Running a business takes time and effort, if it is to have any chance of success.
It will usually also take a significant amount of funding, as it can take some time before it becomes profitable. The most common time frame in which a business fails is the first year.
A significant number of these failures are down to the person who started the business not being prepared for the challenges they face.
This may sound harsh, as every business starts through the commitment of the person launching it.
To even get to that point takes a lot of discipline. But when you start to run a business, the challenges come thick and fast. Sometimes once it goes live, it is simply the fact that they’re coming from left, right and center.
Starting a business is complicated. So to have the best chance, you need to simplify things as much as you can.
#1 Start Strong, Diversify Later
You may be bursting with ideas for what your business will do.
If it is a cafe, for example, you can have a menu set in your mind. Countless options for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Desserts as far as the eye can see.
A drinks menu that would put the Waldorf to shame. Customers like variety. But getting too ambitious with the range of options can see you tie up too much of your cash in inventory. See what sells, then diversify.
#2 Bricks And Mortar And Not Too Much Else
Avoiding clutter is essential when a business is getting going. You pay per meter for floor space, so what you don’t want to do is take up more than you need.
Have enough space for people to move freely, but too much space for displays and point of sale is just money you’re throwing away. Instead, a web based point of sale which not only declutters the premises but also allows you to be more mobile.
It’s a more efficient way of doing things.
#3 Taking On The Big Dogs? Wait And See
It is often endearing for the public to see a new small business taking on the big players in its market. But what the big dogs have in their favor is that they’ve seen competitors come and go.
Making a statement of intent early on can draw customers away from the big names. However, the result is likely to be that they can cut into their profit margins (which are now established) to draw them back.
In the long run you want to compete, sure. But begin by finding your niche.
Ambition is important in business, and if you have the bankroll to back it up then there’s no harm in making a big splash.
But if you have a small business that you want to grow steadily, it’s about reading and reacting. In those early days you might not post Fortune 500 profits.
But if you’re smart, you’ll get through the early difficult bit and can then go full steam ahead when you’re established.