Starting a business is a gamble. No matter how great your products are or how knowledgeable you are about trends, there is still a chance that your venture will crash and burn.
According to statistics, eight out of 10 businesses fold within its first 18 months. That is an 80% failure rate within one and a half years which, for aspiring entrepreneurs, sounds scary.
If you are starting a business, however, there are things that you can do right to ensure that your money and your efforts are not going down the drain. If you are a graduate of a health coach training course who wants to start accepting clients or a chef who wants to start their own meal service, here are survival tips for small businesses:
Have an Open Communication with Customers
It is crucial for every business, big and small, to listen to their customers. The role of customers is often emphasized whenever the success of businesses is discussed. It might seem obvious that, for your business to thrive, you need to take good care of your customers. However, many business owners make the mistake of not communicating with their customers, especially when they are developing a marketing campaign for a new product.
As a result, their new idea, no matter how promising, flops.
Successful entrepreneurs have to put themselves in the shoes of their target audience. That is not possible without dialog. Choose which method works for you; you can call a focus group, send out surveys, interview current customers, or read online reviews. Your goal is to know whether your idea would work as well as you hope for before you invest all your resources into it and lose steam.
Know your customers. It will ensure the longevity of your business.
Create Brand Advocates
Having customers is not enough to keep your business running for years. You need to have people who will recommend your business to others.
A brand advocate is not an affiliate. They do not get anything, not even payment, to promote your business.
It is an effective strategy to create brand advocates because, after all, people trust the advice of those they know. If a friend or a family member promotes a business or a product, they will feel encouraged to make a purchase, too.
Diversify Your Market
At some point, you might find yourself needing to diversify to a new market. It might happen when your traditional market is no longer proving to be profitable. Or, you have a new product or service that you think would do better with another market.
Diversifying your market is a risky but worthwhile gamble. Here is the challenge: you need to be able to attract the attention of the new market without neglecting the old one. Otherwise, you might lose both and cause your business to crumble.
To make their products more competitive in a crowded market, many entrepreneurs decide to lower their prices. Often, this means they have to compromise on quality. They end up losing their customers because, now, their products are cheap in every sense of the word.
Instead of charging less, beat larger enterprises by offering something that only you can give your customers. You may improve your customer service; anyone who has dealt with big corporations knows that they do not always get the best response. As a small business, you can promise a more personal approach to dealing with concerns and complaints.
Beat your competitors with superior customer experience, better quality products, knowledge of your products, and post-sale support.
Knowing that most small businesses fold should not be a deterrent. While there is no antidote out there against failure, knowing what and what not to do increases the likelihood of your success.