If you have a great idea for a business and you are keen to get the wheels in motion, there’s no doubt that this can be a really exciting place to be. However, you will obviously be really keen to make sure that it’s likely to succeed, and that is something that requires a particular kind of focus and skill. As it happens, the vast majority of small businesses fold within the first eighteen months. If you want to avoid running one of those businesses, then you’ll have to have something unique to offer.
But that’s not all you’ll need, and in the remainder of this article we are going to take you through some of the other areas you will have to focus on if you want to make sure your business is likely to survive much longer than eighteen months. All of these are important to know about.
The 18-Month Business Challenge – Test The Idea First
The more rigorously you test the idea behind the business, the better. After all, there is really no telling how successful an idea will be until you put it to some kind of test. The ultimate way to do this is to put it out in the market and see what people think, but to minimize risk it’s wise to first make sure you’ve got it to as good a place as possible before you do that. In particular, make sure that you test that it works technically, and that it is safe, and then you can put it into focus groups for that test. As long as you do this, you can play around with it before you actually build a business around it.
Write Up A Stellar Plan
All businesses need a plan, and the stronger it is, the better a chance you have of leading your business to success. For a small business, it’s especially important that you write up the best plan you can, and that might mean that you want to get a little help with it along the way. When you are looking for business plan help, there is lots to be had, and it’s mostly about making sure it works, that it is detailed and that it’s written concisely and clearly. If those conditions are satisfied, your business will be much more likely to succeed on the whole, not just in the near future but further afield as well.
The 18-Month Business Challenge – Define Your Solution
Your main product or service should be there to solve a problem for people, and that is something that you need to understand as well as possible. In fact, the few entrepreneurs who lead their businesses past the 18-month mark tend to be able to define their solution very well, in such a way that they are going to have a much stronger chance of success. If you cannot describe exactly what it is that your business is there to help with, then it’s unlikely that it will help! This is therefore a really important early consideration that you should think about.
Build The Team
The stronger the team you have around you, the stronger the business will be. You need to put all your effort into building a really incredible team as best as you can. The better the team is, the more likely it is that your company is going to carry on growing and growing. You’ll appreciate the value of a good team when things start to go wrong, as they will at some point. If your colleagues help you to lift the business out of its doldrums, that’s a sure sign that they are the kind of people you want to have by your side.
Carry Out Market Research
It’s fair to say that you can’t really do too much market research. Knowing more about the markets that you operate within is always going to be really important, and will help ensure that you have a fuller grasp of what product to build, how to build it, but also how to market it and your business correctly too. So make sure that you are carrying out market research, especially in the early days. It’s worth putting some significant levels of funding into this, for the kind of result it can bring about for your business.
The 18 Month Business Challenge – Have A Growth Plan
This is somewhat distinct from the general business plan that we spoke about above. A growth plan is specifically a plan on how you might get your business to grow as much as possible, and it’s something that you are going to want to be aware of when it comes to keeping your business going strong. As long as you have clear ideas around how you’ll grow your business, it’s considerably less likely that your business will fail altogether, so that is definitely something that you should be aware of.
Businesses need strong leadership. If you are not able to provide this, then your small business is simply not going to succeed, and you are going to be much more likely to see it fold within the first eighteen months. Of course, it can take some practice to become a good leader, but that is nonetheless something that you should think about doing if you want your business to do well, and you’ll find that people do respond to it quite well too. So make sure that you are leading strong, or getting someone in who can do so. Either way, it’s going to make a difference.
The 18 Month Business Challenge – Fund It Well
A business will always require funding if it is going to succeed. You need to make sure that you have funding in place, and that you are going to be able to rely on it, and it’s that second part that can often be problematic for a lot of people. Nonetheless, if you are able to achieve this, you should find that your small business is going to be much more likely to survive the 18-month challenge, which bodes well for its future.