4 Helpful Tips for First-Time Entrepreneurs Starting a Business
People start new businesses every day, but not all of these businesses are successful. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that one out of every five new businesses fail during the first couple of years after opening, nearly half fail during the first five years, and two out of every three new businesses fail within their first decade of opening.
If you’re starting a new business, there’s only a one in four chance that your business will still be up and running in the next 15 years. These statistics can be disheartening to new entrepreneurs, but there are a few things you can do to help make sure your business is successful.
#1: Create a Strong Brand
One of the most important things that a new business can do is to create a strong brand. Your brand is the identity of your business— it’s the tangible things like your logo and your products/services, but it’s also the abstract things like your core values and what comes to mind when people think of your business.
A good place to start when developing your brand identity is to look at your competitors: what are they doing (or not doing)? What sets you apart from them that would make customers want to buy from you instead? Once you’ve figured out your “why” and your purpose, you can continue to build your brand on top of that.
#2: Make the Time to Find the Best Employees
When you’re just starting out, you may not need to hire any extra help, but this is definitely something you’re going to have to do once your company starts to grow. It may be tempting, but you don’t want to just hire the first people who apply to your open positions. You should take the time to make sure that each and every employee is a good fit for your company. Not only can one bad employee damage the reputation of your business, but he/she could also disrupt the workflow of your other employees.
This is when hiring a recruiting agency can be helpful. Their job is to take your company brand and market it towards the most qualified candidates to apply to your company. Some companies can even help you with the entire hiring process: screening, interviewing, background checks, and onboarding employees.
#3: Always Practice Good Customer Service
It only takes one bad customer review for your company to leave a bad taste in people’s mouths. Bad news travels fast, and an upset customer or client will be quick to tell everyone they know and more about the experience they’ve just had with your company.
On the other hand, good news can travel just as fast. No business is perfect and it’s impossible to please every customer, but when you make the effort to make things right with a customer you’ll earn their respect. When customers feel like a company cares about them, they’re likely to be repeat customers and tell their friends about your business.
#4: Invest in Your Business
New business owners must understand how important it is to invest back into their business. Invest in your employees by providing continuing skills/education opportunities and by increasing wages and providing more benefits. Rewarding your employees will decrease employee turnover, and you won’t have to put any more effort into screening, interviewing, and hiring.
You should also invest in software that will help you manage business tasks and even outsource some of these tasks to other companies. Outsourcing can be a big upfront cost, but it will save your company much more money over time. The same goes for investing in a software system, such as JD Edwards Consulting, where all of your repetitive tasks can be automated to allow you and your team to focus on business matters.
While all of these tips are helpful, it’s still important to have a product or service that people are in the market for because it’s hard to be successful without a good product. Also, research your target market constantly. The demographics for your market may change over time, so make sure that you know who your audience is.
Overall, remember to stay consistent. Many business owners tend to quit at the first sign of distress, and some may even have to. Make sure that you (or your accountant) is managing your finances well to avoid having to close down your business. Managing your finances thoughtfully and persevering through tough times gives you better chances of being successful.
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