How To Increase Your Chances For Start-Up Success
What do successful small business startups have in common?
As most of us are aware, starting a new business is risky. The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that about half of all startups survive the first 5 years and only about one-third survive for 10 years. Having a knowledgeable business attorney at your back can make a tremendous difference. While no one knows the magic bullet for success, experts agree that there are some factors that make start-up companies resilient. Those who are beginning their own small businesses must:
- Understand their own strengths and weaknesses
- Be independent, yet open-minded enough to listen to advice
- Be flexible and open to suggestions for improvement
- Avoid burnout by having a life apart from work
- Have enough start-up capital to support the business for at least 6 months
- It is essential that those starting a new business understand the importance of cash flow. Unless you are able to be realistic in terms of projecting with some degree of accuracy when you will begin to turn a profit, you may go under quickly.
Another important predictor of success in startups is how well you target your customers. Any entrepreneur who fails to research the market before taking the plunge will almost certainly fail. Although it's good to be optimistic, if you simply offer a product or service you're excited about at a price that you think is appropriate without understanding the needs of the community or the pricing of competitors, you are unlikely to have customers beating a path to your door.
Anyone planning to start a new business should focus on who their customers will be and how much they will likely be willing to pay. Research is essential. Though the library still provides many useful tools, the Internet is a goldmine of information relative to other small businesses that cater to the same market in different regions of the state or country. There are wonderful resources for start-up businesses in Texas, particularly The Texas Gulf Coast Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network. The SBDC offers free one-on-one confidential advisory services, as well as reasonably priced workshops and seminars, that can help you to become well-informed before you get in over your head.
Starting up a business is not something you want to do impulsively. Excitement at the possibilities should not keep you from preplanning, investigating, and consulting with a highly competent small business attorney to help ensure your success.