed instructional videos through Smart devices. Hence, the business needs to acquire one new skill – responsive web design, so that it can get traffic from the mobile web pool.
To fast track skill improvement, set short-term goals. Setting short-term goals encourages employees, who are already burdened with work responsibilities. They know they have enough time and resources to achieve those goals. For many of them, who strive for better professional opportunities in the future, skill improvement is a lofty proposition. So they fully cooperate in the process.
Marketing attribution models
You may be a maverick, but you still need to walk in the footsteps of others, those who have already climbed up the ladder of success. They have devised marketing attribution models, so up-and-coming entrepreneurs could measure return on investment (ROI) more effectively.
Some of the useful models are:
- First touch marketing attribution: The first layer of the sales funnel is the communication touchpoint. It’s the marketing channel that brings prospects close to action statements.
- W-shaped marketing attribution: This model puts equal amount of importance on the initial touchpoint, lead conversion and sales opportunity creation.
- Full path attribution: This model is a bit complicated. It says sales closing is as important as three other models. It also puts 10% importance on the integration of all four touchpoints.
It’s up to you to pick an attribution model. Whatever model you choose, make sure it’s on par with your industry realities and your overall business approach.
Networking leads to success
Professional networking begets success in business. PayPal, Twitter, Facebook and so many other Palo Alto firms were started by a group of friends who had an active professional network between them.
Networking is invaluable for business success. For a small business, networking is essential because it connects the business with the right people, who can offer fresh perspective on growth or arrange seed-stage funding.
If the business owner already has a preexisting professional network, he should expand it. In case he doesn’t have it yet, he should visit tradeshows and business summits and register for webinars. This way, he could surround himself with people who can help him make a success of his business.
Mentorship and VC funding
Most startup businesses are bootstrapped. So they need funding from venture capitalists. Securing VC funding is not easy, though. Bear in mind the following things:
- Your business should be scalable. You may have had a promising start, but that’s not enough. The VCs want to know if your business can scale well.
- Both the market and the niche your business is catering to, should be profit-generating. Or else, VC firms won’t show any interest.
- Your product/service may be unique, while that’s praiseworthy, make sure you have the team and leadership to promote it.
Mentorship is as important as funding. Free mentorship is available from reputed business blogs. Follow the top columnists there. You can send them emails asking specific questions if you have to.
Rely on automation
Even a decade back, the received wisdom was automation is for large businesses. However, small business automation is a reality now and it is driving up small business growth big time.
The remote staffing model lets you outsource your works to people from other parts of the world. You don’t have to spend money on buying software licenses because cloud brings a solution. You can even eliminate the need for a hardware setup like physical computers and WiFi access points.
In the marketing segment, automation brings you programmatic ad buying. With programmatic, you can connect to the most targeted consumer demographic and impress them with customized ad content.
In short, not harnessing automation is a big mistake for small businesses and large businesses alike as it escalates the odds of success.
There’s no magic wand that can bring success overnight. You need to be patient and have a strategic approach. Alongside, follow the tips discussed here to make a success of your business.